X-bedroom: I have to move! #AtoZChallenge

X is for X-bedroom: I have to move! Twenty-fourth of 26 posts in the April 2021 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme: “Endwell: My Early Teen Years”— adding my story to the family history mix. Please join me on the journey.

When we first moved to our Endwell, N.Y., home in 1957, I had a big bedroom upstairs, with a small built-in closet — and my brothers shared a room opposite mine.

But within a couple of years, changes were in the wind.

My parents’ first brainstorm, in my elementary years, was to build a big clothes closet inside my bedroom — turning my floor plan from a large rectangle to an L-shape. I was beside myself over the loss of square footage — so furious I made my first and only threat to run away from home.

But it was the middle of winter, I was just a kid — and when I got outside I thought better of it (Where would I go? What would I eat? Who would take me in?). So I slunk back inside, defeated — and up went the closet.

I leave my X-bedroom

My second-floor dormer bedroom, built in 1965. To make room for our growing family, my dad built me a small, dormer bedroom in my early teens that stuck straight out from our back roof. Photo: Molly Charboneau (1993)

By the time I was 15, however, my two younger sisters had come along — and even I realized they needed a room of their own.

So I prepared to relinquish my X-bedroom to them and move into a little dormer room that Dad constructed — which stuck straight out our back roof, as shown above.

Smaller, yes, but with some teen essentials: a real wooden door I could slam shut and lock, plus a new half-bath Dad built in the hallway for us kids.

My tiny teen room

My tiny teen room was just big enough for a cot-sized bed (smaller than a twin), a flip down secretary-desk (which I still use) and a small chair. My dresser was built into the wall and a hall closet just outside held my hanging clothes.

In my tiny teen room in 1967. My parents left the decor up to me — so I went wild 1960s style. Photo by Norm Charboneau

My parents, who probably recalled the running away episode, left the decor up to me — and I went wild 1960s style. I chose textured mustard-gold wallpaper, a matching wicker hanging lamp, an orange ribcord bedspread and drapes, and avocado green paint for the secretary.

I also hung a fuzzy, green footprint rug on the wall, next to a big Chiquita Banana ad — and reveled in the expansive view of the back yard and willow tree through a larger window than in my old X-bedroom.

My high-school friend Marilyn recently recalled it as, “A really cool room.” But years back another Endwell girlfriend, who visited when I lived in a studio apartment, took a look around and quipped, “Well, it’s bigger than your high school bedroom.”

Either way, it was was my new private space as I entered my later teens — and I made the most of it.

Up next, Youth job at the Altamont Fair. Please leave a comment, then join me as Endwell: My Early Teen Years unfolds one letter at a time!

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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15 thoughts on “X-bedroom: I have to move! #AtoZChallenge”

  1. Yeah, tiny rooms are freaky. I’ve slept in trees a few times just so I could stretch out.

    I love letter X posts! Always such variety.
    It’s hard to believe the blogging challenge is almost over for 2021. Down to the after survey, reflections, and the road trip sign-up.
    Plus, I’m taking part in the Bout of Books read-a-thon in May. So much excitement!
    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

  2. I had to smile at your bedroom Molly…oh so 60s! Fancy being let to run amok with your decor…but then there was that fear of a teen tantrum and escape to the world. I’m not a fan of small spaces even when it’s mine so I’d have found that difficult.

  3. Great memories, and I love your photo. Tiny is a small price to pay for privacy and full-decorating privileges. Those once-cutting-edge color choices make me laugh – how times change.

    1. So true! Plus, we had a finished rec room in the basement where we kids could hang out and watch TV or have friends over — so having a large bedroom wasn’t so essential.

  4. Loved this account of your bedrooms. – my colour scheme was rather similar to yours – peach and apple green. Years later we let our teenage daughter choose colours for her bedroom do-over and in the 1980s grey and pink were all the rage – I never liked it! Our granddaughter’s favourite colour from her toddler days has been purple? Fashionable colours change with the times!

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