The attraction of the impractical
Why do we often choose the unrealistic, even the impossible?
We know it is ridiculous to buy a derelict
cottage for less than $7,000 in a foreign country where we don't
even speak the language (click link and resist
the temptation) and expect to "fix it up"
in any reasonable time at any reasonable cost.
But when a friend describes their friend's wonderful villa
in Provence that they got for a song, the lure is
amazing. Never mind the impracticality, we look at
the web listings and we can't wait to buy an
airplane ticket before the bargains are snapped up.
One of my favorite fictional secret agent heroes of the 70s
was Evan Tanner, The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep,
a man obsessed with lunatic-fringe movements,
but only those with zero chance of success, such
as the Flat Earth Movement.
The book series was resurrected
in 1998 with Tanner On Ice, wherein
Tanner is awakened after a 25 year sleep.
But a funny thing - many of the lost causes have now
come to pass (Macedonian independence, freedom for
So maybe building a treehouse to live in is not so crazy.
Rant: living outside the USA
This has nothing to do with the treehouse, except that it might explain why I need a treehouse to retreat
into. Having lived in the USA, Canada and the third-world,
I have found that the USA has the best services. Now they are all on the web,
But, most USA firms are not ready to deal with outsiders.
For example, Nordstrom
won't mail a catalog outside of the US, Canada and Japan
(mostly because they don't have world-wide sales agreements
with their vendors), but if your mother gives you a catalog
you can call and order some nice shoes sent to
Vanguard offers some
of the best mutual funds, but won't open
an account without a US address. My US
account at TD Waterhouse
can buy some of the Vanguard funds,
but not all of them. aaarg...
Entrance to the spot
Right now the entrance to my special treehouse spot is being used
as a plant nursery and a shade room for plants.
The "treehouse" can't actually be
built up on the tree branches, since our trees
aren't large enough or strong enough. But a small circle of trees provides a shady retreat
where a rustic structure of some kind seems
appropriate, especially given the arid semi-desert
of the rest of the property. Think of it as a
metaphorical treehouse, an escape,
house where we could relax, sleep and eat for short
periods of time.
The objective is an inexpensive retreat built out of
the materials left over from our construction project
(telephone poles, plywood used for concrete forms,
excess rafters, T-1-11 siding, etc.).
How about a tent?
A tent would provide protection from the sun and
occasional tropic rainstorms.
And it has the advantage that you can disassemble
the most vulnerable part of your treehouse during
hurricane season. I could put it on a platform
among the trees.
The link above shows the design and assembly of
a movable tavern from the middle ages.
It is warm year-round where I live and the treehouse
location is in the shade of the only real trees on our
So it would be very nice to have a hammock.
A book on building treehouses
As a kid, I enjoyed building treehouses and hiding out in
them, inventing exciting things to do.
My wife bought me this book when I started muttering about building a treehouse in a special spot on the 2.5 acre
where she is building us a real house.