I’m on my screened-in porch, the sun starting to dip below the horizon, my legs tucked under me as I sit in one of our cushioned wicker rockers. A warm breeze flows through the screens in the windows and the shadows become long and deep golden. It’s become my favorite place to sit lately, as it often does during this time of the year.
My dog Lando trots out onto the porch to join me, his little nails clicking against the wood floor as he walks. He stands in front of the chair, looks over his shoulder, and whines at me to steady it. I get up, hold the chair steady to keep it from rocking, and he jumps up. He circles a few times and then settles himself into the chair.
The air smells like charcoal briquettes and freshly mown grass. The sun dips and it starts to get darker. Crickets chirp and neighbors laugh in the distance.
I’ve had these rockers for over six years. My dad gave them to me after my husband and I got married and I moved into this house with him — Dave lived in this house for five years as a single dad. His house became our house.
We got married in our early thirties and since we both had been living on our own for a while, we ended up merging a lot of things. This porch sat mostly empty before I moved in, occasionally occupied with card tables and chairs if we’d decided to eat dinner or play a game on the porch.
But when my dad offered them to me, I immediately thought, “Those will be perfect on that screened-in porch!”
They were pretty sad looking at the time and my mother-in-law and I spent a day spray painting them dark brown, making them look almost new. We shopped at a few stores before finding the brightly striped cushions I settled on. Now, several years later, they’re faded from the sun and every time I look at them I want to look for new ones in a neutral color. It’s low on my mental to-do list, but maybe this summer I’ll actively look for some.
These striped cushions are one of at least a dozen sets that have adored these rockers over the years. In the early 90’s, my aunt bought them at a home and garden show in Cincinnati and had them on her front porch for years. She and my mom used to sit on them many an early morning, drinking coffee and talking about everything and nothing for hours on end. When I was a teenager, my best friend and I would sit on them after big family dinners, talking and admiring the view of downtown, lights twinkling in the distance as we laughed late into the night.
After my aunt moved, the rockers were on my grandparent’s porch for a few years before my parents became their caretakers and moved them out of their house into something smaller. Before my dad offered them to me, my parents had them in their spare bedroom, which I always found funny and teased my mom about how she was becoming more and more like The Golden Girls with her wicker furniture and wrinkle cream.
Sometimes I think about how many of my loved ones have sat in these chairs over the years — most of them members of my mom’s side of the family, as well as many family friends. How many long talks have been had in them, how many cups of coffee or glasses of lemonade have been consumed while sitting in them… how many late nights and how many early mornings have been spent in them, thinking, talking, listening, laughing, crying.
These days, my husband and I love sitting on them in warmer weather, at the end of the day — talking until after the sun goes down, relaying the details of our day to one another. I love seeing my kids and their friends out here too, laughing, talking, enjoying the comfort these chairs have provided for almost thirty years.
I scoot my rocker closer to the one Lando’s curled up on, and put my feet up on the cushion next to him. The sun has set and the porch is dark but the back yard is starting to light up with fireflies. I know these chairs can’t talk, but if they could I bet they’d tell me that summer is their favorite season.
This post was written as part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to read the next post in this series “Snapshot”.