title of blog

Honey, I'm Home's Morning Mantra ~~ Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh NO, She's up!"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let’s Go Back…Wayyyy Back ~~~

Ahhhh, Spring.  It is just beginning here with little blooms here and there and as I looked out into the back yard from the kitchen window, I heard those long ago sounds from the back left corner of the yard.  We were building a tree house. My friend, Jon, from 2 doors down, his little brother, Gary, whom we bribed with promises of sleeping in it, my best friend, Cookie, and of course myself, decided to make this our Summer project. We planned and we planned and we had it so mapped out that you would have been able to have the whole neighborhood in it.  Then we stood back and realized we only had 3 trees to work with.  Plan B:  ok, it would be sort of a very rough triangular shape, but still big, and oh boyyyyy, we’d have the best tree house ever built!  Plan C:  Gosh, we need lumber and hammers and nails.  Not a problem, we’ll just ride down the road on our bikes and check out that new house being built;  bet they have some extra they aren’t using. And so they did (well, we thought so anyway) and we saw it piled up, so we took what we needed and dragged it all back to my yard.  Bang, bam, bang, bang, ouch, and a few more and look at that!  There’s shape taking place!  Hmmm, not enough lumber; we will absolutely need a good floor and walls.  Back to the house under construction and lo and behold there was even more lumber to be had. Jackpot!  We’d taken all 4 bikes this time, so we could round up a lot more of what we needed.  Back to my yard and all the hammering again.  Oh my! It was becoming really, REALLY good, but wait, we have to have a window or 2, don’t we?  By this time we’d made a rut in the road to the house down the street, but wouldn’t you know it?  There were 2 window frames just propped up and doing nothing on the side of the house and even glassed in!  Back to my yard with the goodies.  Now we hammered the windows in and they worked!  But, you know, you can’t have a roof if it is going to leak on you when you’re sleeping, so back to the house down the street.  Jon knew exactly what to look for and we loaded up the tar paper and all the shingles we could carry and once again built the heck out of our tree house.

We stood back, we smiled, we broke into big grins and then into all out gleeful laughter.  We did it!  A huge tree house with 2 windows that worked and a non-leaking roof.  We were set!  Oh the Summer was going to be the best EVER!

We took turns going up and down the ladder and carrying sleeping bags into “our” tree house.  Then we planned the night.  We made sandwiches galore and took them with us when it was time for dinner…in “our” tree house.  Darkness came, we told stories, we gloated over our triumph of the Summer and even started thinking about making an honest to goodness club.  Our cheeks were frozen in grins.  We drifted off to sleep and woke to the sound of birds chirping, the sun in it’s morning splendor and ………what’s that?  What’s that sound we asked!  Jon stuck his head out of our back window and I saw his mouth fall open.  The woods behind me were being mowed down to construct a NEW house!  Oh no, our privacy will be gone.  If only.

The new house was built, a family with 2 daughters moved in, and immediately claimed the tree house as theirs.  They said it was on THEIR property!  We were all so upset that an actual fight broke out.  No broken bones but a lot of hurt pride.

A surveyor came out.  It was their property.  The parents, theirs and mine, decided the only thing to do was to tear the tree house down.  Ohhhh, the inhumanity of it all!  We kids stood there while it was torn down and actually cried. We were all of 13 years old and it was embarrassing, but the whole thing was devastating after all that work and then only having 1 night of heaven. Then I looked at Jon and saw a glint in his eye and he was looking all around my yard. He sidled over to me and whispered, “You know what? They still haven’t finished that house down the street and I’ll bet we could do it all again. Want to?”

Well, we didn’t build another one and instead, Cookie and I started sleeping on my back porch, you know, roughing it.  It was fine the first week, and Jon would come over and visit and we’d crack caps with rocks on the bricks and set off sparklers and play Go Fish and War, but he was just biding his time. I should have known.  He waited and waited for us to finally go to sleep and then WHAMMMM, threw an entire bucket of ice cold water on us!  His day was going to come, believe you me, it was coming.  That story is saved for another day ~~


Here is a photo of my beloved dog, Winnie, the homemade ladder going up to the tree house, and the house that was built behind me that was the bane of my existence.  Both of those daughters came to no good and no one was surprised.

                                                  Sic’em, Winnie!

                              winniesitting up



  1. Jenny, When I was ten I was going to built me a play house. Well it wasn't long before I smashed my finger with the hammer and the play house was forgotten. Before long school started and I had lost that finger nail and we had nail inspection for health class and I sure did not win. LOL I liked this story, xoxo,Susie

  2. Oh Jen I could visualize you kids hauling stuff. A regular spanky an our gang project. Did you ever wonder if the 'extras' were really extras? I was waiting for you to say you guys woke up to cops asking where you got the lumber and windows. I would have cried too seeing it torn down. The neighbor snippets at least couldn't enjoy it. LOVED the story.

  3. This brings back memories for me. We had to provide our own entertainment growing up! No tree house in my memories but lots of good memories invoked by your post.

  4. Well, phooey, I can't add worth a toot. I was 13 yrs old, not 12, lol.

  5. That is the best story ever!!! LOL I thought you were going to say you got hauled up for stealing....lol What a fun memory and how sad that you couldn't have "shared" that tree house. So many great memories though- xo Diana

  6. I love this story, Jenny! What a great memory to have. I believe you could/should write a book; you have a wonderful way with words.


  7. Thanks for the trip down your memory lane. Darned neighbors! Spoiled all the fun.

  8. You triggered my memory and I'll have to tell about my tree "house" soon. Great writing style and I felt as if I were helping build your house and cried along with you when it had to come down.


  9. Hey, Jenny,

    Nice to hear from you. Of course I remember you. I also bowed out of blogging to concentrate on writing and I didn't know comments were even open on my blog. But I'm glad they were and that you dropped by. I'm still writing. I just finished another book. Many books written, publishing one or more soon...we'll see. Happy New Year and I wish you nothing but peace and tree houses.

  10. oh wow, what a story. wonder what those people building the house down the street thought about the building stuff disappearing? did they ever find out who took it?

  11. Loved the story..what neat things we all used to do BEFORE kids sit in front of the TV and computers now. They have NO IDEA what fun they are missing. Thanks for visiting my blog..I don't nearly write as much as I used to. :-)

  12. Fantastic to travel back in time, Jenny, just a few years mind, and feel again the thrill of outdoor sleeping... Your words brought the whole scenario to life. :-) What a shame it was brought to an abrupt end after all that hard work. When you're young grownups seem so unpliable in their actions and totally unable to see the bigger picture. Ah well, you still have your delicious entertaining memories, and we're so glad you do, to share with us. Winnie looks a wonderful character, that stance says everything. xPenx

  13. Awesome memories! I've dreamed of a tree house or two myself with none really coming to fruition. Good news...I'm following you now! Bet you're tickled pink! ;)

    1. You betcha, Joe ---- blushing pink like crazy, hahaha. Great to see you back!

  14. I love stories of times of youth. They are the most fun and easiest to read any of us could write.

  15. Oh what a story you had me right there watching all of this. I could feel your disappointment when the fort had to come down. Make me remember the many forts, tree houses and underground caves that I had with friends. Now that I think there were many as I was always surrounded by forests. The underground ones were the most dangerous. We once had tunnels to many different rooms in a field. Finally some parents found out about it and had it all buried before one of us got buried alive. Thanks for the memories.

  16. You have been silent for ah bit. Hope your leg is getting better. Thinking of you girl.
    Hugs hugs hugs!!