A couple of years ago, my parents started giving me things. I’ve heard this is quite common with people who are getting up in years and I remember my grandparents doing the same thing. It seems like people want to make sure their possessions will be in the right places after they are gone. Up until now, the items they’ve given me have been things like Christmas decorations they know I’ve always loved.
This past week, my parents gave me two matching 50-year-old chairs. They are pink, stained, smell like 50 years of cigarette smoking, and I love them. I remember the day they were delivered brand new to our house. It was the summer I turned seven and they were the most beautiful chairs I had ever seen.
The fabric was off white and metallic gold and they appeared to shimmer in the light. My little brother, Jeff, and I called them the golden chairs. Whenever we played hide and seek, the golden chairs were home base and they were our favorite places to sit when we read books or watched TV.
I remember during my teenage years, my dates sitting nervously on one of the golden chairs trying to make polite small talk with my parents. Sometimes, the golden chairs were a hot seat when one of us would come in after curfew and find mom or dad or worse, both of them, waiting up for us. The chairs were one of those constants during all the years we were growing up.
This is not one of the actual “golden chairs” but the fabric is similar!
At some point while I was in college, my parents got new furniture and I came home to find the golden chairs missing from our living room. “Don’t worry” said my mom when she saw the anxious look on my face, “They are just in the basement. The fabric on them has gotten pretty worn.”
When I was 29, my parents moved from the house my brothers and I grew up in. I helped them move and was relieved to see that the golden chairs were still in the basement storage room. My mom said she was planning to have them updated for the living room in the new house.
She had them re-covered in a pink fabric to go with their new, pastel-colored sofa. It was a bit of an adjustment to see the golden chairs in pink but I was glad that my parents were using them again. It was fun to see my sons and daughter and niece run for the pink chairs the way their mom and dad had run for the golden ones!
When my parents moved to Texas five years ago, they bought new brown leather furniture that was more in keeping with the style of their house. The pink chairs moved with them but they were relegated to an extra bedroom and didn’t get used much.
I hadn’t thought of the pink golden chairs for a while until last week, when my parents asked me if I’d like to have them. I was delighted! I think most of us can relate to loving items that are special because they’ve been a part of so many years of family memories…you know, Christmas decorations, golden chairs, button boxes…
The chairs will need to be reupholstered and re-padded to remove the cigarette smell, but I am so excited to have them! I took them to an upholstery shop today to get a quote and was told that they appear to be in great condition for their age. So now, the search begins for just the right fabric…possibly something in off white and metallic gold.
Author’s note: I will post a picture of the golden chairs some time this summer after they have been redone! I’d love to hear about the family treasures you have that hold so many memories for you!