Making space for 'chairished' rockers

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"There's not much of a demand for rocking chairs nowadays. They take up too much room."

I was saddened by that statement from an antiques dealer who was assessing the salability of a couple of rockers I hadn't found space for after my recent move.

Disheartened not for my own sake, but for babies who won't have the opportunity to be gently rocked to sleep, and for adults who will miss the soothing neighborliness of sitting on a porch on a summer evening, slowly swaying back and forth, watching the world go by.

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You can tell I'm a big fan of old-fashioned rockers. Once, when I was expecting our second child, my husband and I drove from Charleston, W.Va., to Washington, D.C., to attend a wedding. About halfway through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we came upon handcrafted chairs along the side of the road. And I fell in love with a cherry ladder-back rocker.

On our way back home, we would stop and buy the chair, my husband promised. And we did. We were stymied momentarily because it wouldn't fit easily into our compact car. Finally, we managed to maneuver it in - and for several hundred miles, I sat wedged next to it in a tiny portion of the back seat.

It was worth every moment of discomfort. That chair became a cherished family possession. And when the son who was rocked in it grew up and moved into his own quarters, he took it with him.

Now I'm beginning to see that just as we eventually found a way to get that chair into our car, we should find places for the two rockers that have been relegated to the basement.

It's always important to make room in our lives for things that we love.

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