Notwithstanding the skit at the Republican National Convention last year with Clint Eastwood and his “sidekick” chair, I too have a commentary on chairs. Hopefully, this post does not become the debacle that Clint’s chair chat was or sound like an Andy Rooney venomous diatribe.
During my walks I notice a lot of ordinary things along the way. Often I wonder about or ponder over such trivial items which sometimes become fodder for my blog posts. Chairs are such an item … specifically, the Adirondack chairs that I see on many patios and porches. Two cherry-red Adirondack chairs at two different homes got my attention and fascination this morning during my morning meander down Emmons Boulevard. Query: how the heck do people get in and out of them? I’d need a crane to drop my body into that low-slung wooden object and once down there, I’m pretty sure I’d need a crane or two hefty arms to assist me in climbing back out. You never see those Adirondack chairs with a comfy seat or back cushion either. I think they need a booster seat to make them workable because to me they look pretty torturous to be truthful.
Sadly, every time I see one of those chairs I am reminded of my mom who in later years could not get out of an easy chair unassisted. Once she plopped onto the easy chair cushion, she sank wayyyyyyyyyy down and nearly backwards. Eventually, she refused to sit in that chair and in order to watch TV in that room, was forced to take in her kitchen chair. BYOC – well, that’s certainly a novel idea. We stopped watching TV soon thereafter.
My neighbor Marge told a story years ago of buying a short reclining lawn chair which was probably made for the beach. She said she sank down into it and immediately worried how she would get back out. She was alone in the yard and said she had to go through several antics and calisthenics to climb back out onto the grass, all the while muttering “never again”.
Alot of people have those retro-look metal chairs with the twisted tubular legs. I’d probably sit down the wrong way and tip forward off the porch and into the planter’s box. And, what if it is hot out and you stick to the metal seat? When you get up, not only would you take the chair with you, but the chair would take some of your skin with it. Ouch!!! For years my father had plastic covers on the seats of his VW Bug. We went on back-to-back Summer road trips to Oklahoma in 1964 and California in 1965, and I sat in the back seat. We had no air conditioning, just an open window and the searing heat pouring in. I had a wool blanket placed across the back seat to keep my bare legs from sticking to the hot plastic and making the trip more miserable.
I used to have a little stool I’d sit on to weed and deadhead my annuals in my many patio porch pots. The stool was really low and I had difficulty rising up from it because I needed to grab onto something, like a railing, to pull myself up. The last time I used it I was sitting on the patio on the stool and saw something in my peripheral vision. I looked again and saw a huge possum standing in front of the hut looking at me. It stood there for the longest time, well alot longer than me, and I nearly broke my neck high-tailing myself off the stool and as far away from the patio as I could get. The stool now hangs in the garage and I don’t have porch pots, but artificial flowers “planted” in those pots instead.
In fact, I shudder to think of sitting on any outside furniture due to my irrational fear of bugs. My fear of anything creepy or crawly, both inside and outside of the house, would no longer permit me to comfortably sit outside in a lawn chair, though I did it for years. I couldn’t relax as I’d be scared something with more legs than I have was embedded in the chair and would run up my pants or shorts. For years my mom dealt with my irrational fear of insects and would often remind me that I used to lay out sunning myself on the sidewalk or in the yard on a towel and THAT didn’t bother me. In college my buddies and I had series tickets every Summer at the old Pine Knob and we always had lawn seats. Ah … youth.
P.S. – In conjunction with the subject of chairs, this is a sad postscript to an earlier blog post about the Fergusons, an elderly couple who live at the end of my street. For weeks I’ve noticed the absence of Mr. Ferguson’s big rocking chair on the porch. I thought perhaps that the weather had been fractious; too cool, too rainy, too hot – no happy medium. The Fergusons hailed from the South and still had kin there, so I told myself they might be vacationing, but as the days went by, the couple still were absent from their porch. Fearing the worst, this morning I perused the online recent local obituaries and sadly discovered Mr. Ferguson passed away last month. For years, a death on the street was marked by one neighbor volunteering to collect money for flowers and having a sympathy card circulated and signed as well. The last few years, many of my elderly neighbors have passed away and that nicety, it seems, is now non-existent. So, my conundrum now is wishing to acknowledge his passing to his widow, yet not wanting to admit I had to troll through the obit notices to determine his demise. I’m sure his widow will not sit out there without him –it is too soon and there are too many memories. It is sad to look at an empty chair – I know I stare at one across from me every day. It is a constant reminder of your loss.