Rocking Chairs: A Legacy Of Leisure

Rocking chairs are a common item we associate with mothers, gently rocking their babies to sleep. We also associate them with the elderly, leisurely enjoying the early morning or the sunset on their porch. Most rocking chairs are made with fine woods, and last for centuries. Rocking chairs are common family heirlooms.

Rocking chairs have become very common. They come in a variety of styles and designs. Some of them are painted and others have only the natural wood finish. You will find them for young children, backyard lawn furniture, elegant front porch features, and still used in nurseries for quiet times with your baby.

The older models of rocking chairs featured very high backs and thin slats. They were hand carved from quality wood. Antique rocking chairs are worth a great deal of money. The Gungstol and the Windsor were both introduced in the 1700’s, today they are worth thousands of dollars depending on the shape they are in as well as the type of materials used.

The early 1800’s saw the introduction of rocking chairs that didn’t have arms. They were well received by people who found them much easier to get in and out of. It was also easier to share the rocking chair with someone else. However, many people loved the first design, so the arm rocking chairs continued to be manufactured as well. Around the 1840’s, rocking chairs began being made with machines rather than by hand. The Salem rocking chair was introduced at this time, featuring a lower back.

Wicker rocking chairs were introduced in the 1860’s. They were cheaper than wooden rocking chairs, but they weren’t nearly as durable. They did sell well though because the wicker could be twisted into a variety of designs. One of the most valuable wicker rocking chairs from this era features an American flag that was weaved into the design on the back of the chair.

We have seen many varieties of rocking chairs through the years, and they are still well loved by people of all ages. You can purchase them at retail stores, furniture stores, and get them passed down to you from family members. Some manufacturers specialize in making custom, handmade rocking chairs. You can find out about them on the internet.

Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure!

Getting married is a big emotional commitment which is underlined by the huge price tag which comes along with the tradition. The average wedding in the US costs a little over $20,000 which is a lot of money though it is less than the price of most new cars these days. Nevertheless, divorce rates are such that half of those getting married today will not stay married, or at least not to each other, and financial difficulties are a major factor in couples breaking apart.

It makes absolutely no sense for a couple to get married and in the process saddle themselves with a mountain of debt and expenses, and especially at a time when they may be thinking of buying a home together and starting a family.

Spur of the moment marriages are all very well on paper, and for some people they are actually a viable alternative to getting hitched in a traditional manner. For most people they are not appropriate even though there may be a great attraction as well as a much reduced price tag to go with it.

Likewise, rushing to get married in a traditional ceremony is to be avoided as well and especially if it means you have to cut corners on the wedding or rack up debts on your plastic to pay for everything.

It pays to spend some time saving for your occasion, not just as a pair of individuals but as a couple. Getting married is itself the first step in a life of working and living together, and the wedding process, as strenuous and emotionally demanding as it may be is a good test of how a couple will work together because far worse is going to come at them as they go through life. Taking time to work and save together will help bond the couple closer emotionally and make you both feel you have a stake in making the marriage a success in the long-term and not just on the wedding day.

It is an old man’s saying, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure!” which is born from a time when you got married and no matter what, you stayed married – happily ever after simply didn’t come into it! Today, divorce is easy to come by and the incentive and pressure to keep a couple together is not there anymore but, that is not to say that getting divorced is pleasant. Getting divorced is horrible, even when you are lucky enough to have an “amicable divorce” and it is also extremely costly – much more costly than any wedding you can imagine or wish for.

The key to a planning a successful wedding is time and preparation; with that you can arrange for a wonderful day for you both and for your guests, but taking your time will help you in the transition into married life where you will be working and living together as a couple and not as two individuals. Take your time and learn to walk as a couple before you try to run!

Travel & Leisure – Oxymoron?

For me, travel and leisure, like sweet and sour, is an oxymoron. I don’t find travel relaxing. On the contrary, I find it stressful, frustrating, and too much like work. My worst nightmare is the thought of packing a suitcase. It’s on par with The Exorcist and the Night of the Living Dead, in terms of sheer terror. I feel as if I have been assigned the task of pounding round pegs into square holes or playing tennis with an unstrung racquet. It just can’t be done (by me anyway)!

Then, there is the planning and worse yet, re-planning, because this date isn’t available, that hotel is booked up, and this flight is full! It’s enough to challenge your patience, if not your sanity.

When all these obstacles have been conquered, you must then attend the post 911security theatre playing now at an airport near you!

Honestly, if some entrepreneurial genius would just launch a new airline (they could call it “Air Naked”) for nudists or anyone, for that matter, willing to fly sans apparel, the security lines would move faster than Roadrunner dodging Wile E. Coyote’s falling anvil because even nuns would shed their habit to get past TSA (Totalitarian State of Airport) with some alacrity.

Are we over-reacting, or what! I really don’t understand the mentality. One nutcase tries to set his shoe on fire and now we all have to shuffle barefoot through airport security. I’m half expecting to be forced to fly “commando” after the underwear bomber incident. What next? Some nerd uses his laptop battery to convert his Dasani to hydrogen and oxygen (ala the Hindenberg) and we all have to give up water on the plane! Where does it end? Who among us will draw a line in the sand and say, ‘I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!’ It has reached the point that being protected from terrorism is more terrifying than terrorism! What happened to the United States of America, whose president defiantly quipped, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Did that United States of America crumble into same dismal pile of rubble as the twin towers? If so, then the terrorists have chalked up a victory and we are a defeated nation that simply has not acknowledged it.

If I’ve offended anyone with this expression of my views on current travel issues, I do not apologize. I am entitled to my opinion. If you find yourself in disagreement, write your own article. Yes, we still have the right of free speech, although anti-terrorist legislation allows it to be “bugged” sans warrant.

Until these aforementioned problems are resolved, I am determined to become the quintessential “staycationer”. A leisure pursuit designed just for people like me. No stressful preparation, planning or packing. Just come home from work one evening, settle into the recliner with a six-pack and turn on ESPN. A week or two later, shower, shave and head back to the office. Perfection!