As far back as I can remember, I have always loved antiques. When I was about seven years old, my grandparents had an auction at their home as they were downsizing and moving to a smaller place. They had some really beautiful pieces of furniture! There was a piece that was called a Secretary cabinet that had a fold down where you could write and storage for items like envelopes, paper and stamps and the other side was like a display case with a beautiful curved glass in the door. They also had a huge, solid wood dining room table where we would all sit for Sunday dinner. The beauty and workmanship was absolutely gorgeous!
My obsession with antiques grew as I got older, and sometime around my mid-twenties, I started going to auctions. I truly loved the anticipation and excitement!
One particular auction that I wanted to attend was at an elderly couples home just down the road from where I grew up. I had known Mildred & Asa my entire childhood. They were neighbors with my grandparents for years and also good friends! They had decided to sell their farmhouse and all their belongings.
Once I found out when the auction would be, I made plans to definitely be there, since I knew there would be some beautiful pieces of furniture. The day before the auction, they began moving all the household items and furniture outside and arranging it on the lawn. I walked down to see if I could get a glimpse of some of the furniture. Mildred was standing outside, watching, as they carried her belongings out to the lawn. I talked with her awhile and asked her if I could look around. I slowly walked up and down the rows of furniture picking out in my mind the pieces I would love to have, but knew I couldn’t afford to bid on everything I wanted. And that’s when I saw it. This beautiful old rocking chair. I fell in love with it on the spot! At that moment, I knew what I would be bidding on.
It was old and the material was very worn, but I loved it.
I asked Mildred about the rocker and told her that I would be bidding on it. What she proceeded to tell me brought tears to my eyes.
I learned that day, that when my dad was born, he was delivered at home, in my grandparents house and that Mildred was there and helped with the birth. I also learned that when he was a baby, she sat in that rocking chair and rocked him to sleep many, many times!
No matter what, I was determined that I would be the highest bidder on this rocker!
The day of the auction, I was so excited and nervously waited for them to start the bidding on the rocker. The bidding began and there were a few others bidding on it also. I hung in there and walked away with that rocking chair, with a winning bid of $42.00! Yay!
Since buying that old rocking chair, I have moved around several times, living in apartments and houses, and always thinking that someday, I would get around to refinishing it at some point. But somehow, that project always got put on the back burner. 1 1/2 years ago, my husband and I purchased a home and completely remodeled it inside and out. Once we started moving in furniture, I saw my rocking chair and knew that now was the time to get it refinished and put it in our new home! So I ripped off the old material, sanded down the frame and painted it black then took it to the upholsterer to pick out new material for the seat and back.
Now that old rocking chair has a permanent place in my living room. It has special meaning and a special place in my heart. My dad never got to see it after I refinished it. He passed away in November, 2014. But I’m sure he’s smiling, knowing that I have that old rocking chair sitting proudly in my home.