Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Green Office

I grew up in a gigantic house. Upstairs was a bathroom, hallway, three bedrooms, and a room (unpainted, just sizing on the walls) which served as a storeroom, filled with boxes. Downstairs was the kitchen, the living room, a hallway with a large foyer, my dad's office, and also a room in the back which we called "the green office."

The green office was so called because its walls were green, and when my folks had first moved in, my dad had briefly used it as his office before moving up to the room in front instead. From as far back as I could remember, the green office was filled with toys. Metal racks filled with boxes of toys. There was a reclining armchair in one corner. My mom's sewing machine stood between the back windows. There was a large oak desk. In later years, there was also an upright piano in the green office.

The green office was sort of an odd place, a playroom and omnium gatherum for other items and activities that didn't quite fit in anywhere else around the house.

What strikes me is, there are certain categories of room that seem "standard" in a house. These change over time: the other day I was glancing over some real estate listings, and I was noticing how many newer houses nowadays have a "great room," something I never heard of back when I was a kid. Never quite got used to the idea of a house with 3½ baths, either: that big old house of ours had one small bathroom upstairs, plus a cobweb-covered toilet down in the basement that we almost never used.

The green office was in a category of its own, though. It wasn't a den, it wasn't a family room. It was simply "the green office."



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