There was a corner created between the catty-cornered bureau and dresser in my parents’ bedroom. From the time I could read, I could be found sandwiched between the two Blonde Basset bureaus that were extremely popular in the 1950s and 1960s with several books surrounding me.
I liked the crispness of the angles the furniture created and sat with my back cornered against the wall and the side of the dresser. When the house was filled with the hustle and bustle of four young girls, me and my three sisters, I oftentimes ducked into my parents’ room and found quiet sanctuary in that nook where I would read for hours. It was there in my little alcove that I read endless books including all the Nancy Drew mysteries, the Hardy Boys, the Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, and my all-time favorite, Little Women.
If my sisters were outside sunbathing, which I found boring or watching Dark Shadows, vampires scared me at the time (a fear I’ve gotten over since Dark Shadow’s Barnabas Collins has been replaced by Vampires Bill and Eric in True Blood), I could surely be found in my parents’ room reading. In the room with the earth toned walls and the bed my mother carefully made with tight hospital corners and pillows folded in half like hot dog buns. It was in that room that my mother tried to teach us the fine art of bed making; my bed will never have the tight corners or perfectly fluffed pillows my mother’s bed boasted.
Sitting in my reading corner, I explored the world through the pages of the books that spilled off my lap onto the floor surrounding me. The books showed me a world filled with infinite possibilities. Occasionally, I would take a break from my books and sneak a peek at my grandfather’s christening gown that I and each of my sisters had worn nestled inside my mother’s hope chest, the aroma of cedar filling the air, or at my mother’s jewelry that glistened like a pirate’s treasure from the top drawer of her dresser. But mostly, I just tucked myself into that corner and read book after book.
If I could return to that corner and visit my tween self, I’d tell that little girl that although adult life could be filled with countless problems and challenges that the world like my books would always be filled with infinite possibilities.