Meg cannot remember where she first came across The Turquoise Table, but she loved the idea from the very start. Knowing and serving their neighbors is a high priority for Meg’s family, and she knew instantly that a cheerful and welcoming spot in the front yard would serve as a catalyst to friendship. In the last couple of years, Meg has lived in two houses in two separate South Carolina cities, and both have a Turquoise Table prominently placed in the front yard.
A lover of all things eclectic, Meg built her first table herself out of two sawhorses and an antique panel door. The bright and quirky table started serving its purpose even before it was complete; several neighbors stopped by to inquire about the project while Meg was constructing it, and that was the spark that created a more friendly vibe throughout the neighborhood. The Turquoise Table even managed to touch one particular neighbor who seemed angry and distant every time he would pass by Meg’s house.
“One evening I saw my husband drive up after work, but then realized that he hadn’t yet come inside and it had been a while,” says Meg. “I looked out the window and saw him sitting at the table, talking to that neighbor. I felt so grateful in that moment, because if the table hadn’t have been there, that opportunity for connection would have been lost.”
The table went on to host casual conversations and outdoor dinners throughout the time that Meg’s family lived in the neighborhood. When they sold that house earlier this year, Meg left her Turquoise Table behind at the new owners’ request. They too loved the concept and wanted to keep the Front Yard People spirit alive.
“My first Turquoise Table evolved into exactly what it is supposed to be – a place for neighbors to become friends and for community to happen,” Meg says. “I was thrilled that the family who bought our house wanted to continue with its mission.”
When Meg’s family moved into their current house, they were in need of a new Turquoise Table. This time they bought a traditional picnic table and again, neighbors took notice right away. While Meg was painting the new table turquoise, one neighbor stopped by to ask her about it, and they ended up talking for some time.
“We got to know each other and shared about our lives. I told her that my children are adopted, and it turned out that she was adopted too,” Meg says. “Finding points of commonality is such a great way to move past the small talk. I enjoyed getting to know her and we’ve since become friends.”
These days Meg’s Turquoise Table sees a lot of activity. She and her children do their homeschooling lessons outside. She invites neighborhood kids over for cookies and lemonade. Her husband – a youth pastor – meets with his high school students at the table. Neighbors passing by sit and rest for a quiet moment. A 93-year-old neighbor who regularly goes by on a three-wheeled bicycle now stops his rides to visit.
“I absolutely love what the Turquoise Table represents in the neighborhood,” Meg says. “Even those who don’t know my family personally know us by our table. Its presence conveys a feeling of hospitality and acceptance. How great is that?”
Meg now intends to plant her third Turquoise Table. A friend who lives in an ideal spot in the neighborhood expressed interest in having a table of her own. Meg and some others are planning to surprise that friend by sneakily dropping off a picnic table in the front yard as a holiday gift. A new Turquoise Table to continue the mission of community and connection. Hopefully it will be a very turquoise Christmas!