Monday, September 13, 2010

On the Clifford Cave...

I refer often to The Clifford Cave in real life, although when I searched it on my blog, I didn't find any posts that describe it. Sure, the Clifford Cave is mentioned in passing, but nothing substantial to note.

The Clifford Cave is my bedroom here at The Ranch. It hasn't always been Clifford, but it has always had a bit of a cave-like feel to it.

Originally, the Clifford Cave was just the boys room. It was smelly, laundry was strewn about, beds were everywhere, and my mother avoided it like the plague. It remained in this unruly state until I was sixteen.

At this point, all the smelly boys moved out and we found out, much to our joy, that the Precious Boy was on his way.

My mother hired a dumpster and we emptied out the contents of this bedroom.(I discovered today that we really only emptied some of the contents at that time, but anyhow). Twenty years' worth of clothing and school books and the odds and ends that children collect through their lives was tossed into a dumpster and taken away.

We did our best to hide the rest of the contents under beds and in boxes around the perimeter of the room. A crib was brought in, a changing table made out of one of the dressers, and a beautiful child spent his first week of life in this strangely laid out room.

When the Precious Boy and his father, Big Brother the First, decided to move in for good, a wall was put in the centre of the room to make it into two rooms. As a child, I always longed for a beautiful bedroom. The interior decorator in me came out and we painted the room two shades of blue and put up a Clifford border along with Clifford accents in the far room. It has matching blackout shades for naptime and I thought it was a masterpiece.

Six years later, I moved home from university. Everyone was exhausted (Was it the cancer? That Big Brother the Second was serving his third tour in Afghanistan? The million other things going on in our lives?) and no one did anything with the Clifford end of the room or the regular end. My stuff piled up on top of years' worth of other stuff, and in this clutter I have now lived for three years. A wooden high chair, baskets of books, cases of CDs, and hunting supplies to no end lined the walls of my room.

Eventually Mal and I named it the Clifford Cave. Allow me to describe the room: The door is about four feet high. This means that unless you are under ten years of age or really, really short, you risk taking your head off every time you go in. The walls are only about three feet high before they slope to a cieling that is about a foot in width before it meets the other sloped cieling. In length, the entirety of the space is about twenty feet. In width, perhaps twelve. The main light, only in the first half of the room, works sporadically at best and there is minimal heat.

I've always dreamed of a space to call my own. I love living here at The Ranch. I love my loud, unruly family and their bounding dogs and the children and the blaring television set. I never feel alone here. But sometimes, after those crazy shifts with the loud children and all the insanity, I need a minute to sit alone. Since I've moved home, I've wanted to turn the regular end of the room into a living room, and the Clifford end of the room into my bedroom.

This week, it happened. We emptied drawers, dressers, and book shelves. We vacuumed places that haven't seen the light of day in a decade. We found dust bunnies we didn't know could exist. And at the end of the day, a dear friend came over and we transformed the regular end of the room into a living room.

I have washed, vacuumed, dusted, washed more and vacuumed more. I have heaved furniture hither and yon, scrubbed things I never thought I would scrub (Baseboards? What's a baseboard?) and the room smells delightful.

Hopefully I get my lazy butt up in the morning and finish washing so that this weekend we can paint. I've no idea what color I want my living room to be, but tonight I sat with a dear friend and my mother, chatting about nothing, and I thought that really? It is quite nice to have a space of one's own.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aahhh - the American Dream from 'THE AMERICAN NOVEL'. What is the quote and who wrote it? What is the actual title of the American novel? All you literature buffs out there.
I am so happy for you Amanda.

2:03 p.m.  
Blogger David said...

That's Awesome Amanda! I remember that place from when it was just the guys' room. What ever happened to YOUR bedroom though?

9:38 p.m.  
Blogger Amanda said...

Hahaha... MY room is one that has been otherwise taken over. I was evicted from there when I was nineteen. It kinda worked out, though, because if I still had it I wouldn't be able to have a living room and a bedroom, and the walls in it are unpaintable so I would still be living with the wallpaper from my childhood (Wallpaper that is covered in stains from when i tried to put up posters of Jonathan Taylor Thomas with bubble gum.) Sigh.

12:03 a.m.  

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