Sentimental Sunday – Mammaw’s Chairs

When you walked into the back door of Mammaw’s house that she and my Pappaw lived in before they died, the T.V. was right next to the back door and across the room were two big comfy wooden chairs with cushions.  The armrests on these chairs were also wooden and wide enough that you could set a cup of coffee, glass of tea, even your dinner plate if you needed to.  Many times when we would all pile in on Mammaw and Pappaw, Mammaw would fix her plate at mealtime and sit in her chair to eat while everyone else was around the table.  I often thought the reason she did that was to be kind and courteous to the family, allowing everybody to squeeze in around the table to eat and be together, at her table.  But in actuality, I now realize what it was. My Mammaw was smart!  Those chairs were much more comfortable than the ones around the table!  Not only was she close enough to not miss anything in the conversations flying around the kitchen table,  but she had the softest seat in the house at the moment!  When, and if she decided to sit at the table, an aunt would claim one of the chairs.  This aunt would get her tea and plate, sit down in the chair, tea glass on the arm rest and used her belly for her table for the plate of food( prays furiously this Aunt doesn’t come back and haunt me for telling this on her).  It didn’t matter if any of the grands were sitting in those chairs watching T.V. either, when it came time that Mammaw wanted to sit we were shoo’d out of ’em so she could rest for a bit.  My Dad, can also remember that it didn’t matter what was going on around the home, Mammaw would always have a cup of coffee waiting on the armrest of one of the chairs for him and she would be sitting in the other chair with her cup of coffee.  I am sure, they talked about many things over the years that has now long been forgotten and the conversations that has been remembered are cherished.  I can also remember the weekend we were visiting,  not sure if it was during the family reunion weekend or if it was just one of those weekends we were able to go visit, since we lived so far away, that Uncle Buddy brought in a game for people to play.  Now you have to also know why this game is significant.  Mammaw didn’t allow cards or dice in her home.  “That was the Devil’s work” and nothing of the sort was gonna’ darken her doorstep!  You see, my grandmother was a preacher for a pentecostal style church called The Church of God of Prophecy and she didn’t let anything in her home that she thought was of the Devil.  This game consisted of a board, marbles, and dice and was called Wahoo.  Uncle Buddy sat her down in her chair and showed her how it was just a game and not gambling and from then on she was hooked!!  She would play for hours on end, ready to play “just one more game”, when everyone else were about to drop, begging to go to bed, and using toothpicks to hold their eyelids open!  For the longest, cards were not allowed into the house, but those dice and that game board was always welcomed!  On the day that wrestling was on T.V., that was where you could find Pappaw sitting, jerking his legs or arms trying to help his favourite wrestler win his match.

I have no idea where these chairs came from nor how long my Mammaw had them but I can remember them always being there in the end of the kitchen waiting patiently for someone to sit and enjoy a time of rest. I still get to see and sit in one of the chairs when I go to my parent’s house.  In fact, just the other day I walked into the house and they were eating and the first place I grabbed was my Mammaw’s chair sitting next to the kitchen table.  And guess what!  There’s a T.V. in front of the chair just like at my Mammaw’s kitchen! The cushions, of course, has been changed and covered many times over the years, but still the same chair.  I have never thought about it until now in writing about these chairs that my mother has carried on a family tradition by having the chair next to the table with a T.V. in the kitchen. We all often say when we pass an old deserted farmhouse that is falling down, “If those walls could just talk…what secrets would they tell us”  I say, “If these two chairs could just talk…what family stories would I hear?”.  These two chairs will always hold many memories in our family history with some memories readily remembered with joy and laughter and then some memories never spoken of but rooted deep within our hearts, while protecting the family with promised silence as one sits enfolded in the arms of the chairs, taking comfort within the cushions.

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Filed under My Family Ramblings, Sentimental Sunday

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