It’s back! After fourteen months at the restorer, I finally have my rocking chair again. A year ago February I sat rocking Matthew on my lap when the chair seemed to dissolve beneath me. I cracked my head on the floor, but Matthew landed on top of me and was unhurt. Even the damage to the chair was less than how it felt — the right side rocker, that had had a makeshift repair long ago, had simply fallen off causing the chair to fall backwards and to the right.
“You get what you pay for” was my mother’s comment. I am not sure whether she was referring to the fact that she gave me the chair, or if she was alluding to the story that my great grandmother had purchased the chair at a garage sale for $1 some time back in the 19th century.
I could complain about the chair breaking, but that would be to deny its extreme age and the unusual load it had to bear: not only did I weigh nearly forty pounds more than I do now, I had a Very Big Boy in my lap. I cannot really complain about the earlier incompetent repair. One of my fond childhood memories is of rocking on the chair when I was visiting my grandmother. I vividly remember the chair singing a reassuring refrain of creak-creak-POP! as the poorly-attached rocker would slip off its peg and then snap back on. The marginal repair had been there nearly half a century before it finally gave up.
I lament, a bit, that the chair is no longer original. We ended up replacing both original rockers with oak replicas that only suggest the hand-shaped beauty of the originals. The seat and back were originally crochet; I could not find anybody to replace the torn crochet of the back, so it is now cane. Of course, the creak-creak-POP! that I remember from my childhood and that also soothed Matthew to sleep for the first two years of his life is now gone. So life has moved forward and change has taken place, but after the long wait the rocker is back.
Rocking is good.
— RonRisley – 05 May 2005