Our first bedroom (shared by 3 sisters) was on the top floor overlooking the street outside. There was one double bed (occupied by my older sister) and a set of bunk beds. My younger sister and I slept in the bunk beds… sometimes I took the lower, sometimes the upper.
I remember a story that was whispered behind adult hands about a man climbing into the upstairs bedroom and picking up my older sister from her crib when she was an infant. It seemed that he intended to steal her. However, it was not spoken of again in my hearing. Now that I know “the real story” of our family, I wonder if it was her biological father who broke in.
When I was 10 yrs old, we moved to a different part of town. This house was bigger. We sisters again shared the front bedroom upstairs, again with bunk beds and one double. Same sleeping arrangements, except I preferred the top bunk. In this bedroom we had built-in dressers, three of them along one wall, each with a cupboard at the top with two shelves. There was lots of room for our stuff as they were built in under the eaves. We also had a vanity, with mirror and bench seat, where we could make sure we looked presentable before we left our room. Our closet was large enough for all our clothing, but it was crowded (most of mine ended up on the floor due to my messy nature.)
Our room overlooked the sun porch roof and the street outside. From our windows we could see Halifax Harbour and the Halifax waterfront. I had visions of being able to sit outside the double windows on the porch roof, but our parents pre-empted that activity with dire warnings. So no sneaking out at night.
Every so often, my grandparents came to town for a visit, and they would sleep in the double bed. This meant usurping my older sister from her bed, but now that I think about it, I don’t know where she slept on those nights. When Nanny and Granddad slept in our room, the rafters would reverberate with his buzz-saw snores, punctuated here and there with great porcine snorts as he shifted position. I was fascinated by this and would look down on their bed from my upper bunk, watching his big belly rise and fall and listening to his sonorous symphony.
One thing that was sorely lacking in that bedroom was a lock on the door. Across the hall were six boarders, all men, some of them quite young. Mom and Dad slept downstairs. It started to become a problem when we girls started to develop, and one boarder in particular was very determined to get into our bedroom. Not that we ever told our parents… we were afraid to get them into trouble, because we knew my father would throw them out into the street if he knew. But why didn’t he know??? He was in the army during WWII – surely he knew what young men could get up to. Maybe he didn’t believe they would have the nerve to do any such thing, but he was wrong.