Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Little Rocking Chair

Thursday is the day to pull out some of your most precious Vintage Thingies
and join the party over at Coloradolady .

This is the story of a little rocking chair.  The first years of its life are a mystery.
Early in the 1930s a young couple were married and the young wife dreamed
of being a mother rocking a baby in such a chair.  Years passed and no baby
came into her own life, although she cared for many babies in her professional
life as a registered nurse.  After seven years of waiting, the news was finally good!
There would be a baby very soon.

She began her search for the perfect rocking chair. In a small antique store on the
east side of Detroit she found a very small rocking chair that was tattered, dusty and
had torn caning on the back.  It didn't look very comfortable with its torn back and still
intact cane seat. After visiting the chair at the store many times, the decision was made.

And that's how this tiny rocker, just 33" at the top of the back, came to be a part of our
family history.  The rocker was refurbished by the father-to-be, after some scolding of
the young mother-to-be for not noticing a large crack in one of the rocker rails.  A few
tears were shed and a couple of screws to secure the rail came first and then the months of waiting
for the newborn were filled with making the needlepoint upholstery that would give the
sad little rocker a whole new life.

The baby boy arrived within months, followed by another baby boy just four years later.
Many nights were spent rocking those two boys in this special little rocker that became
the young mother's steadfast companion in nursing the two babies through childhood
illnesses in the late 30s and early 40s.  She did not have the advantage of today's medicines
and immunizations to help her in her quest to raise her two boys to manhood.

By the mid 60s she was graced with two grandchildren followed quickly by two more.
Her heart was so full of joy at the prospect of the little rocking chair having a job again
and was also so very thankful for the modern medicines that helped to keep the babies in good
health.  She rocked them just for pleasure, to lull them to sleep and to remember the life
of the little rocker in raising her two boys.

The grandbabies grew and grew and prospered in their lives.  Soon the once lively
young mother to be began to be less lively and suffered from the pains of old age.
She slipped away in her sleep one night dreaming of the little rocker and all the
babies its gentle movement had enriched.

That was when the little rocker came to live at the house of the second born son. I
rocked and cradled four more grandbabies in the little rocker, while I remembered the
young woman who gave birth to my husband and what a great gift the little rocker was to me.

Remember those two screws to secure the rail that was cracked?
They are still there holding the split wood, more than 70 years later.  The rocker has
always squeaked on that side, a very distinctive squeak that became a comfort in itself as 
we all rocked babies to sleep in it.  Any mother in our family could identify that squeak
and know that a child was in good hands being loved on and cared for
in the little rocking chair.

This is the chair that has been such a part of our family.  The needlepoint was done
by my mother-in-law all those years ago.  You can still see the two screws in one of
the images and the vestiges of the original cane seat in another.

This was Ida's rocker. You can read more about her in other posts here on TLRT.


  1. Ohhhh, what a treasure and such a beautiful story you told. I love the needlepoint Ida did, she was very talented with her needlework. Thank you for doing such a special post today. I really enjoyed it.. Happy VTT..have a most lovely weekend.

  2. How ironic that as I read your post the music reminded me of the songs that my mother sang or hummed as she rocked her babies.The chair is beautiful! How lucky you are to have inherited it.

  3. What a wonderful story! And what a treasure you have in this rocker -- lots of loving memories!

  4. The rocker looks so good that I would never have guessed that it had been through so much.

  5. What an amazing story. I truly enjoyed it and the history behind it. Wonderful, wonderful post. Also, I trust someone will always remember this story and keep the rocker handed down to the next generation.

  6. What a beautiful rocker and story, so glad you shared with us today this treasure. Have a great VTT!

  7. What a touching and wonderfully told story and what a beautiful rocker. How fortunate that you know the story of it, and have it to pass along. I love this post!

  8. Just lovely - the rocker AND the story!

  9. I loved the story and the rocker, and the needlework.

  10. GREAT story and great rocker!! I have my grandmother's old rocker and it means so much to me. The needlepoint is gorgeous!


  11. Great story! I love the rockers with no arms!

  12. The story is as beautiful as the rocker. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of family history.

  13. What a treasure! So many beautiful memories and such a beautiful chair. I enjoyed your post very much today. Thank you!!

    Susan and Bentley

  14. The chair is beautiful and so is your story, but what is most beautiful of all is the way you honor and respect your mother in law. This isn't the first time I've read about her and you always paint her memory in the most beautiful way. Reading your kind words toward her makes me reconsider how I speak of my own mother in law. Thank you for that!

    Have a wonderful day,


  15. That is a very beautiful rocking chair. Very neat story how it was repaired and the screws are still there. The needlepoint is very striking and so well done. Thank you for sharing.

  16. What a lovely post this is! Such a beautiful and most cherished rocking chair.

    Happy VTT,

  17. Oh Candy, that story brought tears to my eyes. How special and what a treasure. Thank you for sharing it.

  18. That's a really beautiful rocking chair with great needlework. So wonderful that it stayed in the family all these years, and it is still appreciated.

    My first VTT is at this link:

  19. It's a lovely piece of family history and will be passed on to the next generation. Ida was a special lady and it has come to me late in life how very wise she was in the way she treated me as the daughter she never had. My DH was supposed to be "Karen." LOL

    Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments.


  20. What a beautiful rocker and even more beautiful story. That type of rocker is called a "sewing rocker." I have one similar that I gave to my youngest child since I remember rocking her in it and she got attached to it. Your needle point back is more beautiful than mine as mine is just plain oak. But the sentiments behind these beautiful things is what counts. Blessings to you and family.

  21. Thank you QMM for the lovely comment and for the info about it being a "sewing rocker"!


  22. What a treasure. It's just beautiful. I have my grandmother's rocker and it is very special to me.


Thank you for your lovely comments.

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