Not every kid has a giant oil painting of themselves hanging in their room. But I did. It was painted from a photograph that a babysitter took of me. My parents bought it and it hung in my room my entire childhood. In it, I'm lying down on a green courch, reading a giant Golden Book about cats. I'm wearing a red and white checked dress with a blue apron that had the alphabet spelled out in white letters. My red hair is in pig tails. It captures what I liked best about my room: That I loved to read in there. I had shelves and shelves of books: Mostly Nancy Drew mysteries, all of the Oz books and a bunch of paperbacks. My mom decorated the room, choosing a burnt orange carpet and matching white furniture (a desk, a rocking chair, a bed and, of course book shelves). The only brown piece of furniture was the dresser that I inherited from my mom. It had been hers when she was a kid. The top was lined with knick-knacks, collected from family trips. I also had an incredible view of the oak trees just out of my window. I would lie in bed in on weekend mornings, listening to the birds and the leaves rustling. Sometimes at night, if my window was open, I could smell the smoke from my father's cigar. His office was just below my window. I could hear him typing into the night. I was a lucky kid with her own bathroom. And if I couldn't sleep, I'd go in there and read, thinking my parents wouldn't know. I also had a giant old stereo that we bought at a garage sale. I would stack the records (mostly soundtracks: "Sound of Music," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown") and listen until I fell asleep. loved it there. I wrote, painted, played my flute. Sometimes in my head, I visit it just to get a sense of peace.