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Sunday, December 12, 2010

HOLIDAY SPIRIT OF THE OLD RED ROCKER

OLD RED ROCKER

One Christmas eve, when I was a child, as I laid in bed listening for the sounds of Santa on the roof I overheard the the voices of my parents discussing a gift that I was to receive from Santa. It was a time when folks were still feeling the repercussions of the depression and WWII. Money was beginning to flow again in the economy yet people were still in the non-spending mode. 


The gift they were discussing was a hand-me-down cradle that was last used by my older sister. My father had just refinished it and put a chime on the rocker so that it played a tune when you rocked it. It was a lovely doll cradle by the time he had it all redone. I loved it when I saw it under the tree the next morning -- even though I knew it was a hand-me-down and not from Santa. I played along with the idea of Santa bringing it. 


OLD CLOTH TAPE SEAT AND LOTS OF WEAR MARKS


I had the cradle for many years. -- somewhere along my path of life I lost it. That  cradle had taught me many things about family and living according to ones values


STABILIZING WIRE


It taught me that my father, with love and kindness for his daughter, took the time to redo the cradle and add music to it. Also, it taught me the meaning of the phrase -- waste not, want not. My parents had to make do with what they had -- they didn't extend their tight budget to more than they had in their pocket. 

OLD REPAIR TO ONE OF THE ROCKERS
One day, later in life, I bought a child's worn old red rocking chair. It reminded me of the lessons I had learned from my cradle --  the  chair obviously had been used by several generations. There was evidence that the rocker had several problems at one time and that someone had lovingly fixed them.


The previous owners had  made  a seat with cloth tape, probably because the original splint seat had worn through. Also, one of the rockers had broken at some point and had been repaired in excellent fashion. Apparently, through use, the little rocker had become shaky --  so someone corrected the wobbling chair by repairing it with tightly twisted wire. All these repairs gave the rocker many leases on its long life. 

So when I remember my childhood cradle during the holiday season, I now look at the little red chair and know that it represents family, love, caring and reuse -- my idea of what the holiday season should be about.

24 comments:

  1. What a lovely chair and memories you have, thank you for sharing them :)

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  2. What a true treasure you have there.

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  3. Jayne, Vicki and Farmchick -- Thanks for the nice comments -- barbara

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  4. Barbara,

    Reminds me of my own little rocker which I had when I was a child. Mine, however, seemed to remain in pristine condition...but then, I don't remember sitting in it much...contrary to the love-worn condition of the rocker in your photos...mine was sturdy, but I think simply not used like yours...I lost track of where mine went, too. Thanks for your loving retrospect!

    Elora

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  5. What a nice memory of such a loving gift, and the wonderful life lessons it provided. That cradle was many gifts in one, and I hope it's now a cherished treasure in someone's home, with their own wonderful memories surrounding it.

    Your chair tells so many stories! What a sweet and precious item. In our throwaway society where so little is built to last and so much ends up in landfills, this post is wonderfully inspiring and uplifting.

    My dad, a frugal New England Yankee, was raised with the saying, "Wear it out, use it up, make it do, do without." I'm not always as good about living by that maxim as I aspire to be, but think it's a wonderfully worthwhile reminder and intention. Your cradle and your chair are such terrific examples of it in action! Thank you for this lovely post. :-)

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  6. Elora -- thanks for the story of your rocker. I guess many folks have similar stories. -- barbara

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  7. Laloofah -- I like the story of your dad and his frugal New England ways -- especially the words, " wear it out, use it up, make it do, do without. I have an old child's blackboard (really is the old "black" board) that I put up in my bathroom. I write in chalk, phrases of the week -- will put this maxim on it today. Thanks -- barbara

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  8. I love your old blackboard idea with your phrases of the week!

    When you write this one on it, don't write it like I did, because I got it tangled up. It's supposed to be, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without." The right way, it rhymes. My wrong way... not so much. LOL I'm glad you liked it anyway! :-)

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  9. P.S. I kept thinking I'd shared that Yankee saying on my blog some time ago, and then it finally came to me where I'd posted it. Since I think you'd enjoy the subject of the post, here it is... :-)

    Gandhi's Little Pencil Story

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  10. Laloofah -- I went to your Gandhi pencil post and loved the story. Another story for me to save and also send to my grandchildren. Yes, we do create violence to nature by throwing away food etc. Copied the correct version of the "use it up" maxim. Have washed off my blackboard to write the new maxim on it. I thank you for the wonderful story and the maxim -- barbara

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  11. I'm glad you enjoyed that story, Barbara, and that you'll be sharing it with your grandchildren. Nice!

    Have you ever thought of posting a photo of your blackboard on your blog each week, showing that week's quote or phrase written on it? I think that would be fun! (But then, I'm a quote junkie!) :-)

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  12. Laloofah -- Yes, I have thought of it. I guess we think along the same lines. Maybe after the new year. Thanks for all the nice comments -- barbara

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  13. Now, I sure that rocker has quite a story to tell too.

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  14. Birdman -- I know you are right when you say the rocker has stories to tell. I wish I knew them all. thanks for stopping by. -- barbara

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  15. Tess -- Nice that you enjoyed the post. Thanks -- barbara

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  16. I loved this -- funny how things like this rocker rekindle memories!!!!

    Thanks for coming by my place! I hope you return often. And no I don't always rant! :)

    I really love your blog and I added you to my 'follow' list.

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  17. Kay -- thanks for putting yourself on my followers list. I noticed that you do not have a followers list but I do have you subscribed on my readers list. That way I can follow your posts. I perused some of them and thought they were great. My maternal roots are farmers from northern Ohio. Spent many a summer there when I was a child although I was raised in Michigan. I look forward to reading your posts and hope you stop by in the future. thanks again -- barbara

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  18. Jayne -- You are right on that thought. -- barbara

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  19. Thanks for sharing this lovely story. I like the way the rocker reminds you of that earlier Christmas gift.

    I had a similar 'Santa' experience. I saw my grandpa working on a wood project in his basement. A few weeks later, a birdhouse from "Santa" was under the Christmas tree. I knew he had made it, but I never said so. I loved having something he made.

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  20. barefootheart -- How thoughtful of your grandpa to make you a birdhouse. I wonder if he didn't know that his granddaughter would be a bird watcher most of her life? Gifts to children seem to sometimes influence adulthood. -- barbara

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  21. I love the story and the old red rocker. It reminds me of a little rocker in our family. It belongs to my sister, she said it was hers when she was little. She loaned it to me when my children were little and, I believe, it has had different 'seats' down through the years. When my children used it, the seat was made of many strips of rubber weaved together. I love that old rocker.

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  22. Janet -- Stories are so often locked into certain material items that we have or have had. Sometimes over the years they get beat-up looking. These are what I call character marks. Nice that the rocker has been kept in your family.Glad you stopped by -- barbara

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