This is less a story than a ramble about a favorite memory.
We lived in a pretty big house, sure, but we had a pretty big family, too. All of the children shared rooms: The Boys had the log room (with its own bathroom!), the older ones shared spaces in the basement. Mary, Lisa and I had our bedroom upstairs over the garage. Triple decker bunk bed and all. So, as you imagine, private space was at a premium. In the summer, not so bad. We lived next to woods that went from Fairbanks to the North pole with just a few bears and moose in the way. You could get away in a "fort" and get some quiet brain space. In the long cold dark Alaskan winter though, it was a bit harder.
Then I found that you could climb the pantry shelves. And under the stairs down to the basement there was a huge "shelf" about 10 feet up and only accessible by a ladder OR THOSE SHELVES!. It had a light with a pull string! It only held xmas decorations and luggage so there was room for a limber tween to climb up, stretch out a leg and arm, get on the shelf and re-arrange the boxes to make a private little space with the light blocked from showing where you were. Swipe some cookies or an apple, grab a book, squirrel up those lovely shelves and voila!instant quiet reading space. No sisters, no brothers, no parents, not even a cat. You were the cat - in your own up-high lurking space, warmed by the basement heater and the lightbulb, just a little dusty but NO spiderwebs. I don't know to this day why someone else hadn't claimed that space yet but I'm just happy they didn't. And more happy that my parents either didn't know or didn't mind.