The Best Tree House Ever
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The Best Tree House Ever

(gentle music) – When we bought the house
about 11 or 12 years ago, there was a rudimentary
kind of a playhouse floor up there, it was like a play fort, it was old and rotten and
we decided to tear it down. And our friend James
said, “You know, you gotta “build a tree house up there.” – Initially my reaction was,
is this thing developed? What in the world is going on here? – Silly, imaginative fun, fun stuff. – Kid friendly, I mean
just about any age group kid can really enjoy themselves here. – That’s really the
fun of it, just playing with your friends and having fun. – You sprinkles on? There’s lots of space, and
there’s a little kitchen, and a little book nook, and a little relaxing area. – [Jeri] We of course have the entry hall, and the communication center, where we have the telephone, and
then after you come up the steps into the little tree house, we have the music room. – You know, it’s only
a hundred square feet, as a matter of fact it’s
only 75 square feet of floor space, and then the
rest of the square footage is in the protrusions, the bay windows, and the gables that come
out beyond that floor space. – It’s full of nostalgia
and things that mean a lot to me, and also to the grandkids. – She would always come with
a piece of stained glass or things that she found
or wanted to incorporate into the tree house. – It was really fun building
it, because I would go out and find pieces of old junk that James could kind of build into it. – So it was a lot of found materials to actually build the house. The front door is an organ
door from the church, so Jeri brought that
home, and I reframed it and put that as the front door. – My neighbors across the street had just thrown away a piano bench,
and he took the two little legs from the piano
bench, and the little side and made a little mantle
piece which is really fun. Old, old bed, it was from the 1800s, and James took that entire bed, cut it up made the legs into the
legs of the tree house, and the corbles into the windows. – [James] Then after the kids
were growin’ then we needed to build a little bit more, we built the slide, and then we added
the climbing wall next, ’cause that’s five year olds, and then we added the climbing ladder, which is like six and seven year olds, and then last, the zip line. – We probably have six
or seven birthday parties there a year, people, our
friends, grandchildren, and our children’s friends,
that want them for their children, every single sports team. – And she just gets a kick
out of it, she’s a very social person, she loves
having people over. I think the only time she’s
sad about the tree house is when it’s not being used. – I just didn’t have
a real good experience with one of my grandparents,
and I never felt particularly loved or
valued, and I wanted to have happy memories for my grandchildren. I’ve written myself
letters since I was ten years old, this is a long letter about how I felt about somebody, but at
the very last paragraph says, no matter what happens in my life I pray that I can be the
best grandmother possible. I want my grandchildren
to have happy memories of their childhood. – When Jeri had the idea to do it, one, and I’m glad James
had the wear with all to build it. – Well, the first thing I
did, I built a clay model of the tree itself. I had Jeri stand at
different parts of the tree and I used her height
as a measurement to know where the limbs were. To me, the tree’s safety
is the first thing. You always have to provide
to allow the tree to grow, and not harm the tree, ’cause the tree was here
way before the tree house and it’ll be here way
after the tree house. I built the deck first,
the tree house floats or it’s bolted down, but it
float on top of the deck, separately with it’s own base. The crow’s nest is
attached to the tree house by a 2000 pound cable,
so the crow’s nest floats on its base, and its base
is hinged to the moving parts of the tree, so
that when the tree sways in the wind, the hinges
allow the beams to move, and allows the crow’s nest
to float on the beams. The neatest thing is to see the kids come for the first time. – [Jeri] It’s just lot of joy and fun. – I think it’s a dream
come true, you know, it’s not often, I guess
we all have our dreams from when we were kids
about some things that we’d want to happen in our
lives, and it’s created a lot of opportunities for
her to, I think be not just a grandmother to our grandkids, but to be kind of a mom, and a grandmother to a bunch of other people’s kids as well. (gentle music) (piano playing)


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