Monday, September 30, 2013

you and me house

Tree House

A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.
A street house, a neat house,
Be sure to wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all-
Let's go live in a tree house.

Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

We are starting a new project here.  A long promised project.  One that was supposed to be started and completed last summer, but never was.  When we moved here, we left behind a truly awesome treehouse, and it is the treehouse that the kids miss most about our old home.  Jonathan and I both made assurances when we moved here that we would build them a new one.  And so, in efforts to not be the parents of empty promises and dashed dreams, we are trying our very best to follow through with this.

We tried to keep things simple with other building projects in our yard this summer (well, there were a few exceptions), so as to allow the time to devote to this project.  New fencing, painting the exterior of the house, building a woodlot for our firewood, have all been pushed to another summer so that we could devote enough time to this.  And still, we are beginning the project in late September.

Well, let's be honest, we started it a bit over the summer, moved some beams from where we first thought would be the best location, and put them up in a better location.  Correction: I thought it should move, Jonathan did not agree, but now that he has moved it he agrees that this location is much, much better.  We will skip the middle part.

So here is the problem.  We are not handy.  And I am strong on ideas and poor with execution.  And a bit distractible.  And the frequency with which we are both free to work on something during the daylight hours is rare.  Because I am often drawn to the garden, and the children, and feeding people and creatures, and cleaning up after them.  And Jonathan.  Well, he tries.  But there have not been a lot of building projects in his past.  But he is wickedly creative, which overcomes his lack of skill...or his needing the correct tool for the job...or his having the time to complete the task...

And so, with some time this weekend, we revisited the project.  Luckily, Jonathan kept his sense of humor about him.  And took some time away for crafting.  Iron Man's arm.

I was helping, while also trying to do a few other things, including laundry and cleaning and preserving and harvesting.  So, I may have been absent for a bit too long.  Because when I arrived on the bank, where the treehouse is underway, I found a significant amount of time had been devoted to support.  Suspending.  Strappage.

Yes indeedy.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  There are no posts under this end of the frame.  Dangling.  From a branch of one of my best maple sap producers.


I made some helpful comments.  And headed back to the garden to gather some tomatoes.  For saucing.  Thinking that sauce was a good thing to have going on the stove while I am down on the bank.  Helping.  

When's lunch? asked Nicholas as I entered the kitchen.

So lunch was thrown together, a sandwich was delivered by someone less likely to irritate Jonathan with helpful advice (Elliott), and some time passed.  And I returned again to the bank.  

And found this.

The bank is steep.  And there is no path up and down it where he is working.  But that lovely maple tree?  The one holding the whole end of the structure's frame up?  Rope was now encircling its trunk, the other end fastened to Jonathan's torso.  Safety first.

And in his hands were scissors.  And a ball of twine.  Now this could be interesting.

What are you doing?  I asked.

Making a plumb line, he answered, without looking at me.



Like when we wallpaper? I asked.


I swallowed my why and hoped, to myself, because I am the queen of verbal restraint, that wallpaper was not going to be used as the next material for fastening something.  Maybe it would be used to connect the roof to the floor?

I wandered off again.  Not really wandered.  I had a purpose.  One was to give him some time to work this out.  And likely a child came to get me.  Because someone had fallen and gotten hurt and needed a bandaid.  Or a chicken was loose.  Or there was an unidentified bad smell.  Or the sauce was boiling over.  I can't remember exactly. 

As I left, I said: Having fun?  Or do you want to figure out how to tell the kids this is not going to happen?

I don't know yet.  We will see after today.


In the meantime, I am going to see if there is a passing cloud I can lasso.

I went down this morning to see how things had progressed, knowing from the expression on his face, when he came in last night as it was getting dark, not to ask him last night.

It looks like this.  Still an amazing levitating construction, swaying a bit in the wind.

Or rope...or clouds...or perhaps I should fire up ye olde hot glue dispenser.  Work my own brand of magic.  Won't Jonathan be surprised when he gets home?

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