We had a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina on our return flight from Denver recently. We'd been there before, but had forgotten the rocking chairs that are spread out in the lobby area. Every single chair was occupied. People of all shapes, sizes, and ages, were calmly rocking and chatting or working on their laptops. Rocking is a soothing kind of exercise.
My Mom's rocking chair sat desolate and lonely on her patio for awhile when she was away. She used to sit in it daily for a little rock … and truth be told, to have a cigarette, although she has COPD. Some habits die hard. Winter or summer, she spent some time everyday in that chair. Everyone in the neighborhood stopped by on their way past to say hello. No internet or Facebook for her. The rocker was her social media vehicle.
She bought the rocker for $20 at Salvo's (Salvation Army Thrift Store for the non-thrifters among you) when she moved back to New England five years ago. It had a worn rush seat and she had it varnished back then, but it was showing its age. The rush had rotted and the wood was quite weather worn. David spent some time rejuvenating it over the past few weeks, put in a new rush seat and it's looking almost new again. Since she's given up smoking and relies heavily on her walker now, she doesn't spend as much time in the rocker, but it's there waiting for her.
I read that the idea of the rocking chair probably evolved from rocking horses or cradles. They just added rockers to common straight-back chairs and voilá … a rocking chair. Why should kids have all the fun? By the 18th century, there was a rocking chair on most everyone's porch. They continued to gain popularity and became a sort of status symbol for the elderly. There's nothing like an old-fashioned rocker for calming, soothing and nursing your children.
I had a musical Howdy Doody rocker when I was a little kid. It played “It's Howdy Doody Time” every time you rocked back and forth. Sometimes I turned it upside down and just pressed the little button that played the tune. It used to drive my mother nuts which, of course, gave me all the more incentive to do it. Maybe that's where this rebellious nature of mine all started. Have a listen to the tune!