Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Treehouses All Grown Up - Live Out A Childhood Fantasy

I wanted a tree house when I was a little girl. I wanted a big one with a real door and windows like the boy across the street had. On drippy summer afternoons all the neighborhood kids would gather in Tim's tree house. We'd play cards or Monopoly. We'd joke, argue and eventually one of us would stomp off down the ladder, swearing to never come back. But we always did.

Tree houses are part of the idyllic American childhood experience. I'd live in one now if I could but there aren't that many trees in the desert Southwest. Thanks to my husband's parents, my children have a huge wooden fort and swingset in our backyard, minus the tree. I've watched history repeat itself - the games, the arguments, the stomping into the house. I can't help but smile.

For those of us who never want to grow up there is an answer. Companies like TreeHouse Workshop of Seattle, Washington and others across the country are fulfilling our dreams.
All over the world, people are building functional treehouses for use as offices, studios, dens, guest rooms, and even vacation resorts.

Jake Jacob, owner of TreeHouse Workshops says that it all begins with choosing the right tree or group of trees. It's a must to have a tree that will continue to grow in a healthy manner with a tree house in its' branches. Each tree or group trees has within its' shape the perfect treehouse design that will fit safely and effectively. The fun for TreeHouse Workshops is to create a working design within those parameters that captures the dreams of the owner.

If you don't have the space or money to build your own tree house, don't worry. You can spend your vacation at Out 'n' About Treesort in Southern Oregon. They have an entire facility built around 18 different tree houses. There is an incredibly interesting story on their website about how the county tried to shut them down, saying that the tree houses were unsafe accommodations for guests. I love the owner's ingenuity and the way they got around the restrictions until they could make everything legal - it's truly a story of the determined 'can do' American spirit.

The rates at Out 'n' About are reasonable at $120 to $240 per night. All of the tree houses sleep at least two people. The largest sleeps four or more and has a complete kitchenette and fully equipped bathroom. I can just imagine my kids playing like a family of squirrels on the bridges, zip lines and ladders.

Our sense of wonder doesn't have to die just because we grow up. Keeping it alive keeps out spirit excited about each new day and the fun it promises. Reliving the childhood fascination with tree houses is a great way to feel alive.

6 comments:

franscud said...

Hi Lisa,
My siblings and I always wanted a tree house too. We tried to build our own, but didn't get very far ... I think we managed a few unleveled planks for a floor. Instead we ended up using a storage room behind the garage as our "club house." It was still fun. Thanks for bringing those memories flooding back :).

joderebe said...

Hi Lisa
When I was a young boy I think I spent most of my years living in trees. Not necessarily living in tree houses but we did have our own haphazard forts. There was something about being high off the ground and checking the surrounding "kingdom" :-)This post brings back memories of simple times.
And, tt certainly would be interesting to own a home built in the trees. The closest of come is having my house built into the side of a mountain at a vantage point higher than most so I can overlook the valley.
As usual an excellent post.
~JD

Lisa McGlaun said...

Francis,

We always had 'clubs' in my neighborhood. They'd last for about a week until everyone got bored with it or mad because they didn't get elected to an office AGAIN..lol.

Those were great times. I'm glad I could bring some memories back for you too.

Have a great day!
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

JD,

I think there is something special about being off the ground, especially as a kid. What could be better for the imagination? Kings, kingdoms, defending the castle, surveying your kindom from high atop a castle turret. Yes, I've had those dreams too. How cool that you live on the side of a mountain. Can I come visit?

Best Wishes,
Lisa

joderebe said...

Lisa
You are more than welcome :-)
One day I'll post an image of the view I have every morning when I wake up ...
Take care and have a great week and weekend!
~JD

Lisa McGlaun said...

Oh JD,

I'd love to see that photo. I so long to live in the mountains. I'm tired of the desert.

Best Wishes,
Lisa