Dad built us a pretty sophisticated treehouse when we were kids. The best in the neighborhood, no doubt. It probably rivaled anything else in town and we spent a good amount of time up there.
I might have the details wrong, but the main platform for the treehouse was supported both by natural trees and heavy wooden posts cemented in the ground. Dad built steps leading up to the treehouse. These steps were salvaged from my grandmother’s old dock on McKinney Lake. The treehouse was solidly constructed and had several windows, a metal roof, and even a lofted area for storage.
Eventually, nature started to take its toll. The structure itself was fine, but after a couple years it began to fill with dust, dirt, leaves and insects.
Eventually, we decided to clean it up. Some of my friends were even put to work painting it. We added a door and screened the windows to protect us from mosquitos. Once it was all finished, we practically lived in it throughout the summer.
We added two cots to the interior and we had space for 2-3 more sleeping bags on the floor. It didn’t take long before we had the idea to run a long extension cord from the garage that allowed us to plug in a fuzzy old TV and a Nintendo 64.
We hauled up coolers filled with Coca-Cola, bags of chips, sandwiches, and anything else we could scrounge from the pantry. All that junk food fueled long nights of battling our friends in classic games like Mario Kart 64 and GoldenEye 007. Back then, playing video games late at night with your best buds on split-screen TV was the greatest thing on Earth.
We also had a CD player and we could listen to all the music our parents couldn’t stand. Looking back, I can see why they wouldn’t allow us to listen to those albums. Most of the lyrics are morally bankrupt. Today, I’m at the age where I can’t tolerate any new music being produced.
I have a lot of good memories, but those treehouse days are top-tier. After about two summers of camping in the treetops, we moved out of town. The treehouse still stands today. I swung by my childhood home when the current owners hosted a garage sale a couple summers ago and they invited me to take a tour of the house. Seeing the inside for the first time in 20 years was an interesting experience, and I wish I would have gone out back to see the inside of the treehouse, too. I’m sure it’s smaller than I remember, but it seemed like a palace back in the day.
I’ve always thought it would be fun to dig up our old Nintendo 64 and recreate one of those lazy summer nights. That task is easier said than done, since many of those friends live in different cities or different states. Getting the band back together is a tall order, but maybe someday we’ll find ourselves in the same room huddled around a boxy TV, for old time’s sake.