There are sometimes things that are not forgotten. A return to a place that had good memories, associated with laughing, joking, perhaps the celebration of a family anniversary. In those far gone days I was too small to climb onto a chair and my mother helped me to overcome its size. The world seemed to be populated by giants at that time, but friendly giants. They could sit on a chair and their feet reached the ground. My legs swung to and fro hovering in space, but with a jump I could find my way back to ground level.
Aunt Pauline’s marriage was one of those occasions not to be forgotten. There was a long table in the yard, just under the old tree. No-one knew what sort of tree, those things were not important; it was just the big tree. After the wedding we all had the wedding food from the table. I think it was then that we had to drag every available chair in the house into the yard to make sure we all had enough room. There was laughing, we children were playing, we were complete, all the family.
After the wedding on the next day everything was put back in the house, but someone forgot one chair. It was just left leaning against the wall, waiting for a new customer. Grandma decided it was just the right thing for summer days to sit in with her knitting. The chair was ideal she said, fitted her body perfectly and had a nice soft seat. She would sit there in the afternoon knitting pullovers and socks. I think we grandchildren were completely clothed nice and warm for the winter. The chair was the centre of operations. She was also very thrifty, and would pull apart old knitted garments that had got too small and transform them into a nice warm covers, making coloured squares and sewing them together in a bright combination, that we could sit covered by the quilt and play guessing games who the pullover belonged to before she unravelled the wool.
Then grandma died, I cannot remember when, but the chair remained. I used to sit there with my babies on my lap and then they were too big. It was their turn to sit in the chair, small spindly child legs dangling backwards and forwards.
“Mum, dinner’s ready. We will have a look at more of those old photos after dinner.” My daughter called from the garden. The weather was warm and we could sit outside and have our meal below the old tree. The chair? It is still there, but torn and broken, somehow no-one wants to throw it away.
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