Friday, January 21, 2011

Unexpected change realizes long-awaited dream

Perhaps it began when I first saw The Swiss Family Robinson and the really cool tree house in that movie. Or perhaps it happened the first time I ever climbed the Tree Climbing Tree in the backyard of my childhood home. I don't really know when it began but I have always dreamed of having a tree house.

Even when we moved into this house nine years ago, the mature trees were a selling point. They were strong enough and shaped properly upon which we could build a tree house . We talked about building a tree house a lot. We gave our oldest son the book How to Build Treehouses, Huts & Forts. We wrote Build a Tree House on our To-Do List.

Oh, we didn't write it on the Every Day To-Do List nor the Responsible Human Being List. But rather, we wrote it down on our Fun Projects List. You know the one --the wish list that we never really seem to have time for.

Instead, we get caught up in our every day lives. In some really good things. Like going to baseball games, dance recitals, and birthday parties. We attempt to keep up with meals, laundry, and school. Then there are the things we need to do, such as write the mortgage check, fix the kitchen sink, and occasionally bring a meal to someone who just had a baby.

Yet, time marches on each day, not really mindful of my Wish List. (How dare it?) I have black lines on my to do lists that make me feel productive. Yet I rarely cross off items on my Wish List. I suppose it is because those Everyday and Really Need To Do lists are never fully "done." Their on-going nature makes getting to the Wish List seem impossible and impractical. There is always something else I should be doing.

And then the unexpected happens. Something to slow us down. My husband lost his job. We canceled a vacation. We stayed home to several weeks of No Plans. (I clear the calendar before and after a trip to prepare before and decompress after.)

My husband wrote down Build the Tree House. Bigger this time. We took some of that canceled vacation money and a gift card to Home Depot and began to build.

We set aside some of the items on The I Really Need To Do List. Our hot water heater had broken. On the first trip to the store to buy lumber, my husband and son saw someone else loading a hot water heater onto their truck. They chuckled and said, "That's what we should be doing this weekend." But instead they started to build the long-awaited dream.

It was worth a few extra cold showers to provide stress relief from the job hunt. All four children swung a hammer at some point. The girls would often provide snacks for the workers. Jack watched from his perch up in the tree. I took pictures.

Now, it was a quick sentence -- we canceled vacation. It took time to make the decision. The next time we've planned for all of my husband's family to be together isn't until Christmas 2011. That was more than a year from then. We were disappointed.

But I am thankful for a Built Tree House. It was built because we stayed home. I love how it took a stressful, challenging thing (job loss) to allow us the time to realize the dream of a twelve-year-old boy's mom and dad.

I am thankful for blessings in disguise. How about you?

I am linking up with Rachel Anne's Company Girl Coffee today. Click here to participate.


  1. Oh, I bet a lot of happy memories will be made in that tree house. Our children had one and they still talk about the fun times they had in it.

    Joyful blessings to you for a great week-end!

  2. my husband and I were both unemployed - 5 months each, with about four of those months overlapping. a blessing in disguise, for sure! we were with each other, we struggled, we planned, we re-evaluated what was important. we decided to go ahead and have a baby. someday we are going to build our girl a treehouse, too.

  3. Oh how fun! You will have lots of fun memories I'm sure!
    Blessings on your day!

  4. My daughter says, "Maybe we can build one too Mommy." *nods head* *smile* I guess, first we would have to plant a tree and wait for it to grow. ;)

    We've had our experience with laid offs here and for some reason the timing was actually perfect. Funny how that works out.

  5. What an inspirational post!!! I haven't visited in awhile (time!!) but am so glad that you and your family were purposeful with the time God gave you, because you wouldn't have taken it on your own, right?
    On a side note, the Wish List side, I compiled a list of things to do before I'm 40 because I couldn't think of anything else interesting to do with my 39th birthday. Interesting thing is, I'm finding that just by writing those goals down, I'm actually working on achieving them!!!
    Hope your family is enjoying that tree house in this unexpected beautiful mid-February, mid-TN weather :)


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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