I recall sitting in my daddy's lap in that chair as he taught me how to write my ABC's. I was about 4 years old, and thought writing and reading was about the coolest thing EVER I could learn to do! I had no idea what doors those two skills would open for me as life went on!
The green rocker endured, outlasting a couple of different sofas. The fabric began to look a little worn around the arms, so my mom ordered a slip cover for it out of the Sears catalog. Tiny corkscrew pins came with the cover, and my mom showed me how to secure them, as we put the cover on The Chair. Ahhh, good as new, almost! And life went on around the rocking chair in the living room.
During my teen years, The Chair was where I lounged to talk for hours on the telephone. I didnt exactly "sit" in it -- I more or less draped myself across the chair sideways, pushing it into the rocking motion with my foot against the wall! Once again, my mom decided it needed a slipcover, but this time she gave me a little challenge. She purchased some fabric and asked me to try to create a slipcover myself. I was fairly handy with a needle & thread -- and my mom & dad were good at finding little "projects" to help me hone my skills! So I laid out the floral print fabric, trying to center the design on the seat and back so that it would look "right" to me. A lot of that slipcover was actually sewn onto The Chair -- but in the end it looked okay, and continued to serve us well a few more years.
A few years after I got married, my mom & dad asked if I'd like to have The Chair. They were getting some new furniture, and since it was still in good shape, maybe I could use it. So I brought it to my home, once again getting a new slipcover for it.
When my younger daughter became a preteen, we put The Chair in her room for a while. Again, I covered it with a new fabric; this one was dark blue with tiny rust-colored flowers on it. Eventually, though, The Chair was used less and less, and ended up in the storage room for a while.
Life changes, circumstances sometimes throw us for big, crazy loops. In 2003, my marriage ended and I found myself starting over. I took my few possessions and moved into a tiny apartment. I took my piano, my sewing machine, the dining room table...and The Chair. It was a comforting place to rest, to rock as I reconstructed my life into a happier place. One of the first things I did at that apartment was (you guessed it!) re-cover the old chair in a soft dove-gray corduroy. On the evenings I'd come home to that apartment, it seemed to be waiting for me, ready to embrace me at the end of each day. Some days were hard, sometimes the loneliness would feel as thick as a woolen blanket. But I could sit in The Chair, rock slowly as I would pray, or listen to soothing music, or read, or write...and eventually, slowly, be comforted.
Since those days, life's gotten better and better. I've learned a lot about people, forgiveness, hope, and love. God brought many friends to me; He has continually reminded me of the love of my parents & sister & extended family. He has answered more prayers than I could begin to list! Like that chair, God's been a Place of Rest for me, a familiar comfort that I could depend upon.
I'll be moving again soon -- I've remarried and will be joining David at his home in the spring. And you know what? Last week I recovered The Chair once again! Yes, that will be one of the very first things I'll take with me! It now wears a lovely dark blue cover, flecked with tan and a bit of gold.
I think The Chair is like a good friend. It holds me when I'm tired; it rocks me when I need comforting. That chair's been with me through good times and bad, through the rough days and the wonderful ones, through my childhood and grown-up years. It's been a challenge (I'm pretty darn good at re-upholstering now, hahah!), and it's been a place where I've learned many lessons. Yes, that old familiar platform rocker is definitely my friend!
So one of these days, if you come to visit me I'll greet you at the door with a smile. And you'll walk into my living room, and I'll invite you to sit down. And if you choose the platform rocker in the corner, you'll have the most special seat in the house! :)