Worth Remembering

This rocking chair is about 65 years old.  It once belonged to my older brother who died before I was born. Years ago I retrieved it from the home of my maternal grandmother before the house was demolished.

Why study it now?  Because it reminds me of some important lessons!

I enjoyed rocking in this chair as a child as did my younger brother.  I have children ranging from 4 months to 29 years old.  All but two of them, and many children in my large extended family, have used this chair.  This chair is certainly old and somewhat worn but my young children love and still use it.  It was well built.  It is strong!  It has served us well and continues to do so.  Can’t I construct my world so that the same can be said of me?  I think the answer is “YES.”

Like the chair, it requires neither magic nor vast resources.  It just requires the use of grounded common sense, some basic materials and a few tools.

  • Be honest about the goal.  The results may surpass expectations.
    • This chair was intended to be child’s rocker, not a piece of “fine furniture.”  Today it is a multi-generational hierloom.  It is priceless.
  • Make simple plans that allow incremental progress.
    • The chair’s frame is hand-fitted and glued.  The seat is woven and knotted so that even after all these years it has not unraveled and can be repaired.
  • Don’t be afraid to course correct when needed.
    • There are places on the chair that indicate changes during construction.  I’ve had to really study this rocker to see them.
  • Celebrate successes whenever there’s an opportunity.
    • The rocker was painted red.  When I was growing up, the chair was always called “Spanky’s Red Chair.” Adults were always happy to see me to sit there and I remember them standing behind me pushing to make it rock.  I felt like it meant something good to them!

My goal is to make a positive difference!  With simple persistence, I evaluate and measure each small step.  When faced with an obstacle or setback, I seek to make an adjustment and proceed.  I remind myself and others that each triumphant moment is worthy of recognition.  People tell me “it’s working”.  I’m happy to agree!

I hope that the world that I am creating is well built and of service to others. I pray that its outcomes are sturdy and utilitarian…like “Spanky’s Red Chair.”

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