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The Chair

18th October 2010

And so, I switch off the computer and my eyes fall on my favourite chair.  Currently piled with duvets and a guitar, it is wedged between a loveseat and a laundry rack.  A penguin is perched on the loveseat, propped up by pillows and the last publically visible box in the house.  This is half of the office.  The half I can conveniently turn my back on while typing.

But I miss the chair.  It started out as my Grandfather’s favourite place to recline while calling out answers to Fifteen to One, or words on Countdown.

 

The Chair, in flat Number 2.

Many nights were spent watching baseball with Dad and Gramps relaxing in the same position, with their hands clasped behind their heads.  One night I noticed this and wanted to take a photo.  I then realised I’d been holding my hands the same way.  And I didn’t want to move.

I’d sit next to Gramps and read aloud the letters he received from old friends.  And write his Christmas cards as he dictated news in lines short enough to fit on them.  More often than not, there’d be actual snow falling outside as we went about this annual ritual.

I like Fall for many reasons. Fall allows you to be functionally nostalgic and cry into your coffee and possibly bewilder your boyfriend while also providing stuff to look forward to.  Stuff like Hallowe’en and Christmas, for example.

When I started to live in places that weren’t University halls of residence, the chair followed me.  I’d cover it with an alternating collection of throw rugs, which up until then I didn’t see the point of.  CJ and I would fight over which one of us would get to curl up on it.  She’d call a truce by jumping up on my lap or onto the top of the chair, guarding me the same way her ancestors and Kodi the dog guarded my Gramps.

In my last flat, I put the chair in front of my favourite window and officially proclaimed it The Reading Chair.

Sitting down in the chair and opening a book was a sign of sundown for me.  When I had a new stack of books to start reading, I could not wait to sit in the chair and see which book grabbed me first.

Without actually meaning to I bought four books for five pounds at two second hand shops this weekend.

I think I’ll liberate the Reading Chair and start reading one or three of them.

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  • Reply amkuska 18th October 2010 at 6:15 pm

    What a lovely chair, and with so much history to make it special

    • Reply LKD 18th October 2010 at 6:25 pm

      I’ve always thought it looked ugly, but it’s beautiful to me! 🙂

  • Reply Marcia 18th October 2010 at 7:43 pm

    My husband and I both love to read. I’ve discovered recently that I can recycle the books we’ve finished through online book selling. Between the commission and the shipping costs, we don’t make much on it, but it justifies buying more books. That was a lovely story about your grandfather and you.

    • Reply LKD 19th October 2010 at 6:06 pm

      I like to read books, but I also like to keep them. Books are the only things I hoard. 😉 Books and memories. And apparently notebooks. 🙂

  • Reply doreen mccabe 18th October 2010 at 11:07 pm

    I love my reading chair. I love reading. But not sure why? Do you know why we love to read so much? Really……Gramps and you had a special relationship. And that is lovely. So tonight I am going to drink a toast to you and your gramps ( never knew mine, died too young both) while I read.
    Best!!!! doreen

    • Reply LKD 18th October 2010 at 11:41 pm

      Thank you, Doreen! A toast is a lovely thought. Cheers to you, too!

  • Reply Theresa H Hall 19th October 2010 at 1:11 am

    You made me nostalgic for my Mam’s rocker (Grangmother). I miss her a lot.

  • Reply Theresa H Hall 19th October 2010 at 1:11 am

    Sorry: Mama’s Rocker.

  • Reply Sarah 19th October 2010 at 4:46 pm

    “Without meaning to I bought books” – you too? 😉

    • Reply LKD 19th October 2010 at 6:01 pm

      Yep! They actually just appeared as if by magic. I blame the Sarge. But not really. 😉

  • Reply timethief 19th October 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I enjoyed reading this post so much because I too have such a reading chair. Mine is 1970’s vintage and some call it ugly – I love it. It has an ajustable foot rest and it rocks too. I got it second hand way back when I had a large dog. Today I have 3 small dogs and when head for the reading chair they are all vying to get up there too. I had to develop a contingency plan so I could actually get some reading done without those three squiggly bodies draping themselves over the book pages.

    Here’s the plan. I sit in my reading chair and chair and invite the dogs up. I rock them in the chair and love them all up. Then I put them down and elevate the foot rest. They cannot jump over it so I get to read.

    The most difficult part is not giving into the temptation to peer over the top of the book and making eye contact with the three sets of eyes filled with pleading that are focused on me as I read. It takes a lot of will power to ignore them but I love reading and that’s the motivator.

    • Reply LKD 20th October 2010 at 10:51 am

      I love your story! Especially the part about not making eye contact with them! Sounds like Sarge and me trying to have dinner with CJ looking at us! I call it her ‘cat from Shrek’ stare! Ha!

      Glad you’re reading me!

  • Reply She.Is.Just.A.Rat 19th October 2010 at 11:42 pm

    This is such a lovely story Lorna. I have similar (and very fond) memories of my Papa in his old rocker. My Nana still has the chair at her house, but even though my Papa died before she moved into it, I can still see him sitting in it every once in awhile…

    • Reply LKD 20th October 2010 at 10:54 am

      Thank you! I know what you mean! Sometimes I put Gramps’ favourite shows on the TV, just to have them on.

  • Reply Senior Debutante 22nd October 2010 at 9:34 pm

    That chair is a valuable heirloom- not for its cost, but for the happy memories it holds. My parents had each a rocking chair they left behind. Everytime I come near those chairs, I imagine them either sleeping, reading a book, or just chatting as they gently rocked themselves on them. The chairs are made of narra hardwood and woven rattan. I had them re-polished recently although no one sits on them anymore. They are valued by our family for the link we feel with our parents everytime we sit on them. I can see why you give your old man’s chair a rightful place in your blog. I love the story.

  • Reply Nicole 23rd October 2010 at 11:47 am

    This made me want to find my own special reading chair! 🙂

  • Reply Cheesecake For Breakfast « Gin & Lemonade 31st May 2012 at 1:47 pm

    […] night, I reclaimed my reading chair.  The one that CJ used to sleep on.  I felt slightly guilty, but I read half a book.  My windows […]

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