Monday, June 9, 2008

The Wisteria-Covered Treehouse

When my daughter was in third grade she told me she wanted a treehouse. Had I a husband around, that would have been achieved. I sorta felt like, what with being a single and penny-pinching mom, I was safe from having to deal with the request. And in my falsely perceived safe place, I told my daughter that if she got straight A's on her report card, I'd build her a treehouse. Lesson: don't give a child a challenge, dangling a prize, unless you're willing to pay up. That little booger got straight A's on her next report card, and I was on the phone with our handyman negotiating the price to build a treehouse.

Harleigh grew up on the Little Rascals (the original Hal Roach Our Gang) and there were always lots of forts, treehouses and clubhouses in their little comical lives. In fact, Alfalfa and Spanky had THE BEST clubhouses ever. Lots of trap doors, signs with words spelled wrong and with backward letters, ropes and pulleys, all kinds of contraptions. I knew this was what she probably had in mind, but I went with something that 1) wouldn't harbor stray racoons within the confines of walls and a roof, 2) would be of a size that she could continue to use into her teens, and 3) would be easy to build (thus cheap, well, at least cheaper than a "house" in a tree). Here is our treedeck, more or less, covered in part with a wisteria vine. A tree grows up through the middle of it.
From when it was built, through the next 7 years, the deck was a place to play dress-up (we had plastic tubs up there with gowns, high heels, purses, gloves), an Out-of-Africa tent (I attached tall wooden poles to each corner with a nail in the top of each, along with hooks on the trees, then made 6'x6' fabric "tents" with grommets that could be attached to the poles and trees, creating an Arabian Nights feel), and just a general hangout with a blanket on the floor and an eye on the leaves and night sky above.

I have plans to clean-it up a bit this weekend, pruning back the wisteria, cutting some limbs back, sweeping, and maybe figuring out a way to add some color up there (flowering baskets? window boxes? something to add some color since the wisteria did not bloom this season).

BTW, for the next report card, when she again got straight A's (I think she warmed up to the satisfaction of challenging herself and seeing the results), she promptly asked, in jest, for a pony.


Sarah said...

Oh! I love this. We just moved...I made my husband come look at your daughters tree house so he could ponder for our daughters. Ha! What a promise to have to keep for straight A's but what priceless memories!
Vintage Lily

Anonymous said...

I vote for some window box planters!!!! how cute!!!
- courtney

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