Way back when Beez and I first got married in 1981, we bought our first new furniture. My favorite piece was a small-scale wing chair with red Colonial plaid upholstery. It was the perfect size for me because I am short and the chair allowed my feet to reach the floor.
I sat in my comfy chair to read and to think. When we moved from Washington state to New Hampshire, the little chair came along and fit right into our 1770 Colonial home (see The House on High Street for more about that historic house).
Through the years, sitting in my little wing chair, I read about raising children, adoption issues, and going back to college as an adult. I studied for my classes in that chair; classes that helped me earn first a Bachelor's degree and then a Master's. I learned to knit there and made a lot of sweaters.
As I grew older, I also learned to take a quick nap while sitting bolt upright in that chair. Of course as I aged, so did the chair. An overenthusiastic puppy chewed the chair's legs and ate the upholstery right off one of the arms, so I learned to make slipcovers. Then I learned that slipcovers made out of thin fabric don't last. When the first yellow gingham slipcover got worn out too quickly, I made another slipcover out of a sturdy flowered fabric that I didn't like much. From that I learned that stuff you don't like just never gets any more attractive.
The third slipcover was made of plain and sturdy white canvas that I really liked. It lasted a very long time and went with everything, even this red room I painted in New Hampshire.
|Red living room with dog basket and white wing chair|
We moved to New Mexico and retired. By and by the white slipcover wore out, too, and the poor little chair looked so shabby. I threw a quilt over it but eventually decided, not too long ago, that it was time to say goodbye to my loyal and comfy companion. I asked Beez to please take it to the dump, right away before I changed my mind. He loaded it up and drove away.
It was like deciding to put down a beloved old dog. I had really thought that it was the right time and just didn't have it in me to make another set of slipcovers, but I was haunted by the thought of my good little chair down in the pit at the dump, lying there at the mercy of the big bulldozer.
That was almost a month ago. Today I came home from a morning at my knitting group and walked into my special little reading room. There, standing once again in its usual corner, was my beloved little chair--all reupholstered in fine new fabric, with its formerly scratched-up wooden legs refinished and gleaming.
And there was dear smiling Beez, who (after 30-some years) knows me better than I know myself.