Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Grandfather's Rocking Chair

If you take a walk around my house, there is very little furniture that I have actually bought new. I love used furniture. Not any old used furniture but mostly stuff relatives are getting rid of. The only things we have ever gotten "new" are our mattresses, a chair in our bedroom, a assemble yourself desk, our family room couch and loveseat and our kitchen table. I don't know why I love used furniture so much. Maybe because I am cheap (frugal). Maybe because I am indecisive and hate making selections. Maybe because I like to see things get used and not thrown away. My dining room set was my grandparents dragged out of my parents basement. The kids dressers are our old childhood dressers. End tables were given to us as relatives bought new ones. There are a few bookshelves I got at goodwill and repainted or reused. I like to re-purpose things. A bookshelf became a baby's dresser with some canvas drawers. I love my eclectic style.

In Laci's room is an old rocking chair. It used to be my grandpa's and was in their old cabin. It sat for years in my parents basement before it sat for years in my old guest room, unused. When Laci was born, I had it re-upholstered. I didn't want a fancy new glider that you are supposed to put in a nursery. My in-laws offered us one of their rocking chairs but I declined. I had visions of sitting and rocking my baby in that chair. My grandfathers chair. The chair that may have rocked my mom. It turned out Laci wasn't a rocker. I never rocked her as a baby in that chair. When she was about 2 years old, she started to be a rocker and I did spend quite a bit of time in that chair. It wasn't the magical chair that I thought it was. Or that I wanted it to be.

Sometimes I love my old furniture for the stories that they could tell. I have my grandparents old dining room set including the hutch. My mom gave me a vase of fake flowers when she gave me the hutch.   It was the gift my grandfather gave my grandmother for their 40th wedding anniversary. That was the last anniversary they had and one of the last gifts he gave her. Those flowers were always on the hutch. I left the flowers on the hutch also for several years. Most of the items do not have special stories and are just pieces of furniture. Charlie's grandfather did a lot of woodworking and I am thankful that we have several of his pieces - a small table, lamps. But lately, my grandfather's rocking chair has been a little bit magical to me. I haven't sat in it for awhile. It sits in the corner next to empty boxes (to play with) and plastic tubs of barbies and doll clothes. My grandfather died several years before I was born. I never met him and  I only have pictures of him. I often wondered what he was like and what he would think of me. Laci and I sit in her bed and read books every night. I can't believe how much her reading has improved in the last month. Lately I have been looking over at that chair and feeling his presence somehow. I can't explain it but it is how I thought it would be to rock my baby in my grandfather's rocking chair. My grandfather is looking over my little girl. Now and always.

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