Chair Memories – Little Rockers

My First Rocking Chair

A couple of pictures from much younger days….

I have to admit that I don’t really remember this chair but I have several pictures with me in and around the chair, so maybe somebody remembers it. I had to include this picture more for what I was wearing though. The apron! I love old aprons. Maybe this was the beginning of my fondness for them. I would imagine that one of my grandmothers made it for me.


A Bigger Little Rocking Chair

I do remember this rocking chair. I clearly received it as a Christmas present along with a lot of other goodies. It was a textured vinyl fabric in a very neutral white/grey/beige. I know there is a picture of me sitting in the chair holding my cousin Cherie as a baby. We are on the sidewalk in front of Grandma (Eveline Coates) Hoskins house. I can’t find it.  🙁

Addendum: November 12, 2012 – Here is the picture I was looking for…

Holding Cousin Cherie



Chair Memories – Amana Rocking Chairs

My Amana Rocker

I have scoliosis.

I was in junior high and had just returned from a Girl Scout canoe trip with a bad sunburn when Mom noticed that my back didn’t look right (besides the fact that it was bright red).  “What’s wrong with your back?” she asked with urgency in her voice. Doctor appointments followed. My case wasn’t severe enough to warrant a back brace, thank goodness, but I was instructed to practice a variety of stretching exercises.

Needless to say, backaches happen. Often.

During a summer visit to my Grandmother Abbie (Webber Smith Brender) in Iowa City, I suffered a really bad backache while sleeping on her couch. I couldn’t get comfortable and I couldn’t sleep. I finally got up and sat in her rocking chair. I felt so much better! For the remainder of my stay, I would get into that rocker whenever my bed disagreed with my back.

With Abbie 1977 at Amana Colonies

Abbie’s rocker was made in the Amana Colonies in Amana, Iowa. I took my husband to see the sights in Iowa in 1977 and we visited the Amana Colonies with Grandma Abbie. I told him how her rocker had eased my back pain years before and one Christmas he surprised me with my own Amana rocking chair. I’d insert a heart here if I knew how.



Addendum: November 12, 2012

I found a picture of Grandma Abbie sitting in her Amana rocking chair. This was taken when she lived in an assisted living apartment. 

Chair Memories – The Spit-up Chair

The Spit-Up Chair

I know. Not an appealing title. But that’s what we called it.

The poem in a previous post brought back memories of a chair I sat in for about six years. Okay, I did get up out of the chair now and then, but some days I felt like I never left that chair. It was the chair where I nursed and held and rocked and read to my three babies.

I must have looked like this picture much of the time….. tired. On second thought, I look pretty good in this picture. It looks like I had bathed. And had on makeup.

Our first baby spit up a lot. When I shared my worry with the pediatrician, he suggested we keep her upright for thirty minutes after a feeding. Putting her in the infant seat didn’t help, so I would sit in the chair, holding her upright for an additional thirty minutes after she nursed. Sometimes even that didn’t work. It seemed like I was always changing my clothes and wiping down the chair. It went on for months. We chose to sacrifice one chair in order to protect the rest of our furniture. Hence the name.

Sitting in the chair, I daydreamed. I solved the problems of the world. I made business plans that would allow me to stay at home and earn money. I nodded off. I smelled sweet baby smells. I smelled spit up. I felt baby heart beats. I perfected my burping technique. I sang lullabies. I watched TV – sometimes watching history unfold.

Challenger Space Shuttle - Picture courtesy the NASA Johnson Space Center (NASA-JSC)

The most memorable for me was January 28, 1986, when the Challenger Space shuttle broke apart after lift off. All day and all night the footage repeated on the television as I nursed, held, and rocked my two-month-old baby. The coverage was non-stop. Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to venture into space…. her students and family and friends watching proudly and with great excitement and anticipation. It was a sad day to be sitting in the spit-up chair.

Kids and Grandparents and the Spit-up Chair

We kept the chair for several years after spit-up ceased being a daily occurrence. The chair remained important for rocking, reading, soothing booboos and hurt feelings, singing, watching TV, and posing for pictures.

We no longer have the spit-up chair. But we still have the memories.