Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Table for Joe

My Dad's birthday would have been coming up on September 4th, and he has been very much on my mind the past few days. I lost him unexpectedly to a heart attack when I was 20 years old. It may have been 49 years ago, but I still find times when his loss is as fresh as the day it happened. As September approaches, I decided to honor the memory of this tall, lanky, sweet man who made a life for me where I felt protected, loved, and supported.

My Dad loved to go fishing. Our neighbor had a "cabin cruiser" and would invite my Dad for fishing dates that would bring him such joy. I found a picture of him at the captain's wheel of this cruiser and the expression on his face shows how happy he was while out on the water! I thought I'd share it with you in this tablescape. Some of my best memories were when we would go fishing together. He would rent a skiff; we'd pack up our rods, reels, bobbers and bait (usually frozen spearing) and head out with a basket lunch and motor out to just beyond the breakwater.  We would sit for hours just waiting for that bobber to plop below the water and signal that a fish was on the line! Sometimes we'd reel up the line to find the bait gone and no fish. But, other times we'd cheer to find a fish on the line. My Dad would grab the net, scoop up the fish and unhook him! Generally, we would just release the fish, but there were times when we'd bring the catch home. On the east coast (this was off of Long Island in New York) we would fish for fluke and flounder and only sizeable catch would become dinner!  We'd listen to a portable radio, talk and laugh. It was a magic time, now that I think of it.

So, here is the table I came up with:

How It Was Created:

I started with a white linen placement from Macy's because I wanted to lighten up the table a bit.

Then, I added a water hyacinth placemat that reminded me of a rope coiled up on the pier!

I thought these silver-toned chargers look like the  galvanized metal of the pail we would bring to carry home any fish we might catch!

For my birthday this year, family members generously gave me gift cards to HomeGoods (they kindly encourage my hobby of tablescaping! Thank you, family!). I wanted to find dishes with fish on them, but had no luck. I did find these nautical plates that highlight the different types of nautical knots. My Dad tried to teach me how to tie different knots, but I never could get the knack of tying them!

For my top layer, I went with these anchor plates. I've used them before on this table here.

I completed my place setting with red and white checkered tumblers filled with red and white checkered napkins (when we went on our neighbor's boat they always had a red-checkered tablecloth and napkins!); and,  my Treble Clef flatware from World Market ( I thought it looked like a fish hook!).

For my centerpiece I decided to gather a collection of items that reflected the components of a day of fishing! I purchased this water hyacinth basket in HomeGoods on my shopping spree.  I first placed a decorative fishing net into it. I added one of my shell embossed salad plates; then I added a wooden seagull I found at Steinmart. One thing my Dad and I always saw while fishing were numerous seagulls----especially when they would following the commercial fishing boats home at the end of the day. (a note: I realized when I got home, that the beak on my "seagull" was not bent at the tip as it should be, so this is probably a sandpiper, but if you won't tell, I won't!) My Hubby took me to a Fishermen's Hardware store while I was preparing this table, and I was thrilled to find red and white bobbers that look EXACTLY like the ones I used while fishing. I would have thought they'd be high tech nowadays, but that was not the case. I found fishing hooks and weights, as well. So, I added this fishing gear to my basket. I "shopped the house" (my family room is decorated in a nautical theme), and found a wooden spool, a wood tackle, a brass lock and a glass float: all reminiscent of boat gear. I finished with two ceramic fish appetizer plates that I found at the supermarket! I completed the centerpiece with wooden candlesticks (they are actually bobbins I found while antiquing), and white candles. I added my Dad's picture, as well.

This tablescape was truly a labor of love. I do believe my Dad would have gotten a kick out of it, because it represents such special memories of very happy times with each other. Happy Birthday, Dad! You will always be in my heart

I'll be joining Susan at www.betweennapsontheporch.net for Tablescape Thursday and
Christine at www.rustic-refined.com for Dishing It! and Digging It!.

It's always fun to visit these websites and see what everyone is sharing that week! Be sure and take a look and see for yourself! Thank you, Ladies, for your continued support in hosting these parties!


  1. Oh Rosie, this did make me sniffle! I lost my Dad way too early too, and there is rarely a day where I'm not thinking, oh my Dad would love/hate this!! Especially this election, he was a political junkie! I think the addition of fishing bobbers to your table is totally brilliant, and love the centerpiece full of shore memorabilia! Good times, good memories!

  2. This was a beautiful and touching post. I know your dad would feel quite special dining on your catch of the day at this table!

  3. Oh Rosie what a great way to remember your dad. I love your thought process through the staging of the dishes. The water hyacinths charger does resemble a rope coiled up. I love those rope themed dishes and your centerpiece basket. That's so sweet too that you remember the red and white checked napkins from your neighbor's. You really did a nice job of putting together a very thoughtful tablescape to remember your dad with.

  4. I enjoyed seeing your table and the wonderful memories it holds for you. A lovely tribute!

  5. Rosie: Quite the tribute to your Dad. I see the look on his face and know it was a special time for him. You always do such a wonderful creative table. Awaiting your next inspiration.

  6. That is so sweet Rosie, such a wonderful tribute to your dear Father. I hope this Sept. 4th is a day you can remember him fondly and with smiles and it doesn't make you feel sad. I always try to think of my loved ones who've I've lost, like angels on my shoulder. :-)