The Marco Polo table is a small humble table passed down through my mother’s family. Why am I writing about it? Great question!
For most of my life it stood in a back room with green paint, taking up space, not as strong and stable as other furniture, so not so utilitarian. It had a name but I never really understood the story. Then in my mid-forties, as I came home to my mother’s house after a marriage breakup, I found my mother in the midst of doing something she had always loved doing…striping and refinishing furniture. Now after some forty years, she was refinishing the Marco Polo Table. The little humble table, designed to be more decorative than anything. Because it was enveloped in our family’s history, she had held onto it from the time of the selling of the family farm, a couple years after her father’s death. Her mom was leaving PEI to live in Ontario with another one of her daughters. That was it. So in emptying the old farm house, mom kept this rather fragile table covered with old green paint.
As I arrived in time to help with the finishing, and desperately needed things to occupy me, Mom handed me the paint brush and stain can, and set me to work. As I painted away, she filled me with the story of the table, to the best of her knowledge. She was the one child of her family with a real interest in history. There has to be one in every family to keep the family stories alive.
I had felt, since my late 20s that I had children’s books to write, and some to illustrate, too. My art skills have a ways to go, and some thirty years later I am launching myself into the mastering of writing children’s books. Several times over the years I have purchased Writer’s Digests, even had a subscription for a year once, upon a time. A couple of times I have investigated a correspondence course through which you can learn how to write them. And I have a couple books about the art and craft of writing. Now for the third time, I have also joined a writers’ group, to keep my enthusiasm up and support my steep learning curve.