Four walls covered with lines of pineapples watched me laugh, read, talk, cry, sing…grow up. The pineapple wallpaper wasn’t even new. The edges began to fold up and wear away like a worn out, but well loved note passed in school. As I walked into the room for the first time, pale olive green walls (below the unnecessary chair rail) and orange shag carpet repulsed me. With the attitude of a teenager, I declared, “UUU-HUGGG-LEEE!” (I was only nine, the dramatic years began earlier than expected.)
The rug looks like thick, orange grass. Yuck! Who picked pineapples!? Who thinks these prickly, nasty pieces of fruit are really saying welcome, come in to my room? And who’s welcome in my room, anyway? It’s MY ROOM? NO ONE ELSE ALLOWED!
Before the days of kids decorating their own rooms, it never occurred to me that I could change it. Acceptance began to sink in, I mean the ten by twelve box of pineapples did have it’s advantages. Location, location, location!
I’m alone on the first floor. Wicked awesome! When mom and dad and Katie go to bed, the whole first floor and basement are all mine. I can do what ever I want. What’ll I do? The television is in the family room, I can watch late night TV. What’s on past 9:00? The kitchen is down the hall. Mmmm, midnight snacks! The telephone is sitting in the hall outside my door. I can call anyone I want!
Once the dreams of mischief passed, I noticed the room had eyes. Two giant windows that stood about twelve inches off the orange lawn facing the driveway and the back door.
Sitting in the ugly, but comfortable orange grass and gazing out the windows became a favorite pastime for me. I became the witness to all who came and left our home. I began to sit there with my notebook while I listened to music. I noticed everything: times, cars, clothes…I wondered and created stories. Perhaps, these hours of observing prepared me for writing. I never reported my observations to anyone except my beloved blue flowered journal.