Are You Off Your Rocker?
Well, no, I’m not really off my rocker. I’m sitting on a very special traveling rocker as I write this. My rocker has traveled from my grandfather in Indiana to my aunt in Tennessee to me in Colorado. I have other rockers in my family that have traveled. I have even written a children’s book about a rocker that travels through three generations, Roxie, the Traveling Rocker. And this rocker is magical as she poofs and pops, growing bigger as the children around her grow up.
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But now, back to non-magical rockers. Rocking chairs were initially made as outdoor furniture. The first ones appeared in England around 1725. With birdcage-like spindles, these early rockers featured hood-shaped backs.
Around 1840, the first mass-produced rocking chairs were made in New England. Rocking chairs in those days were primarily used for mothers and babies or for the elderly and invalids in hospitals.
Okay, enough of the history and now for the memories.
I have childhood memories of rocking my dollies in a small red rocker that all my sisters and I enjoyed. And when I was older, I sat in my mother’s beautiful antique rocker to relax. I enjoyed the therapeutic swaying that rockers give us. And sometimes when she was rocking, I’d sit on her lap as a teenager, enjoying her arms wrapped around me.
The traveling rocker I’m sitting on now first belonged to my maternal grandfather, Albert Thomas. He had two rockers. One in his living room, the other in his bedroom. When I visited his home as a young girl, he’d relax in his rockers, chat, read the newspaper, and tell stories. Time had slowed down for him. He’d finally earned the years to rock and relax after raising nine children through the Great Depression and beyond.
I’m amazed that now I have earned some time to rock and relax in my grandpa’s rocker. Rocking a grandchild, reading a book, humming, and praying to God, thanking Him for wrapping His arms around me while I rock, are all priceless moments for me.
What about you? Do you have a special rocker in your family? Has it traveled around?
Below are some pictures of my traveling rockers within my family.
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I enjoyed the history and your memories, Becky! An old rocking chair was the first piece of furniture my soon to be husband and I bought. It needed lots of restoration, but it rocked our 2 children and is still in our house. I’m looking forward to reading your newest book!
Becky Van Vleet
Thanks for stopping by, Kathy. It sounds like your rocker has its own story with sweet memories!