Quick-write #2 with My Students

“But somehow I am alone now, in a house where my family hasn’t been in a really long time.”

From Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Memories of my childhood bedroom.

I often think about my bedroom in our 510 N. Lapeer Street house. The one I lived in for ten years, longer than any other place I’ve resided. What does it look like now, forty years later? Would I recognize the angle of the roof, the window that almost reached the floor? There are many details I no longer remember but some memories remain quite vivid.

The goldenrod shag carpet spilled over from the hallway and into my room. Despite its high pile, the shag barely muffled the subfloor creaks. If stepped on just right, the crack of the floorboard would wake one of my parents and call them to the base of the steps. 

“Amy, are you in bed? It is after midnight!” 

To maintain my nocturnal freedom, I memorized a set of silent footpaths to my sister’s room, to the bathroom, and to various points around my bedroom.

On both windows hung ivory curtains handmade by my mom. Stitched along the inside edges was a gathered feminine ruffle. The curtains provided a filter from the afternoon sun.

I kept both my street facing window and side window open about six  inches to let in the spring and summer breezes. I still love falling asleep to the night sounds–the conversations of the older neighborhood kids walking by, the roar of a hotrod or motorcycle, the faint whistle of the train…

My full size bed was adorned with a pintuck quilt. Two pillows rested inside matching shams, their ruffles similar to those on my curtains. There were always a couple favorite stuffed bears propped up near the headboard. 

Mom and I picked out my bedroom ensemble as part of a Broyhill bedroom suite: Bed, dresser, and desk with hutch and chair. All matching pieces were cream with little pastel flower accents painted near the desk and dresser pulls and along the headboard and hutch.  

There were a few favorite items that lived on the floor. My portable record player, which looked like a big square orange suitcase, sat conveniently near a baseboard outlet. I jammed to singles by Andy Gibbs, The Bay City Rollers, and Michael Jackson–all purchased with babysitting money from the local record shop.  The sound it produced  was tinny and grainy. I played those early singles over and over again. I’m sure I wore extra deeper grooves into the vinyl.

Also on the floor near my door, my most prized possession: one of those old fashioned phones, like from the 1940s. It was a replica. Cream with gold accents. Not one single friend I knew had their own phone in their bedroom. I would sprawl out on the floor for hours and talk with friends in the privacy of my own room often until my mom or dad would hollar upstairs, or god forbid, pick up the line from downstairs, and tell me it was time to get off.

I have warm memories of my childhood bedroom. Some details have faded, but what remains is an identity closely tied to the colors, sounds and objects contained within those four walls.

6 thoughts on “Quick-write #2 with My Students

  1. Stunning writing that transported me into your old bedroom. I feel I may have also memorized the “set of silent footpaths” and chatted for hours on that antique phone. Was it rotary dial?

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  2. Your details brought me back into my old bedroom! I appreciate how you include all the colors. And interesting that you write about the architecture- windows, then the furniture, then the fabrics, then the technology-phone and record player. I imagine your students enjoyed it. I wonder how many of them share a room…

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  3. I was feeling all the feels and then got to the music paragraph! YES!! This has made me want to write about my own bedroom!

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  4. Your details are amazing and create the whole atmosphere of your bedroom and your mom helping you to put it all together, especially your record player and the old phone. Sounds you spent a lot of enjoyable hours in your bedroom!

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  5. This description sounds as if you never left. I especially love: “I still love falling asleep to the night sounds–the conversations of the older neighborhood kids walking by, the roar of a hotrod or motorcycle, the faint whistle of the train…”

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