Monday, July 11, 2011

Great Grandpa's Chair

Awhile back, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a picture by @studio816 of a rocking chair at an airport.  I commented that I don't sit in my rocking chair enough...

When I was 18-ish, my beloved great grandparents moved from their retirement condo to an old folks' home.  They had two adjoining rooms: one was their shared bedroom and the other was used as a sitting room for visitors.  Because they had to downsize so much, they started giving back gifts they were given over the years, and so on (which I thought was weird at the time, but it's kind of cool now to have things I'd given them).  I was still sleeping in the twin-size daybed I'd had since I was 12, so I was super-excited to receive the 3/4 bed from their guest room. 

I was also given my Great Grandpa's well-loved rocking chair.  That chair was GRANDPA'S chair and everyone knew it; he sat in it every night after dinner to watch the news on CBC (the only channel they got, because they didn't have cable - hell, I'm not even sure they knew about cable).  He'd had it so long, the material had been recovered at least once.  He would sit, distractedly rubbing at the decorative wooden facings on the arms of the chair.  Over the years, he rubbed the finish right off.  He loved that chair.

It moved into my bedroom in the old house; even though I also had a hide-a-bed couch in my room, I always sat in Great Grandpa's chair.  When we moved into the new house and I stayed in the teeny, tiny den until my bedroom was built, I was heartbroken that the chair didn't fit; it didn't take me long to start moving things around, determined to find some way to CRAM Great Grandpa's chair in the room.  It ended up between the foot of my bed and my TV, up against the window, facing the opposite wall; it was impossible to watch TV from it comfortably, but I still sat in Great Grandpa's chair.  When my bedroom was finished, I sat in Grandpa's chair every night with my laptop perched on my knees.

It moved into my first home with my admonishments to "Be careful!  That's Great Grandpa's chair!"  It took point of pride in the little corner of my living room, set back out of the way, protected by the L-shaped walls of the kitchen and hallway.  Every time company comes over, I hope that I am somehow able to be the one who sits in the chair because I'm so worried about someone being "too rough" with the chair.  When I can't, I watch like a hawk, holding my breath, hoping I don't have to tell someone to be gentle or not rock so hard.  (I was worried enough about it after my very first guests that I tried to figure out if I could fit it in my bedroom: sadly, it was too wide for the door frame and I didn't have the tools to take the door off its hinges (nor the strength to muscle it through the door).)

I don't sit in it very often anymore.  Somehow I've come to view it as an ornament, something decorative, but not special enough to catch my attention on a regular basis.  That makes me sad.  It's a comfortable chair that is easy to rock; if you rock just so, it gives a very pleasing creaking sound.  If I bury my nose in it, it still smells like my Great Grandpa.

I need to spend more time in Great Grandpa's chair. Pin It


  1. I landed here after noticing you linked to a post I wrote on my blog. Reading about your grandpa's chair moved me and, in an instant, I'm such a fan. 

  2. I have my grandma's rocking chair when she passed away.  i love it. i probably don't sit in it as much as would make me happy, but I always think of her when I do.  

  3. What a lovely post! I have my grandmother's rocker, but it's been loaned out to my brother temporarily. I think it's time to get it back...

  4. So very nice to have that!!  My Grandma is 93, still alive, but not really here anymore.  One of my last visits with her when she knew who we all were, she was moving into a nursing home and she was just chucking stuff my way.  Most of it was just mismatched juice glasses and a sandwich grill (?) and I packed it all carefully and flew it home and then donated it.  One of the other things however was a beautiful soup tureen with her favorite pattern on it that she'd bought in the 60's from Birks in Toronto.  I fell in love with it.  It has a prominent position in my dining room and whenever I move, it is always wrapped extremely well and comes in the car with me.  

  5. That is a cool memento to have of your great-grandpa's. I love that you've moved it with you and still enjoy it. 


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