We don’t see a lot of rocking chairs in motion these days. Maybe people don’t have time to just sit and rock anymore. In my childhood days, a mother rocking a small child to sleep was a common sight. Or a busy farm wife taking time off from her work to rock and comfort one of her small tots that was not feeling well. Grandmothers would rock and knit and recall the old times when their children were young.
Grandfathers would rock while smoking their pipes, and grumble about all the confounded changes that had taken place in the world. Some blamed all or most of the country’s problems on the high-lines that brought electrical power to the rural areas. The weather certainly was not the same since they started taking all of that electricity out of the air. And every time they graveled or oiled another road they were just asking for more trouble. All those people on the move and the exhaust from all of those Model T Fords certainly couldn’t be good for anything. “Now they’re even putting big boxes on those contraptions and hauling hogs to market! It just don’t seem right.”
Rocking in a chair was often referred to as “being on the move without going anywhere.” Today’s senior citizens have a whole different set of options than their parents and grandparents had. And most of them like to “go somewhere.” For some it is 18 holes of golf every day. For others it is a bus tour down to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry or to Branson, Missouri. Some enjoy weekend tour to Dakota or Mississippi to one of the gambling casinos. Or to Las Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, Laughlin, or Atlantic City.
Amusement parks and theme parks are now scattered across the country. And big-time sporting events are within the reach of most.
We often saw pictures of President John F. Kennedy in a rocking chair. Some said he found that rocking brought some comfort to his injured, aching back. Song writers have found the chairs to be good subjects for their work. One famous song title said, “Old Rocking Chair’s Got Me.” Another set of lyrics told of rocking away troubles and cares by “just sitting doing nothing in an easy rocking chair.” And a more recent song hit by Country Music icon George Jones proclaims, “I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair.”
The old lady likes to look out –
When a long day’s almost done –
From her westward-facing window
She watches the setting sun.
Then at dusk, in the big parlor,
Over near the open stair,
She greets her last true companion,
Her old platform rocking chair.
She recalls her faithful husband –
They’d shared years and smiles and tears –
Until at last he sagged and fell
Beneath the weight of the years.
She recalls how proud he had been
Of the six children she bore.
Feels a bit sad, thinking how she
Seldom sees them anymore.
‘Cause years raced by, as years tend to.
Before long, the kids had flown,
Leaving just her and her husband
In the big house, all alone.
When he left this world for heaven –
A life she could not yet share –
She did much praying and grieving
In this same old rocking chair.
She’s sure she feels more content here
Than the richest millionaire.
She has one friend she can count on,
Her old true-blue rocking chair.
At times the nursing home beckons,
But she refuses to go.
Why trade one’s own home and hearth for
A life you don’t even know?
So she sits and reminisces,
Now and then says a short prayer,
Thanks God for His every kindness,
And this faithful rocking chair.