The other day, I got my grandfather’s rocking chair back. After a long wait, it was finally restored and ready to use again. This old chair has a history and some stories to tell.
It all started for me last fall, when the upcoming birth of my granddaughter amped up my desire to rescue the chair from its run-down condition. And it did need rescuing. The caning in the seat was destroyed years ago. The caning in the back was more-or-less intact, but many years of sitting in a barn weakened it to the point it also needed replacing. Add in the general TLC needed after those years in the barn, plus a wonky connection between an arm and the back, and the chair definitely needed some love.
I found a small furniture restoration company not too far away which came highly recommended. My husband and I took the chair there, and made arrangements for the owner to clean the chair, fix the loose arm and give it a new coat of protective finish. When he was done, it would go to another small business which specializes in caning to replace the seat and back.
It took much longer than I expected to get the completed chair back, but the long wait was worth it. When I look at the chair now, I remember my mother’s stories about her father. He bought this chair with the first $20 bill he earned delivering mail in the rural south. My grandfather kept this chair on the concrete porch of their house, and rocked and napped in it on Sunday afternoons while his children played. Once he was settled in the chair, the children’s voices never disturbed him – unless they suddenly started whispering. Then his eyes popped open to see what they were up to!
If you look closely at the photo, you can see the rockers are worn down from that rough concrete porch. This old chair doesn’t rock very well anymore. But the next time my little granddaughter comes to visit, I’m still going to give it a try.
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