Jan. 30, 1995
“Hey, Mom,” My daughter said, “let’s sleep in the attic tonight.” She wanted me to sleep in the crawl space above the garage and line of insulation on the night the weatherman had predicted a cold front!?
“Sure, why not?” I said and began gathering up my pillow and blankets.
She went out to our attached garage, unfolded the ladder and plugged in the extension cord connected to the lamps and lights strategically situated around the rafters in that tent-shaped space.
Lamps? In the crawl space over the garage? Well yes, because at our house, the crawl space over the garage is fit for more than simply storage. It is “the loft.” It is civilized living.
The civilization began when my now college-aged son was in grade school. As new homes were being built in our neighborhood, he scrounged their trash piles for useful odds and ends. Three-inch wide carpet strips were exactly right for wrapping around a rafter to reduce the impact of bumping it. An odd piece of paneling was nailed to the rafters to hold National Geographic pictures. A piece of floor vinyl protected the knees from splinters. I always knew where he was by the sound of hammering overhead.
Through the years, the crawl space designated for storing the Christmas decorations, suitcases, and sleeping bags and memorabilia had changed into an exotic hide-out. At the top of the ladder, a clamp lamp lights my path across the mattress piled high with sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. At the other end of our wooden pup tent is a lamp with a shade conveniently arranged near a bean bag and legless chair ready for reading magazines, comics and mysteries or just sitting and thinking.
Because the attic is civilized,” in polite conversation, I refer to that part of our house as “the loft.” As in “I went to the loft for from the noise of teenagers, housework and life. With book, notebook and pens in hand, and all that wonderful insulation between me and the world below. I relish the solitude. Except for summers, the converted attic provides the cool air and simple atmosphere of a mountain retreat without leaving home. Mostly though, the area is used when the kids have overnight company and want to do something a bit different.
So the loft was ready for my adult tastes when my daughter asked me to camp out in the attic last week. I will always remember that night in the cool outdoors-indoors. Snuggled deep under the covers, I listened while she told me about her life, without the competition of the dryer, dishwasher or TV.
The weatherman was right about the incoming cold front. While a wind storm noisily shoved aside the warm weather. We slept undisturbed under our half dozen blankets and quilts. The next morning we woke refreshed, ready to descend and prepare for another day of work and school after our retreat to the loft.