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Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Not-So-Tall Tree House Tale

It all started when my good wife made an innocent remark in the presence of a couple of our grandchildren, something like, “Maybe some time we’ll have to build you a little tree house in the back yard.”

Well, they never forgot that, and I, though more than a little leery of the idea at first, found myself starting to obsess over just how and where (and whether) we might make their little dream come true.

It so happened that an aging apple tree on our back yard showed some promise as a possible site, and before long I was making big time plans, in spite of my having less than stellar skills in the construction department. The whole project turned out to be a lot of fun.

Here are some things I learned:

Having good neighbors always helps when you lack experience and are operating on a low budget. A great retired senior on one side of us offered some helpful advice and the use of some of his tools--along with some ribbing about my needing a building permit for such a major project. Another neighbor offered some invaluable hands-on help to get the floor beams in place. Couldn't have done it without him, and in gratitude we've granted his children lifetime rights to the use of the house.

A second thing I learned is that Murphy’s Law isn’t always the only one in effect in efforts like this. In fact I even came up with what I’ll call Mercy’s Law in this project, in that in spite of my inexperience, I escaped any major injuries in the building process, just happened to get an exceptional bargain in a ten foot slide I attached to one side of the tree house, and ended up with less than a wheelbarrow full of building supplies left over.

And finally, I learned it doesn’t take a Hotel Hilton to make some grandkids very happy.
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