Fifteen feet above the forest floor.
Enveloped by the needled branches of white fir and Douglas fir trees. Cooled by a most welcome breeze that carries the slightest hint of fall. Chattering pygmy nuthatches from the tops of the nearby pines. It’s been a good long while, and way too long – decades, in fact – since I spent any time in a treehouse.
Every kid should know what it is like to play, daydream, climb into, relax, and just hang out in a treehouse.
Making sure my two grandchildren would have this knowledge is a part of being a grandpa that I take very seriously. It’s right up there with camping, pointing out birds and animal tracks and bear scat, visiting National Parks, hiking and backpacking, teaching them the names of wildflowers and trees, building things like a birdhouse, a raft, and, of course, a treehouse.
So, over the past several months when we could carve out some time, Jude, Scarlett and I have been working on this wonderful little structure that is perched around the red-bark trunk of a 100-year-old ponderosa pine. It is located in the woods that surround my funky mountain home. With the completion of the ladder that we built this past weekend, the treehouse is now officially done!
Jude and Scarlett are in school today, so I am up here by myself right now.
I may be a grandfather, but the kid inside of me can’t get enough of being in this treehouse. What a perfect way to spend an hour, or two hours, or a whole September afternoon.
Dave Van Manen/ www.davevanmanen.com