It seemed like such a good idea at the time.
I took one look at the picture in the do-it-yourself book my wife brought home from the library and immediately fell in love.
Doesn’t every kid want a tree house? I certainly did. However, we had no suitable trees in our yard, so the idea was a non-starter.
But now it was different. With my own children just old enough to enjoy it, that big elm tree in the center of our yard seemed heaven-sent for such a purpose. The creative design cried out to be turned into reality, and I made up my mind on the spot. My wife didn’t even try to talk me out of it.
The illustration showed how the tree house would seemingly grow right out of the elm’s trunk, the base hovering six feet above the ground and the top about as far beneath the lowest branches. Four sturdy beams would angle down from the corners of the floor, secured into notches cut out of the hoary bark and held in place by railroad spikes. Beams on the top would mirror those on the bottom, over which panels would form a sloping roof.
It looked simple enough.