How I Got the Boys’ Room
When you’re the youngest of 10, you just kind of sleep where you end up. I don’t know…maybe that’s how it was for all of us.
I remember sleeping in my baby bed until I was three, IN my parent’s bedroom. When I finally out grew my baby bed, it was determined that I should sleep with Linda until she moved to an apartment right before she got married. Remember those old fashioned box springs that went underneath mattresses?
When you jumped on the bed it made a boingboingboingboing noise. But of course how in the world would I know? We weren’t allowed to jump on the beds because those old springs might break and tear the mattress.
Did you ever sleep on a mattress with a box springs underneath? Or jump on one? It was an early predecessor to the outdoor trampoline… except indoors!😃
Another feature of the box springs is that when you laid on the bed, the springs tilted in the direction of the heavier person, therefore causing the mattress to slope at an odd angle. In the case of Linda who was soon to be married and me at the age of three… well just suffice it to say that the tilt wasn’t toward me. I still remember slowly sliding down the tilted mattress until I was neatly tucked underneath Linda’s side as she slept…I’m pretty sure she slept.
One of my mother’s favorite techniques to get us to go to bed when we were little was to tell us to go lay on her side of the bed and keep it warm until she could come in and tuck us into our own bed. She’d be working hard to finish the day’s responsibilities and we’d want tucked in. I remember her doing that with a couple of my older siblings and with my nieces and nephews. It worked like a charm. We were comforted and cozy and happily waiting, “keeping her bed warm” and then we’d relax and fall asleep in time to be carried to our own bed.
She was brilliant. I miss her.
But one thing I DO know is that having comfortable beds for ALL of us was very important to my mother. And she worked hard to keep all the beds neatly made and fresh linens on them.
In the morning she’d ask without fail, if we’d slept “good” the night before.
“Good mornin’, Rachel. Didja’ sleep good?”
And I’d mumble out a meager “I guess so.”
Truth be told, I’ve never slept “good”…but I digress.
Then she’d continue with, “Well, was your bed comfortable?”
It wasn’t just me she’d ask. Guests, family, friends and foe alike would be questioned (though I don’t remember any foe) because she needed to know that you were comfortable within the walls of our family home. And when she’d purchased a new mattress right before “company came’, it was ESPECIALLY important to know that the nighttime slumber of the occupant was peaceful and sweet.
So when the last of my five brothers flew from the nest, it was deemed necessary and practical for me to move to the boys’ room, therefore, giving my sister still at home, a room of her own.
I moved all my personal belongings and earthly treasures to the hand me down chest of drawers and arranged my school supplies neatly in the desk that Ray made when he was 14.
And that’s how I got the boys’ room. Never mind that it had two full size beds and miscellaneous and sundry items left over from the four brothers who’d called that their room, not much, but some…like a microscope kit and a reel to reel tape RECORDER that had entertained them by the hours in the days of childhood and frivolity.
I’m not sure about the frivolity part, but there they were left behind as boys grew to men and made homes of their own.
Anyhow, I now had the boys’ room. Besides, we’d need the extra beds when everyone came home and I’d temporarily scuttle back to the girls’ room…or a pallet made for nieces and nephews.
Not too long after I got the boys’ room, my friend Laurel came to spend a couple nights. I’ll never forget her surprise when she realized that was now my room. We felt like Twin Queen’s of Sheba, each with our own full size bed.
Do you ever wonder where core memories and desires for, or dislike, of things come from?
Sometimes we know the circumstances and sometimes we don’t.
I don’t know why I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of creating things from left over or cast away treasures.
I don’t know why as a tiny child I was searching the wooded hillside and the creek bank for the earliest hint of Spring and the emerging leaves and fragile flowers peeking their head above the left over winter chill.
I don’t know why I like to sew and design and decorate , but I do know in my earliest memories, I’ve seen design and color and the way to bridge the gap from problem to solution.
So that brings me to my fascination with vintage linen, especially linen with embroidery.
One day when I was about 12, I came home from school and Mother had placed the most beautiful dresser scarf I had possibly ever seen in my “entire born days” on my hand-me-down dresser in the boys’ room. It’s the one in the photo at the top of this post. After exclaiming profusely about it (at least I think I did) she told me that I could have it because she thought I might like it.
It has survived all of the years through the ups and downs of life. Sometimes it has been stored away and other times, displayed and given a place of appropriate prominence. But my almost lifelong love of freshly starched linens, especially ones with embroidery, was born.
A couple days ago on Instagram I shared another one of my favorite pieces. After taking close up photos, I realized some of the stitches were frayed. But you know, I still love it just like it is. I sat there contemplating the frays and realized that it is a lot like life.
There are difficult places and hard times and tears and things that just really tug at the fabric of who we are…and yet!!!!
The big picture of life of a life well lived with the eyes of our heart open to truth and making the next best choice, can STILL be oh so beautiful, in spite of all the hard.
All of the ordinary can be oh so EXTRA when we look for it.
And YOU are EXTRAORDINARY my sweet friend. Thank you for sharing this space with me. I love having you here and reading your thoughts and comments. If you think this would encourage someone else, feel free to share the link.
What are some of your favorite things? Do you like vintage linen pieces or do you prefer modern pieces or none at all?
I lovethe story of how you moved into the boys room. I think though that my favorite is about the dresser scarf. The frayed edges indeed can symbolize our life with the good times and the frayed edges from the hard times. I have many of old dresser scarves and pillow cases embroidered or hand made by some of my ancestors. I treasure them as they have been used, loved and passed down through general
Oh Tommie!! Those are priceless pieces. Yes the frays certainly can resemble the ups and downs of life. But it’s still beautiful. Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts with me.
Thank you for sharing these memories! Life is certainly interesting, all the ways things make us who we are and shape us, frays, tatters, and all! Love you!
It sure does, Esther! I’m so thankful you are a part of MY life. Love you.
I really ejoyed reading this posf.! Remember hearing stories of my mother’s childhood. A full size bed that the four girls shared. All snuggled together for a good night’s sleep. She was the oldest of six. She took care of the children. Farm life was hard and lots of work.
I enjoyed hearing about the lovely scarf on your dresser. It’s the little things in life that are near and dear to us.
Yes, Tammy, it really is the little things that can bring us so much comfort. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story about your mother.
Mother started that many years before you came along! Her big, soft, cozy, warm bed, so peaceful to fall asleep in!
I enjoy crochet dollies more than embroidery, though I like them. I enjoy crocheting more than I do embroiding. I guess that’s why I like them more! Both crafts take many hours of patients and enjoyment.
You finally got the biggest bedroom! So thankful your my sister, love you, have a great day!
How neat. I was wondering if she did that with all of us. Of course I had no idea. I’m glad you’re my sister too.
I love embroidery and especially ones with beautiful crocheted edges.
Sometime I’ll write about the embroidery club in the tree house. 😃😃
What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing, Rachel.
Thank you so much, Marieza!
Old memories which many don’t understand. Growing up mostly in Arkansas, there were many poor people, including my great Aunt Ti. It was fun to go to her house though, yes those spring beds, is one of the memories. Many people had lots of kids – farm life and help on the farm.
Oh Rosemary!!! How sweet of you to share your memories. I didn’t realize you also grew up in Arkansas!
We still call it the Boys’ Room… and Esther’s Room. I don’t know why it’s not the Boys’ Room and the Girls’ Room… or Rachel’s Room and Esther’s Room. We’re just confused, I guess.
They are both guest rooms now, of course. Lately I’ve had the privilege of making sure the beds are fresh and comfortable before the guests come.
Karla, it’s so nice to know that it is still being enjoyed and used as a comfortable place for weary souls to land.
It’s the best thing ever to get your own room when you are young, a place to call your own. Thanks for sharing your sweet story. <3
Stacey, yes!! It really is. Thank you for your kind words.
I loved reading this post. My husband is the youngest of 17. I must let him read this. It’s the sweet treasures and memories that form us and those that are truly important. Thanks for sharing your heart and lovely story.
Kim, I had NO IDEA he’s the youngest of 17!! That is soooo fun and amazing. Thank you for sharing it. I appreciate your sweet words.
Love the memories. We used to jump back and forth between the twin beds! And somehow survived!
Annemarie, that is such a fun memory!!! Thank you for sharing it! (My mother’s maiden name was Shumaker!)
Great memories and I remember jumping on the bed and my mother saying stop. I never understood why until I got older and asked.
I think these memories are precious and priceless. Memories of looking for flowers out in a field. I remember being so proud bringing my mom little pink and white flowers buds I found.
Oh yes! I love the memories Cindy. And I loved bringing my mother little flowers also.