Great Grandmother's Rocking Chair

Great Grandma’s Old Rocking Chair

Growing up in a large family has its challenges, not only for the parents, but for the siblings as well.  It also has its advantages.Our furniture was never purchased as new.  I remember the folks going to auctions to look for a certain piece they needed, or it was given to us from a friend or relative.

I own three pieces that have a special meaning for me.

Mother purchased an exceedingly small chair from a second-hand store.  The seat measures about twelve inches square and it might stand three feet.  The second is a wicker rocking chair.  It is most unusual, in that the seat is rather large.  I can still fit in it but I leave it for the only doll I owned.  She cares for it in my living room.  

The third piece is my Great Grandmother’s rocking chair.  When I was twelve years old, my parents presented us with twin boys, Donald Dean and Ronald Ray.  Oh, how happy I was!  Two new dolls to play with.  Oh, how I loved them!  It was so much fun to play with them, hear them giggle, listen to them “talk” to each other in their own lingo and snuggle them. 

Many a night I would sit in Grandmother’s rocker and rock them, one in each arm.  This would give Mother a chance to get some long-needed rest.  On the wall hung a plate with the words of the Norwegian table prayer.  My hands were full so I decided I would teach myself the words.   Of course, it was in Norwegian and I could not speak it but that didn’t stop me.  Years later, I was asked to give the prayer at a luncheon.  Little did the guests know, I only said half of it.  As the twins grew, the rocking chair became a toy.  They would sit in it backwards, and rock it until it began to dance across the floor.  It was their transportation.  Another time one would sit in the rocker and the other would stand on the rung.  The faster he could rock the chair, the better ride his passenger got. 

When they got a cold or just didn’t feel good, the rocker provided a wonderful place to snuggle Mother or a sibling.

No, we didn’t have a lot of material goods but what we did have was a home filled with children and love.  Great Grandmother’s rocker helped to provide a safe haven for us.

In memory of my brothers Donald Dean and Ronald Ray

Gwen Welk Workman 06-18-2017



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