It must be a “guy” thing, but exploring construction sites was a favorite pastime of my friends and mine during our summer between fifth and sixth grades. We’d spend hours climbing up, on and over things, playing “tag” amongst the framing, or looking for just poured cement to memorialize our handprints in. Looking back, it probably wasn’t the safest place for a bunch of kids to play.
Usually though, we’d have an ulterior purpose for visiting—we’d show up around quitting time—and have the run of the place. Sure, we’d sometimes cross paths with a worker or two, but they were usually cool with us running around and rummaging through the trash piles to find what we needed, and what we needed was wood. This particular day, we were on a mission to build the ultimate treehouse.
Everything we could possibly use was at our fingertips—a few 2×4’s here, a couple of pieces of plywood there. A hammer with a broken handle? Score!…And enough nails to, well, build a house. We didn’t really consider it stealing since they were going to throw it away, anyways. Ya know, a one man’s trash kinda thing. We tied the pieces to our bikes and awkwardly wheeled them back to the field.
There wasn’t an architect among us, let alone a carpenter but we didn’t let that stop us, we spent hours hammering and sawing and hammering some more—a little imagination goes a long way when you’re doing it yourself (and re-doing it because someone didn’t measure correctly). We’d be out at the crack of dawn and way past dark. The plan was to build the treehouse and then we’d figure out how to get the TV and refrigerator up there—hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big.
Everything was coming together like clockwork, and that’s when one of the moms got worried—“you’ll break your neck climbing into that tree.” To ease the situation, we talked the dads into going out on a Saturday morning to check it out. And that’s when the “apocalypse” descended upon us all.
It seems that none of us had seen the nest—right about the spot where the roof was to go. Once a couple of the dads were in the tree, one of them stood straight up and right into a mad swarm of yellow and black—he’d pissed off a bunch of not so understanding yellow jackets. All hell broke loose as we jumped, ducked, and covered. Amazingly no one got stung—but it sure proved for a few tense moments and our treehouse dreams hung in the balance.
That’s one of the drawbacks of doing something without the know how, knowledge or experience, so this issue we’ve enlisted the help of several local professionals in presenting our Home Connoisseur section (pg. 41)—chock full of expert advice on everything from Awnings to Water Softeners, it’s all part of our annual Dream Homes issue. We also feature several builder profiles if you’re looking to buy a new home and an informative story for ideas you can use in keeping your dream home safe (pg. 33).
And what goes better with a dream home? Why a barbeque of course—and this year’s Sizzlin’ Singles are All Fired Up! Single, successful, and ready to lend a hand in our community. These singles have the moxie to sizzle and shine. Done in conjunction with the Boots & Bachelors auction coming up September 23rd, Sizzlin’ Singles starts on page 67. You can also find more singles Q&As on our website.
Of course, our regular features are sizzlin’ too—like Kern Facts, Gardening with Mrs. P, What’s Cookin’ and more—It’s another certified sizzlin’ issue.
After several failed attempts to get rid of the nest, school started and us guys discovered girls—the treehouse eventually came down when the farmer (whose tree we had commandeered) got tired of looking at it.