I traveled through the Charlotte airport the other day and saw rocking chairs set up along a big window near the food court so you could get a bite to eat or read a book while watching airplanes take off – rockin’. You don’t see rockin’ chairs like you used to. At one time you couldn’t find a house without a rocker in it — a heavy wooden rocker with a cushion in the seat. My grandmother had one. It sat pushed up close to an electric wall heater because she was always cold, like little old ladies get.
I remember her best in a housecoat with her legs crossed, slowly rocking, like she had a baby in her arms trying to go to sleep. The coils in that heater glowed red and she rocked, her glasses perched out on the end of her nose. She’d sit with her chin tucked as she threaded a needle and sewed the tenth patch on a pair of Liberty overalls ‘cause you could darn a rip and they’d still be good. That rocker seemed soothing at the end of a day, relaxing. She sewed in it, knitted in it, read the Grit in it, and you could usually tell her mood by the speed at which she rocked in it.
I’d get scuffed up falling out of tree or even stung by a bee and I’d come through the screen door crying about a boo-boo. She’d pull me up in her little lap and her shoulder would soak up my tears while she assured me that I’d be all right. It was magic, that rocker.
I don’t know what happened to it but it helped make a house a home. There’s just something about rocking that makes telling a story so much better. I think I’ll see if I can’t find me one – a story telling rocker.