In the mid-70s my dad built us a two story wooden play house. He and his best friend saw the play house plans in a magazine and decided that they should build two – one for each family. They did build two that summer. Does building play houses in bulk actually saved money on lumbar and labor?
Here is a picture of my brother and I in 1976 playing on our finished two story wooden play house. Our playhouse had a more rustic western feel – hence the saloon doors. Theirs had real windows, doors and carpet. If I remember correctly, both dads used the lower floor as a shed.
The second story was all ours. The ladder lead to a spacious front porch that lead to the fireman’s pole. The saloon doors opened back and forth (like all saloon doors should) to a rectangular room with two window openings.
We spent most of our time on the porch and the fireman’s pole because through the saloon doors there had been sightings of spiders.
Big, hairy spiders.
Or so the legend went.
Behind our beautiful two-story wooden play house was a hill covered with trees where the most amazing swing hung. It’s thick rope stretched up as high into the trees as I could see. The ropes were so long that it was hard to reach the top of the swing arch with 6 year old swing pumps. When I finally was able to swing as high as possible, the swing went out over the hill so my toes could almost touch the treetops.
Beside our beautiful two-story wooden play house was a sandbox. My dad brought in bag after bag of sand. A few days later he built a cover after the realization that a sandbox at the edge of a forest is really a litter box for neighboring wildlife.
In the middle of the Michigan winter I would climb up the ladder in layers and layers of winterwear and push open the saloon doors with abandon…big, hairy spiders didn’t inhabit two-story wooden play houses in the snow.
That was 35 years ago, but I recently found out that this structure was just a warm-up for my dad. He is now in the middle of a much bigger project that doesn’t rely on four solid posts sunk into the ground with concrete – that is child’s play. He has moved up to the trees…
Tune in tomorrow for the first unveiling of extreme tree house.