as seen in front of the TV…

When I was growing up, we never had the TV on during dinner.

On weekends, my mom and dad would take me along to visit aunts and uncles. From my aunt’s in San Jose to my uncle’s in Vallejo, I always looked forward to going. These get-togethers were large affairs that included all the cousins and great food. Lots of food.

Since there were a lot of kids and not enough table space, we were allowed to eat our meals in front of the TV. Not only did we get to eat in the living room, we got to stay up late. Fun times.

Later in the evening, the adults would gather to play 7-card stud poker, while the kids played board games or watched TV. Our favorite shows to watch were scary movies and Benny Hill.

And the coolest part: we had TV trays! Yes, TV trays…

As a kid, it was my job to clean the trays whenever my family hosted one of these events. After they’d all gone, I’d wiped them all down and stored them in our garage.

All of my California cousins are now grown, most with children of their own. Unfortunately, no one picked up on this tradition. Everyone is scattered and getting people together has been a major feat. Although we do get together for a reunion or a wedding, as with most things, it’s not quite the same.

I’ve always associated TV trays with happier days. No wrinkles on my face nor bills to pay. My only challenge then was which Saturday morning cartoon to watch. Or which Underoos to wear with my Garanimals.

It wasn’t too long ago that I saw one for sale. All the happy memories of my childhood came flooding back and it was obvious I had to buy it.

At $34.99 it was a hard sell. I really couldn’t justify a TV tray that would cost more than the food I’d put on it. But then I thought no more spills or burned laps. No more having to get up and refill my drink. All I would ever need would be right there in front of me while I sit in front of the TV. The tray even had picture of a cowboy doing cowboy things.  I had to have it…

Once in a while, whenever I feel nostalgic, I would set the TV tray up and have dinner in front of the TV. OK, lunch and breakfast as well. And pretty much several times a week. It’s become more practical than I ever thought it would. I didn’t realize how a piece of aluminum could bring me so much joy.

It was definitely well worth it…


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