The Rocking Chair


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!

13 Responses to The Rocking Chair

  1. Hilary says:

    That chair is a beauty. What an unselfish deed your in-laws did that day. No doubt something you’ll remember and consider yourselves one day. A gift to future generations from the past, as things get passed down through the years.

  2. Sandra says:

    Hilary — In some ways I think this sort of thing touches me even more than it does the “real” children in the family. I come from a very itinerate family without even a certain town that we can all look to for roots, so I especially enjoyed being the fourth generation to live in Hubby’s family farmhouse and receiving gifts like this.

  3. Sandra says:

    Thanks, SBW. I think so too. My MIL was a verrrry unselfish person, who enjoyed giving to others.

  4. I’m on my way to pick it up….I just hope Gunny hasn’t read this already and called dibs.

  5. Sandra says:

    I think it ought to stay here until Mimi is at least 16, so that we can make sure all of your girls are done sitting on Nana’s lap to rock. 🙂

  6. karen says:

    What a beautiful chair and a lovely history behind it. Something I’m sure your kids and grandkids will continue to treasure…

  7. Julie says:

    Thanks for sharing the story behind that rocking chair, Aunt Sandy. When I saw the picture of Grandma and Grandpa, it made me really miss them. I remember Grandma giving me the biggest hugs and calling me, “Peaches!” I was only 8 when she passed away and 10 when Grandpa died, but I sure do miss them. They were wonderful grandparents. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Sandra says:

    Karen — I hope you’re right about other generations enjoying it. I love that idea.

    Julie — Your comment brought tears to my eyes. They were great people, and it felt good to get to share a picture of them. They’re never totally gone as long as we have great memories of them — like your hugs and “Peaches.”

  9. Barbara says:

    Sandy – what a wonderful idea they had of seeing the ‘kids’ enjoy some of their cherished items. The rocker is perfect…you can just picture the many generations who have sat in it. Oh, the stories the rocker could tell!

  10. Sandra says:

    Exactly, Barb. It was fun to tell a story that I thought alot of people would be able to relate to, and also some of them might copy with old things of their own.

  11. Denny says:

    That rocking chair sure looks great! Thanks for preserving a masterpiece of the old farm. Carol and I received the china cupboard which sets in the piano parlor of our present home. Every time I look at it — it reminds me of my Grandma Herman and how she obtained it by saving stamps with a hugster. Life goes on, but memories of the old farm and all that goes with it are memories that will never be forgotten.

  12. Sandra says:

    Well, said Denny. By the way, what’s a hubster?

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