Early Ro (nine): Year 12 – The Thinking Chair

I recently completed a series of posts with some background about how Ro’s tenth year would be a prophetic one for her. This is the first in a new series that will talk about her twelfth year, which will prove to be equally telling for what the grown-up Ro would turn out to be.

On Ro’s twelfth birthday – May 15, 1994 − she “inherited,” her father’s old recliner, or, perhaps more accurately, she saved it from the dumpster.

Mike and Kate were married in 1979 and moved into their new house on York Ridge Lane, a classic 70s-era split-level on a cul de sac, in 1980. On the lowest level were a pair of adjoining rooms, one of which Kate converted into a home office – even then she was thinking about starting her own business − while Mike adopted the other as his den, where he set-up his stereo and built some shelves to hold his large collection of classical CDs and albums.

One of the first purchases he made for the den was a comfortable recliner. It was curled-up in Mike’s arms in that recliner that an infant Ro would regularly fall asleep listening to her father’s music. So, almost fifteen years later, when Mike talked about replacing the aging chair Ro instantly claimed “dibs” on it. She had far too much of an emotional connection to it to let it get away.

However, fitting it into Ro’s eleven-by-thirteen bedroom became a major logistical puzzle that involved Mike and Tuck having to completely re-arrange the room’s existing furniture – Ro’s bed, dresser and small desk – because Ro insisted that the chair had to face the windows that looked across their backyard at a grove of trees bordering the adjacent Meadows on Shadowbook Golf Course behind them. Even then Ro’s “tree thing” was noticeable.

When Ro moved into her own apartment seven years later the chair went into the second bedroom she used as her study and was similarly positioned, looking out of a sliding glass door toward yet another grove of trees − the grove being one of the major reasons she’d chosen that particular apartment.

Throughout her pre-teen, teen and adult years Ro would spend many hours in the chair, not, as might be expected, listening to music, watching TV or even reading a book, but just thinking: In fact, that’s how she would come to think of it, as her “thinking chair.”

The Thinking Chair is a minor, but significant “character” in “Ro’s Handle.”

(C) 2017 Dave Lager