Our house was over 100 years old, with long narrow windows
and a black lacquered front door, made of solid oak. When my dad stripped the
lacquer off the door, it still showed the cut marks made by charcoal or a
pencil that served as a guide for the original door maker. Our house was a
medium brown colored two-story stucco dwelling, nestled between old elm and
pine trees that sat atop a hill. In the winter if you stood at the very edge of
the street, on the tip of your toes, you could see Lake Calhoun at the bottom
of the hill. I loved my old houseAB1 . MyAB2  room, located on the second floor, was
shaped somewhat like a hotel suite, with a separate sitting area that boasted
two windows. On the wall next to the windows was the door to the attic, a room
I very seldom entered, as my imagination allowed me to think about all the
creatures that could possibly inhabit that space. The wall opposite the attic
door hosted my dressing table, where for hours, I would sit looking into my
mirror, pretending I was a princess waiting for my valiant knight to sweep me
off my feet.  In the corner of the sitting area, was my doll crib, with my
two favorite dolls. My great-grandmother had made me a sheets, blankets, and a
spread for my crib. I had the nicest crib in the neighborhood. In the other
corner was my dollhouse. Made of wood, my dollhouse contained four rooms, a
bathroom, and an attic. One Christmas, my dad and cousin, Bob, stayed up late
painting the house. It looked like a Swiss chalet, white, with a very dark
green roof, and red trim. Dad and I were in the process of putting electricity
and wallpaper in the house. I spent hours playing and rearranging furniture. In the sleeping area, directly across the windows in my
sitting area, was my bed. Not the sleigh, or canopy bed of my dreams, but a
four-poster that had been in my family for years. It was a double bed, quite
large for a seven-year-old, and yet not too large for the room. I had two
windows by my bed as well. Sitting on my bed, I could look out my window and
see the street I lived on. I used to love looking out the window and watching
the snow fall, creating blankets for the streets and sweaters for the trees, so
they wouldn’t get cold. Next to the bed was a matching nightstand. A radio, my
favorite Christmas present to date, was on top of the night stand. Every night
my brother and I would listen to Mystery Theatre, hosted by E.G. Marshall, on
our radios, talking to each other from our respective rooms about the show. To
this day I love listening to stories aloud, if they are told well. I also had
two piggy banks; one of the IDS building, where my dad worked; and a pink Dumbo
bank, with floppy polka-dot ears. There was never much money, I loved to buy
candy at the store by school. My closet door had a mirror on it, and I preened in front of
it daily, checking out my outfit, and making sure not one hair was out of
place. I liked my closet, as it was large and roomy with more than enough space
for my clothes. My only complaint was the lack of shelf space. My brother had
all kinds of shelves in his closet, and of course, I felt those shelves would
be better suited in my room. On my walls were pictures of ballerinas in pink and white
tutus, all lacy and frilly. I also had a painting of Minnie Mouse, given to me
by my great-aunt as a Christmas present. She had painted Mickey for the boys
and Minnie for the girls. Minnie was allowed to grace my bedroom walls because
she wore a pretty pink dress and a great big pink bow in her ears.My room was my haven, my place to play dress-up, dance,
daydream, whatever I wanted. Life was perfect in my room, except, it wasn’t
pink. Begging my parents to paint or wallpaper my room pink was a task that
started and ended just about every day. I felt my room would be perfect if the
walls were a soft pastel, pretty shade of pink, not unlike the tutus I always
saw and the dance shops. Every day, I had to imagine my room was pink, with the
windows trimmed in white. I can still see it now, as I saw it in my mind’s eye
at six, my beautiful room, not with walls of drab white, but a soft, soothing,
sweet pink, like cotton candy at the state fair. During the summer of my eighth year, my mother, one day
called me into the house. Running inside, I asked her what she needed. Go to
your room, was all she said. Horrified at the thought of being in trouble, I stammered
that I hadn’t done anything wrong.Go to your room, she said again.Again, I told her I had done nothing wrong. My mother’s tone
was not harsh, but standing at the bottom of the stairs as I was, and her at
the top, I felt very overpowered and small.  Confused and whimpering, I slowly climbed the stairs towards
my room, not a sanctuary at the moment, but a prison looming ahead, waiting to
hold hostage its prisoner, for a length of time to be determined by the crime
committed. How quickly a room can change. A haven if you enter under your own
steam, a prison if ordered to go. I entered my room despondent, with my head
down and threw myself on the bed. Something wasn’t right…..my bed felt
different; I raised my head from the bed and looked down. My bedspread was
different! I looked around, my whole room was different. On my bed now was a
beautiful white chiffon-like bedspread decorated with purple butterflies, all
with their wings spread. On all the windows were tie-back curtains made with
the same chiffon-like material showcasing the same glorious butterflies. Each
curtain and tie was edged with ruffles. And my walls, my beautiful, beautiful,
walls. No longer would I have to daydream about them. They were real now, the
most wonderful, scrumptious shade of pink. Cotton candy, tutus, fairy princess
dresses all rolled up into one breathtaking color, that before was in my head.

No more. My parents had made my room more than I could ever have thought possible. Hugging myself, I ran downstairs to thank my parents, tears
still streaming down my face. I am sorry, my mom told me, I didn’t mean to make
you cry. I just wanted you to be surprised. I didn’t think you would get so
upset. That’s okay, I said, as I wiped my nose with my sleeve for
the hundredth time. I love my room! It is the greatest room in the house now. Be sure to thank your father, he’s the one who painted the
room.  I will, I shouted as I ran back up the stairs. I sat in my
room for the rest of the afternoon. About a year later, my dad was transferred to Michigan, and
we sold the house. Mom told me that the people who bought the house had a
little girl who loved my room. When the family bought the house, they asked us
to leave my beautiful bedspread and curtains for their daughter, as they
matched the room. I was devastated. It was my room. It was the first place that
was truly mine and I wanted to take it with me. My mom assured me that my new
room would be just as special as this one. She also thought it would be nice to
let the new little girl have a favorite room. While I never fully agreed with
my mother, I left my room as it was and moved.  I spent the greater part of my childhood moving from one
place to the next. I went to two elementary schools, two junior high schools,
and three different high schools. In each town, each house, or apartment, I had
my own room. Some of the rooms were terrific, decorated by interior designers
that had an eye for color and style; some rooms were just that; rooms. They
never became mine and I never tried to create my space. In Michigan, I had a fabulous room. My parents tried very
hard to help me with this room because Billy Anderson, his brother Bobby, and
Jeff Fletcher were all too happy to tell me that the boy who had lived there
before me, Tommy Butler, had snakes for pets and had left one behind for me to
find. For years I dreamed about snakes underneath my bed. My parents really
outdid themselves with this room. Interior decorators helped my mom pick out
the perfect wallpaper, matching bedspread, sheets, and drapes. My four-poster
bed became home to a plaid bedspread in varying shades of pink, brown, yellow,
and green; with matching sheets, pillow shams, and throw pillows. I had given
up my IDS piggy bank, but still held on to Dumbo, though he graced my desk
instead of my nightstand. Also on my desk was a very modern pink lamp trimmed
in white; Snoopy desk accessories, given to me by my cousin; and my jewelry
box. My desk doubled as dressing table. My room was spacious with two windows, one on each corner.

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The windows were quite large and taking out the screen was very easy as I did
it many times to sneak out and play when I was grounded. The windows were
covered with light pink and white gingham curtains, custom-made specially for
my room. These were not the tie-back curtains of my favorite room, but they
were very nice and I tried to take very good care of them. My bed was on the
wall with the smaller window. There was nothing on the wall with the larger
window, as nothing would really fit. The large window faced onto the street,
while the smaller window faced the neighbor’s house. That room was mine for six years; until my parents got
divorced and I moved with my dad and my brother to a townhouse on the other
side of the city. My mom stayed in the same complex, but she had an apartment a
couple of blocks away. There were slumber parties, daydreams, studying, growing
up, and all kinds of things that went on in this room, the last room I had as a
member of a complete family. There were also tears, sorrow, broken hearts, and
lost dreams as my world changed far more than it had when I left my favorite
room six years earlier. I spent a lot of time in my room the last few months of
my parent’s marriage. They spent quite a lot of time fighting, and I wanted
nothing to do with it. Where my favorite room had been my haven, this room had
become my hideaway. I stayed in here, not because I felt peace, but because I
felt I had nowhere else to go. I loved my childhood room and i always will.


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