Yard Sale

You can have this chair for $10.

I promised the man in the used-furniture store that I would someday bring it back to him. He said he’d knock $10 off the price if I would. But I don’t think he’s still open, twenty five years later. And I think he would have knocked the money off anyway, because even in the 90s, no one wanted ugly orange chairs for their living room. But once I saw it and realized it rocked and swiveled, it’s been one of my favorite chairs ever since.

Not long after I brought it home, I worked at recovering it. As comfortable as it was, the orange was, I’ll admit, a little overwhelming. Once I sewed the slipcover for it, it sat in the front window of my grad school apartment. I read in it, prayed in it, wept in it (so much of all three).

And when I got married and had my first baby, I dozed in it while I rocked and fed him. It’s where I learned “Good Night, Moon” and Psalm 127 and Psalm 131 by heart. He heard them every night as he drifted off to sleep.

When we moved to Pennsylvania, I crammed it in to my tiny office. I’ve graded papers there, read for lectures in it, even napped in it in between classes.

Students would choose that chair over any others when they came to visit. It’s the kind of chair that looks comfortable and then delivers on its promise. It is surprisingly low, though. I’ve heard so many people utter a quick “Oh!” of surprise when they ended up much lower than they expected.

I’ve taught independent studies where a student would sit in that chair wo we could talk about social psychology. I’ve advised freshmen who, sitting in this chair, felt overwhelmed at the thought of what was before them. I’ve comforted stressed-out juniors, who weren’t sure they could make it through the semester. And I’ve celebrated with seniors who had been accepted to grad school and were ready to move on to the next part of their calling.

When I upgraded offices (and chairs), it came back home and moved back to my son’s room and became a catch-all: sports equipment, clean laundry, and too-heavy blankets all mixed together.

This chair has held so much of my life. But now we need space more than we need this particular chair. So it’s out at the side of the road.

And you can have it for $10.