Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Brown Stool

I'm sure you're wondering what in the world I could possibly have to say about a brown stool.  But this isn't just any brown stool, it is the brown stool.  The one that is older than I.  The one that sat at the end of the bar in the old trailer that used to stand on the lot in Deltaville.  The one that my cousin and I seemed to fight over every single summer.  The stool was the place to sit.  When my cousin and I were smaller, we would take turns- one of us on the stool, the other on an old wooden high chair that had a white bunny painted on it.  Eventually our butts got too big for the high chair, so it went back to the fighting.

You can see where the bottom two rungs are worn from all the feet that have rested there.  My grandfather, my grandmother, my parents, my aunts, cousins, siblings, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Generations of feet rubbing at the wood.

I can remember sitting at the counter eating Oscar Mayer Bologna sandwiches.  And on special afternoons,  we would drag the stool to the stove to help cook lunch which typically consisted of ABC's123's or Spaghettios.  I even remember the summer where my cousin and I were served hot toddys.  Kelly, my cousin, had an itchy throat.  That meant I had one too.  So my aunt decided to make us some toddys.  And yes, Grandmother added an aged Jack Daniel's whiskey to the mix.  In fact, I distinctly remember the conversation between my aunt and my grandmother regarding the alcohol addition:
      Gma: You think we should add a little whiskey?
      Aunt P: We don't have any do we?
      Gma: I have an old bottle but it probably went bad.
      Aunt P: I don't think whiskey goes bad.
      Gma: Here it is!
      Aunt P: you think it's OK to give them some?
      Gma: Oh, Pat, one little shot is not going to hurt them.
It was probably the only night that my aunt and grandmother had any sleep without being disturbed by two smallish imp children doing something they shouldn't. 

Despite the reason for its use, the stool was always a seat of honor.  Perched on it you felt like a giant flightless bird surveying your territory.  You were on eye level with the adults in the room.  You could stand on it and reach great heights (like the whiskey bottle behind the pots and pans).

You could do anything.


  1. What a touching story. Where is the stool now? Who sits on it? Has Ethan seen it? Does he like it?

    My grandmother gave me Aqua Vit to hold over my gum for a "sore tooth." I"m sure she got a lot of sleep that night too!

    I love stories like this.

  2. The stool is still in the kitchen (I took this pic of it Labor Day weekend) and currently Ethan is the user of the Stool though I also sit in it as does Bridget. It is also a convenient time out spot, so really, Ethan uses it the most. Despite it's time out properties, Ethan loves using it at the table. Nice to know things don't change much.

  3. Nothing better that a good sitting stool! Except maybe the memories of one! Great post!