Part one of the old tree house

I thought I would tell you a story from when I was about 13. My dad and I had torn down an old shed of a neighbor’s (a favor for him and building materials for us). I don’t remember pulling all the nails but I know we did. We used some of those old nails in our construction project.

We had a big old native elm tree at the edge of our yard. It had 5 huge branches that sprung from the base of the tree. Up that ol’ tree we went hauling up our construction material. Dad and I laid out a base for my new tree house nailing the main supports securely to the tree. It was getting late so we went into supper and later to bed. Well it got pretty windy that night. The next day when we went out to work on the tree house some more, much to our surprise only one or two nails had held and all the boards were down. We had neglected to take into account how much that trees limbs moved in the wind. We had to rethink the whole design. The boards were laid into some forks in the tree limbs and maybe one or two were actually nailed into the tree. I remember nailing one board on one of the limbs so the main support board could slide on it as the limbs moved in the wind.

Dad helped me get a solid base and a couple of walls up. The rest was up to me. I can’t tell you how many 10 penny nails I bent almost double trying to get them through those aged native lumber boards. Hammer the nail in, pull it out straighten it. Hammer again, pull again. Give up on that nail (it was rusty anyway) grab a new one and finally get it in. I worked on that tree house till I went to college. One improvement or another, an old TV glass for a window, a second room for the trap door. A friend brought his dad’s chainsaw so we could remove the upper part of a limb that was in the way.

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