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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

We Built a Treehouse!

Dear Friends: We built a treehouse! Now our little grandchildren have a place to hang out when they come to visit.

Building a Back Yard Treehouse

When playgrounds were closed because of the pandemic, it became more important to provide a place for kids to play.

Since we have four acres here on the edge of Invermere, British Columbia, we decided to install a play structure for our grandchildren.

Apparently everyone else had the same idea, since playground equipment is currently sold out across the country!

So we came up with another plan: to create our own play area.

Our four acres are mostly treed mountainside, but we found a nice level spot on the slope below our house (you can see the house in the background, just above my husband’s head).

First we had to clear away the brush and trees — and the kids were eager to help. This is Nora, aged seven, and my husband Heinz.

TREEHOUSE SITE selected and cleared

Next we had the building materials delivered.

TREEHOUSE materials delivered

We hired a couple of local carpenters to put it together.

TREEHOUSE carpenters at work

The trees here in our alpine forest are too spindly to support an entire treehouse. But we fastened a beam between the deck and a nearby tree that was strong enough to support three swings.

Since it’s connected to a tree, that’s how we can get away with calling it a treehouse!

TREEHOUSE beam for swings

And here is the treehouse after the framing was finished, measuring six by eight feet with a two-foot deck on three sides. Note the three swings hanging from the beam.

TREEHOUSE, after construction

Next, my husband installed a sheet of treated plywood and built a climbing wall.

On the other side of the treehouse there will be a slide, if and when it ever arrives. As I mentioned, playground equipment is back-ordered for months!

My husband has it in mind to add a zipline through the trees — I’m still not sure about that one!

TREEHOUSE climbing wall

It was quite a job to lay out all the footholds and decide where they should go.

TREEHOUSE, climbing wall footholds

All five grandchildren were excited to get into the new treehouse by Canada Day on July 1, 2020.

From left: Jack and Axel, both two years old; Juliet, four; Nora, seven; and Quinn, four. Since they all live here in our town, they will make good use of it!

TREEHOUSE, kids on Canada Day

Nora decided the treehouse needed a sign, so she painted this one.

TREEHOUSE sign

She also thought the area under the treehouse should be the designated “Truck Zone” for playing with toy trucks.

TREEHOUSE Truck Zone sign

A small picnic table is being enjoyed by some Little Ponies.

TREEHOUSE picnic table

The kids are getting a huge kick out of this basket, which they use to lift and lower toys, rocks, flowers, and anything else they can find from the ground to the deck.

TREEHOUSE basket for carrying items up and down

My husband painted the exterior, using leftover paint from our own house.

TREEHOUSE, painting exterior

Here’s a shot of our main house, taken at sunset last spring.

To see interior photos of our home: How to Make a New House Look Old.

The room that juts out on the right side is my office. To see photos: Home Office.

TREEHOUSE, matches paint on main house

When it was time to paint the treehouse interior, I had three trusty assistants: Juliet, Quinn, and Nora.

(We waited until the two-year-old boys were napping because we knew they would want to help!)

TREEHOUSE, painting bee

At first it was like the kids in Tom Sawyer — everyone was wildly enthusiastic!

TREEHOUSE, Quinn helps to paint

Juliet stuck it out the longest, painting herself in the process.

TREEHOUSE, Juliet helps to paint

I show you this photo only because I want you to sympathize with my aching right arm! I painted the ceiling after the kids had gone home.

TREEHOUSE, painted ceiling

When the paint was dry, we moved this item of furniture into the treehouse. We always called it the “doll dresser.” It came from my mother’s family and is probably 100 years old.

TREEHOUSE, vintage doll dresser

And we added this cute hand-painted table that I purchased at a garage sale.

TREEHOUSE, table and chairs

Juliet and Nora tell me that it will be used for many picnics and tea parties!

TREEHOUSE, girls seated at table

Outside, the swings are also getting a good workout.

TREEHOUSE, girls swinging

We even added a wooden bench nearby, purchased at an Amish auction in Montana, where the parents can sit and watch the kids.

This is my daughter Katie and husband Tom, parents of Nora, Juliet and Jack.

TREEHOUSE, Katie and Tom

The kids have started to line the path up to the house with stones.

TREEHOUSE, path lined with rocks

And I added a personal touch. I found this piece of driftwood at Qualicum Beach, B.C. and painted a sign for the treehouse area. “Shady Nook” was the name of the cabin that belonged to my grandparents, George and Mary Margaret Florence, at Meeting Lake, Saskatchewan. Shady Nook passed out of the family decades ago, but the name has many happy childhood memories for me.

TREEHOUSE, painting Shady Nook sign

We hung the sign pointing down the hill toward the treehouse.

We hope that the kids will make many of their own happy memories in Shady Nook!

TREEHOUSE, Shady Nook sign

* * * * *

Friends, I am on a membership drive. After six years I still enjoy writing my blog, but it is a ton of work — and I’m also trying to come to grips with my new novel!

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Thanks, as always, for your ongoing support. Fondly, Elinor

 

 

 

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