I have a recurring dream theme in which there are rooms in my house I’ve forgotten about or just never use. The rooms can be as small as an extra sitting room or are grand as a whole wing of a house with spacious rooms and beautiful furniture. In these dreams I’m only using a few cramped rooms in the house with a desperate need for more space. When I realize the other rooms I am so relieved and excited it’s like having a whole new house. Sometimes after one of these dreams, in that bleary state between asleep and fully awake, I am convinced the rooms are real. I’ve also had this same type of dream about cars. I’ll have left a car parked somewhere for years and then one day remember I have it and I am so excited to have an extra car.
This reminds me of a story my mother used to tell about her paternal grandmother, a stern Italian woman. She said her grandmother wanted to come and live with them but my mother’s daddy would tell her no, there was no room for her; there was barely room for his ten children to share. But she would point through a window out onto the porch and tell him that was the room she could stay in. He would lead her to the porch and show her it was not a room and then she would point through the window again, this time to the inside and argue THAT was the room where she could stay. There was no convincing her there was no extra room in the house.
Back to dreams, another recurring theme is I find out I’m not really married, that something happened and my marriage was never legal. In my dreams my husband is usually in no hurry to make it right. What’s THAT about? I usually wake up from these dreams angry and look for my marriage license to make sure it was signed.
Sometimes I wish the dream of the extra room would come true. My house is pretty straight forward and every room has a purpose. It would be nice to have a guest room where I could keep all of my books and use it as a getaway where I could sit quietly to read and write.
I don’t have an extra room as such, but I do have an odd foyer that I’ve always considered an extra room. It is enclosed on each side by open doorways with transom windows made from leaded-glass bookcase doors that came out of a house once lived in by Harper Lee in Monroeville. That story might not be exactly true, but this is the story I stitched together about them from real facts. It’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
After the Christmas tree was packed away I decided to arrange the furniture slightly differently so now it feels like an actual room instead of a walkthrough. All it really took was turning my piano at an angle and moving the resident lamp and a chair to the other side of it. It’s amazing how changed something can be when you look at it from a slightly off-kilter angle.
My chair is an antique my pesky sister must have really hated because she tried to sell it in a garage sale for $10 and nobody would buy it so she gave it to me. Maybe it’s the 1980’s turquoise/salmon Southwestern-pattern upholstery that makes it so unappealing to others. It appeals to me, though, so I’m now using it for real sitting instead of a coat-rack. I even bought it a squishy pouf that clashes so badly it works.
Next to my seating I made a makeshift table by stacking some old suitcases and a wooden box and topping them with a wooden tray. It’s wobbly, but it serves a purpose of looking purposeful. Now I can sit here away from the television, away from my bedroom which constantly beckons for a nap, and read and write in a room I created on a whim but inspired by dreams.
I once read that extra rooms in dreams represent gifts God has waiting for you to receive. I think I’ve always been a little bit afraid of what God has in store for me. Maybe that’s why He’s sending me signs in dreams, to ease me into reception. I get it. My fears are waning. Maybe tonight I’ll dream I’ll find a mansion.