My favourite chair

June 2, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Keith Schell

When I first bought my house in the early 1990’s, it literally took everything I had financially. In hindsight, I wish I had known then what I know now, for I might have held off for a bit longer and built up a bit more of a financial nest egg before taking the plunge. Financially, I didn’t have a pot to piddle in for a very long time after buying that house. All first time home buyers know exactly what I am talking about.

And because of that, I had no money at all for furniture. I think the only furniture I had at the time was a little tiny folding table and chair I used for dinner and an old brown easy chair that my parents gave me to watch TV in during the evening. That, along with my single bed from my apartment and a few other small things was really the only furniture I owned.

Once I moved into my house, my Mother put the word out to all of her good and decent friends up home, and a number of her friends took pity on me. They decided to thin out their houses a bit and donate some of their old and unwanted furniture to me to use for which I was, and always will be, eternally grateful. And that was how I first furnished my house.

One of the first pieces of furniture that came to me from a nice older couple was a lovely overstuffed sofa chair.

It was orange and black in colour, with illustrations of ranch houses and grain grinding mills and was very comfortable to sit in.

It quickly became my chair of choice to sit in in the evenings for relaxing and TV watching. I had a lot of good ‘sits’ in that chair. And when my family came to visit, it was usually the first chair of choice for anyone who wanted to sit in the living room to chat and watch TV.

But over time, things start to wear out and need to be replaced. And the same thing started to happen with some of the furniture that was already old when it first came to me.

My favourite orange chair was beginning to show its age. A spring was sticking out of the back of the chair and my butt started to go numb if you sat in it for too long. While I hated to part with it, I knew it was time for it to go.

So one morning on trash day I cleared a path to get it out of the house and dragged the chair to the curb.

In order to lighten the load to get it to the curb, I removed the seat cushion and had to go back into the house to get it before the trash truck came. As I was in the house I heard the truck come and had to hustle to get the seat cushion out to be taken away as well.   

I just got outside with the seat cushion in time to see the trash men put my chair in the back of the garbage truck. I went over to the back of the trash truck and threw the cushion in the back of the truck with the chair.

Then I saw the crusher in the back of the trash truck crush my favourite chair into a million little pieces!

I was stunned.

It was as though a little piece of my heart got crushed along with the chair in the back of that truck. I didn’t expect it to hit me the way it did when I witnessed it. Even though I was throwing it out, I didn’t think my chair deserved that kind of a fate after all those years of loyal service.  

I began to think about all the happy times over the years associated with that chair.      

When my parents came to visit me my late Father sat in that chair. When my brother worked at the same place I did and stayed with me, we had many interesting conversations in the evenings when he sat in that chair. My grown niece, when she was four years old, first told me she loved me while sitting in that chair. I watched the Blue Jays win the World Series in that chair. Many a hockey game I watched in that chair. Many a meal I ate in that chair. And many a good sleep I had in that chair. 

As the trash truck drove away, I wanted to call out “I’m sorry, chair!” but the trash guys would have thought I was nuts! I am a sentimental person, and sometimes things that mean nothing to anyone else mean a great deal to me. Turns out, that chair was one of them. That chair was a dear and supportive friend to me, so to speak, over the years. It was kind of traumatic for me to see all those memories smashed up into a million little pieces and swept away in the back of the trash truck like that.  

I kind of wish there was such a thing as an ‘Old chair home’ where you could take your chair to live out its golden years and maybe visit it on weekends and sit and re-live the good times. Maybe bring it some ‘Febreeze’ to help it get rid of the smell of beer, stale nachos and old farts. Just to show it you still care.

I will miss that chair. It served me faithfully over the years and I hated to see it go. There were so many good memories (and good sleeps) tied in with that chair over the years. But time marches on and things wear out. It has already been replaced with a Lazy-boy reclining chair, and I foresee many good sleeps (and good memories) upcoming in that chair in the future!

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