Tag Archives: childhood

blue and white and memory

This morning I offer you a few blue and white pictures from the weekend, and fond memories of a bedroom that I occupied as a ten year old.

Blue and white was the color scheme of my bedroom in “the Glory Drive house” (we moved so much as a family that our houses had nicknames).  Glory Drive was a dead end street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on the very edge of town.  It was a suburban neighborhood, like you might find outside any number of New England cities, but with a difference.  Since we were on the outskirts of town, our property backed up to a big grassy field with a barn and our neighbors across the street overlooked acres of Burgner’s Fields where they grew cow corn.  A small wooded mountain snaked with creeks and paths rose up behind the barn.

The fenced field semi-contained a goat.  He escaped from his enclosure on many occasions, and to my mother’s dismay nibbled on the young trees she was busily planting, attempting (as she always did) to beautify our yard.  As ten, eight and twelve year olds, we were more captivated with its bucking personality and its bodily functions – primarily its theatrical act of pissing.  This goat would nonchalantly let loose a thunderous stream on the dirt road, creating poofs of dust. Of course we found this hilarious.

Further up the hill, past the barn and into the woods, were great climbing trees, a creek, and way up the top of the hill – an old abandoned dam.  Behind the dam, a tiny reservoir opened to the sky.  The dam probably stood forty feet high, and one could carefully walk its narrow upper edge, or walk underneath it, through its dark and moist underside, where the many cracks in the cement seeped water and hardly created confidence in the structure’s soundness.  It was spooky.  Many hours were spent up there doing what kids do – wandering around, playing school, splashing in the creek, gathering leaves, and later, smoking hashish.

My bedroom was square and fairly large – I’d guess this many years later that it was 12 x 12 or maybe even a little bigger.  When my mother inherited some furniture from her childhood (I can’t remember if this was after my grandmother’s death, or before… ), she painted it all white.  Boom!  Wood gone!  And then, in what I now consider a daring move, she and my father painted the walls midnight blue.  We’re talking dark.  Verging on black, really.  She then sewed up curtains in the Blue Onion print, which tied it all together and lent a major dose of cheeriness to a now very unique and put-together bedroom.  It was an early lesson in invention, taking risks, and re-purposing items.  My mother was a bit of a genius at these things.

What do you remember about an early bedroom?  What do these memories reveal about us as adults?