This was originally published on my self-hosted blog, April 14, 2006.
Describe your childhood bedroom. What was the view from the window?
My sister and I shared an attic bedroom growing up.
The attic stairs were right across the hall from the bathroom and I remember skipping two/three steps down the stairs and barreling into the bathroom on more than one occasion. In fact, there were quite a few times I would scramble down the stairs so fast that I would overshoot the threshold and nearly land headfirst into the tub.
The stairs leading up to our room were steep and I remember my brother crawling up the stairs on his hands and knees to spy on us. Being the only boy in the family, he often felt lonely and would try and force his way into our secluded world.
When you reached the top of the stairs, you immediately stepped into a large room. We called that the “play room” because this is where me and my siblings spent a large portion of our time. All of the board games were stacked on shelves and we had boxes of toys sitting around. I think there was a walk-in closet but I wouldn’t swear to that. At the top of the stairs, to your left, was a huge attic fan embedded into the wall of the house. We didn’t have central air and that often kept the house bearable. It actually worked pretty good. We kept the windows open in the summer and the attic fan would pull air in and keep the house fairly cool. There was one window air conditioner unit in my parents’ room and I remember sneaking into their room to cool off when it got really unbearable in the afternoons.
The attic was big enough to accommodate a full-grown adult and I remember that no one ever had to stoop over when they came up. The previous owners had converted the attic into spare bedrooms so there was plenty of room.
I remember having disco parties in the playroom. We used to have one of those rotating balls that give off different colored lights as it rotates throwing various shadows and colors on the walls. We would play disco music (because that’s what was hot back then) and just act silly. I remember having various friends over and thinking we were really cool dancing our hearts out.
There were two windows at the front of the play room that offered a view of the front of our house. There were two side windows, one in the playroom, one in the bedroom I shared with my sister. I would often sit by those side windows and spy on our neighbors.There were four boys that lived next door and I had a crush on the oldest even though he was younger than me. They would often be outside, acting like, well, boys and I remember thinking some of their games looked rough but fun. (I was sort of a tomboy back in my day).
At the top of the stairs, when you turned right, you would enter our bedroom. It was a really cool room. It had jutting edges and protruding partitions. We had a white vanity dresser with pink piping. I think we got it from my grandmother (dad’s mom). I remember it was old even back then. It might have been an antique but I wouldn’t swear to that. That’s the only piece of furniture I can remember, other than our twin beds. Our beds were nestled in an alcove right underneath the two back windows. These windows were similar to the ones in the playroom and overlooked our backyard. We had three (four?) walnut trees in the backyard and I remember hating those trees because every fall we would have to go out and pick up the walnuts. We always had bagfuls to take to the shelling place where they gave us money for bringing them in. It was smelly and often left our hands stained for weeks. We would put then in paper bags that would wilt and fall apart because of the rotten walnut juice that seeped through.
Our beds were identical with shelves built into the headboard and I often kept books on the shelf. After a while the shelf became a catch all for trash, notes from friends, barretts, pencils and various other knickknacks.
We had a shed in the backyard, too. This is where dad kept his lawnmower and various other outdoor tools. I remember being a little afraid of that shed – it was old and the paint was peeling. It just had a creepy feel to it. It didn’t help that the shed was situated in the very back corner of our lot in the shadows. The times that I peered inside I got a whiff of lawnmower oil and freshly cut grass. Sometimes I would catch a whiff of something rotten, as if a dead animal had crawled under the shed (there was at least half a foot of space under the shed. The structure sat on boards), had gotten trapped and then died.
We had a paved patio with a privacy fence around the patio. Our whole backyard was fenced, but the portion around the patio (which took up about only ¼ of the backyard) was surrounded by a privacy fence. We often had BBQ’s on the patio. There was an old clothes line erected along the left side of the patio and I remember mom hanging sheets up to dry. There were stairs from the backdoor that led down to the patio. There was an elevated chunk of land surrounded by a concrete wall. I think we kept flowers or a garden in that area, but I wouldn’t swear to that.
It seems there was paneling from the bottom of the wall to the halfway mark. After that we had this red poppy looking wallpaper that I think was fuzzy when you touched the flowers. I seem to recall our room being decorated in reds and whites and pinks. It was kind of a funky room, but that’s what made it cool – it was certainly different.
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