When Hubby’s parents were still alive and in relatively good health, his mom called one day and made a surprising offer!
She and Dad were the third generation to live in the family farmhouse, with lots of old furniture from previous generations still in use — a glass china cabinet, a wash stand that was originally meant to sit in a bedroom with a pitcher and bowl on it (back when that’s where you washed your face in the morning), old dressers and beds. Lots of things that, if you asked, they could tell you stories about from years and generations ago.
Now she and Dad had decided that they wanted their five children to come over and each pick out one thing they would like to have right now. Her explanation was that they wanted to be able to actually see some of the old family things passed on and treasured by the next generation.
Spouses were invited too, but I was uncomfortable going. As an in-law I just didn’t feel right going to their home and “claiming” something, even with their permission. So, I suggested to Hubby that he go without me. He said that was fine, but how would he know what to pick that we would both enjoy? My last suggestion to him as he walked out the door was, “Look for something that they aren’t using and won’t miss, and then we’ll just make it fit somewhere, to make them happy.” It really was a nice idea, and we loved them dearly, so we did want to honor their wishes.
When Hubby got home, he said, “Well, I did exactly what you suggested. I went to the attic and looked for something that, obviously, they weren’t using, but that we might be able to use. I hope you like it.”
He went out to his truck and carried in an old, old rocking chair, that had seen better days. The wood had darkened to almost black, and the seat and back were covered in cracked, worn, falling-apart black leather. Through the cracks you could see the springs. Boy, he had reallly taken my advice! It was obvious that no one had used that rocker in probably fifty years (his parent’s estimate)!
But, you could tell that it had been a pretty chair at one time, so I thought Hubby had made a great choice.
We had the rocker refinished and reglued, new springs put in, and it has now been recovered four times. I don’t remember what it’s first cover was, while we still lived on Placid Park, but when we moved to the farm and decorated Victorian, we recovered the rocker in dusty rose-colored velvet and it resided in DD’s teenage bedroom.
After she left home. we next had it covered in dark blue velvet and it was an honored “guest” in the sitting room.
And then when we moved here to our “new” house, we had it recovered in a black and taupe pattern and it is a treasured addition to our living room.
What a wonderful treasure this rocker has been. We have enjoyed it for almost 30 years, and I can imagine it one day living in the home of one of our children, and maybe even a grandchild’s home someday!
What a great idea Hubby’s mom had. Here’s a picture of them, and yes, they were just as nice as they look!
She and Dad had the pleasure of seeing some of the old family pieces used and loved by a new generation. And we received a wonderful old piece of family history to enjoy and then pass on to the next generation!