I had several bedrooms as a child, but my very favorite was the one that overlooked the field in front of our house. This particular house was the house, the last house I would live in before I left home. There were many rooms in this house that served as my bedroom, but the one that started as my room and ended as my room, was indeed my heart’s treasure.
My childhood room was built as an extension to the house at some point, or at least it seemed like it to me. I am directionally challenged, so I can only describe my room as I am standing facing toward the field, my north. Out that large window I could see the hillside of lilacs over to the left, the driveway leading down to the mailbox and our bus stop and the road leading away from home. The field in front of the house was where we played softball in the summer, picked wild blackberries in the small creek in the late spring, messed with the frogs and toads in the pond hidden within the blackberry bushes – all to the right of that window. I could sit on the sill of the window and daydream for quite a while before my butt got tired and I had to get down. The best part of the window was that there was an old oak tree standing sentry to the right at the corner of the house. It was taller than the house, but since the house was kind of built on a slant and the tree was too, it was hard to say just how tall the tree really was. But what was so cool about that tree was that when it was windy or raining, the acorns and leaves on the branches would brush against the house and on top of the house, which hapened to have a tin roof. It would be thundering in my room like my own drum corp. I just loved it.
The second window was to my east and faced out to the wooden deck that encircled the back of the house. I could see a bunch of junky stuff that Dad had ‘stored’ out in that part of the ‘out in the back’. There were a lot of placees that were ‘out in the back’ wth a lot of junk ‘stored.’ That was not a favorite window by any means. In the summer I would open up the windows and let in the fresh air until it would get too hot and then we used an air conditioner to cool the house. I don’t remember my room gettig all that cool. The sun never beat into the room that much – I didn’t see it come up or go down, but in Mariposa, summers are hot and dry. I don’t think my room was all that big but it was just the right size for me.
My childhoold room was a lot of colors because my mom liked to paint the house a lot. I think it was yellow, pink, white, lavendar, blue. Not all at once, but at different times. I think the last color was a light blue. I was, am, an avid reader, so I spent a great deal of time in my room on my bed reading. I remember specifically being on my bed throughout one summer pouring through Gone with the Wind, cussing under my breath at Rhett and crying my eyes out as I chomped through rosy red apples in the heat of the balmy afternoons. I grew up with Marmy and her girls in Little Women, turning my small closet into a small prayer chapel as closely as I could to the one like Amy had. I had stacks and stacks of books in my room, even though I had a bookcase and nightstands full of them, as well.
My childhood room housed sleepovers with school friends, witnessed fights and resolutions between my little sister, heard my secrets and fears, even became the canvas for all the David Cassidy posters I plastered all over the walls and doors for years. My childhood room saw a child of nine grow into a young woman of 18. On one horrible day, my childhood room was ravaged of the personal contents, drawers torn open and clothes haphazardly thrown about; hangers tossed empty on the closet floor; cherished books, photos, and toys left to the wayside without a second thought. My childhood was over and I was leaving home, very angry and in a hurry. I didn’t even turn to say good-bye…to my childhood room.