In one of my earliest memories, I am rocking my dolly in the corner of our kitchen. Mama is hurrying around preparing dinner, and I hear her Mixmaster (today’s version would be called a Kitchenaid) whirring the lumps out of mashed potatoes. My chair had a permanent spot in that kitchen, and by the time supper was ready, my daddy had come home from work, scooped me up into his arms, and set me in my booster chair at the table.
What is it with chairs, anyway? I remember an overstuffed armchair with upholstery that resembled big fronds of fern, and a large wooden rocking chair my kindergarten teacher brought to class to sit in when she read stories to us. My visits to my town’s public library, where my best friend’s mom was the head librarian, often involved a quick spin in her revolving chair.
Then there were the matching recliners my parents ordered for themselves when they built a home and moved from the country into town. Side-by-side chairs where they cuddled fussy grandbabies, read the day’s news, and watched The Carol Burnett Show, 6 o’clock news, documentaries, and sports–always sports. When the recliners wore out, they tossed a blanket over them until the time came when they decided enough was enough. In came a replacement pair.
My favorite chair is now a creaky rocking chair that once belonged to my great-great grandmother. It earned those creaks through years of rocking babies–first my great-grandmother, then my grandmother, my mother, and my children during visits to their house. When Mama reached her 80s, she surprised me by passing the rocker on to me. I rocked all four of my grandbabies in that creaky old chair. When my mother-in-law suggested that I could find an upholster who would “restore” it, I explained that I actually like it the way it is. Why would I want to replace the faded upholstery or remove those marks on the arms where tired mamas rocked their little ones? I love the marks–they’re like a wordless journal to me.
The chair in this image was one I spotted at a public garden recently. Adirondacks sat all around the ten acres, painted such pretty colors. I watched one person after another sink into those wooden chairs for a brief rest before continuing on their tour of the beautiful flowers.
Do you have a favorite chair? I’d love to hear about it!