Someone Who Likes To Rock

“and someone who likes to rock, a rocking chair in the middle.”*

Is there anything more evocative of a warm, cosy, loving home than a rocking chair? Back and forth. Back and forth. The familiar motion at once soothing, calming and reassuring. 

When you were growing up, did your home have the “dad chair”?  Mine did and it was splendid.  It was a Colonial style rocker. The frame, back, legs, spindles and arms were maple and it was finished with two dense cushions for the back and seat, upholstered with a thick, soft, red wool fabric. Elegant, stylish (for that era) and oh-so-comfortable.

There has been a little chair drama in the Perrault home this week. Late last fall (nicely in time for Christmas), and after much toing and froing, we splurged on two new arm chairs for our den to replace the two decrepit chairs that we’d been using for decades.  

Our new acquisitions are very large – with high backs and wide, padded arms, upholstered in a deep, rich burgundy leather.  Very handsome indeed, if a little masculine, and Cam is over-the-moon happy with his.  Me, sadly, not so much, and there was a pointed remark at my announcement of dissatisfaction last night. Whilst sitting in the shop trying out the new chair, it seemed perfectly comfortable to me. My problem (okay, one of my problems) is that I have two wonky hips, both due to be replaced and, after sitting in my new chair for a while, they ache terribly. Now what? We absolutely cannot afford to prance out and buy two more chairs (not even one) so there goes the “matched set” dream.  It seemed my only option was to audition other chairs in our home for the stately role of the princess’ throne. (That bit’s for you, Janie! xx)  

Of the models available to me, one is Daddy’s rocker, which I inherited, and which has been moldering languishing in the family room in our basement. I remember it being enormously comfortable, like easing into a welcoming embrace but perhaps that comfort is mere wishful thinking, memories embellished with all the love of that childhood home. I’ll never know for sure ’til I try it out.  And not for a few minutes, but for a full evening of relaxation, music, reading, television, iPad time…  

Still a touch testy, the gem moved my leather chair off into the corner and headed down to the basement to bring up the rocker and with it, a whole assortment of new problems. First (and please, please don’t judge) it smelled faintly musty.  Not good for two people with breathing issues. I wanted so badly to be charmed by it, to fall in love with it but, ohmigosh y’all, it looks sad and tired, wilted even. Decades of daily use have permanently compacted the foam cushions. The upholstery, chosen by Mum during her grand redecorating phase after Dad died, is more than a  little old-fashioned; big cabbage roses – not something that was my style then (1990’s) never mind now. And that frilly ruffle?  It has to go! The maple arms bear evidence of how well-loved and well-used it was; the wood stain is worn and faded at the ends where dad’s hands rested so many evenings of his life. Otherwise, it is solid and sturdy and doesn’t squeak when I rock.  

Last night was the first trial. I’ll admit, it’s comfort would be greatly improved by a new piece of foam on the seat and I didn’t feel “hugged” like I did as a kiddo but, best, it was cosy and restful. All night. Like spending time with a dear old friend, Daddy’s chair offered familiarity, sweet memories and that beloved relaxing, rhythmic motion. Already I can’t imagine our den without this chair, even though it needs restorative attention. Desperately.  

So now what?

Today I removed the two cushions and sprayed them liberally with “febreze FABRIC HEAVY DUTY with 2X Odor Elimination Power”.  Alas, we proved to be a greater challenge than Mr. Febreze was capable of handling.  As I type this post, they are outside on the deck, in the sunshine and fresh breeze and I’m hoping Mother Nature will have more success than Mr. Febreze.

My initial thought was that I would sew a pair of covers, perhaps from a drop sheet, to give them that rumpled, casual, linen look (at a fraction of the cost).  Unless an afternoon en plein air worked miracles, I fear I shall have to splurge on reupholstery ‘though I’m open to any and all suggestions, please!!!  

“and someone who likes to rock, a rocking chair in the middle.”*

Despite the obvious challenges ahead, sitting in Daddy’s chair I found myself in the cradle of his infinite love, which is perfect, non?  

“Put the kettle on, Babsie, it’s tea time.”

’Til next time, y’all…

*Welcoming sequence, “The Friendly Giant”, CBC.

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