The Tree House of Dreams


A photo of the Modern Day RedneckI was around ten years old when I nailed on the first board which was the beginning of my new tree house. It was not till years later that I learned the value of such a simple pile of old scrap lumber stuck up in a tree.

Like most farm boys I was never able to have the childhood all my city friends had. I was never able to simply just hang out at a friend’s house, never able to go on long luxurious vacations or even spend all day just being bored. No sick days, no excuses, the chores had to be done.


The tree house

For my siblings and me, the day started at 5:00 AM with my dad hollering out from the kitchen, “GET UP!” Without hesitation our feet hit the floor and out the door we went. My chores consisted of milking the goats, feeding the hogs and tending to the chickens. This left me with just enough time to take a quick shower, get dressed, run through the house grabbing a piece of warm cinnamon toast and onto the school bus.

The evenings were not much different. Of course homework came first. I didn’t mind doing it to much because momma always had a nice little snack ready for me, then it was off to the barn to do chores. It was usually dark when I got back to the house, and by that time I was ready for another hot shower to wash the goat smell off and then to fill my empty stomach with some good food. One good thing about living on the farm is we always had a nice big home cooked meal. While milking the goats I would usually hear my stomach growling due to the smell of those chicken and dumplings making its way to the barn. Momma would start supper early in the day to make sure it was ready for us growing, hungry boys when we all came in. My brother and I fought, pushed and shoved to be the first in line to fill our plate to its limits. For some reason we thought if you were the last in line you might go hungry, but there was always enough food, most of the time even for seconds. If we were really lucky, mom and dad would let us stay up to watch Hee Haw.

2/7/2010 6:40:40 PM

My dad was a skilled handyman and a part-time contractor to boot so when he set about to build something, he meant business. So my 11th summer when he asked me if I wanted a treehouse I knew good things were to come. Oddly enough though we had NO trees in our backyard. NONE. But a couple days later Daddy came home with four telephone poles in his trailer announcing, "Now we'll have some trees." During the course of the next month he would call me out and we would build a little more; weekends, weekday nights, an hour here and an hour there. Through building that treehouse he taught me how to build support trusses, measure out studs, do finish work around windows and fact, I don't remember ever really playing in this little house of ours but I remember listening in admiration as he talked to me about the difference between untreated and treated wood and other such lesson. Those lessons have stuck with me and seen me through many projects including a stint after college as a house framer. I owe him a great deal for taking that time with me. Oh, and for giving me a real house on four "trees" that made me feel like king of the world that summer!

2/4/2010 9:19:46 PM

Such good memories about your tree house Red,I'm so glad you build one for your girls. Although I never had a tree house I did have a swing set that my sister and I used to sit in and talk for hours even after we were "too big" to swing. vickie Caleb, I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has did that! vickie

S.M.R. Saia
2/4/2010 2:39:42 PM

I remember Hee Haw. :0) I enjoyed this, thanks!

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