The slats of wood nailed to the trunk shifted as I grabbed one over my head. As I grasped the bit of wood above me I lifted one foot onto the lower slat. I kept reaching and stepping until I touched the platform nestled into the crook of thick branches in the middle of the huge shade tree. When I pulled myself to the place I was seeking I sank with a sigh to the rough floor beneath me. My place, my hideaway. Peering through the leaves I could see the houses across the street, I wondered if they could see me through the leafy shade.
Do kids still build tree-houses?
It was a wonderful way to wile-away a lazy summer.
Building a tree-house wasn’t something accomplished in a day.
You first had to find the right tree and get permission to build in it.
Then there was time scrounging in the garage for wood that could be used.
It might involve a trip to the grocery store for discarded orange crates. Those had to be dismantled so the wood could be used for a new purpose.
Begging dad for permission to use his tools with the promise that they would be returned or suffer the consequences of the rest of the summer locked in your room.
Securing the steps was key to getting up into the tree. Then tying a rope to the tree so that you could haul up the lumber needed for the platform. This is definitely where a friend came in handy.
Somehow we were able to get the wood stable and secured. We didn’t have carpentry skills or an adult supervising us, just the desire to make this dream come true. Friends working together can accomplish almost anything.
There were several styles of tree-houses to choose from. You could go with the very simple platform or you could add sides, have a door opening and widow openings and a roof. The latter style took a lot more lumber than we usually had.
The tree-house was a wonderful meeting place for friends, “I’ll meet you at the tree-house,” was spoken over telephone wires or shouted across hedges.
Games were played, books read, secrets told, lasting friendships made in that place amongst the leafy canopy.
As an adult I miss the laid back, free from a schedule, time of childhood summers.
How about you? What summer memories do you miss?