Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fern Forest Treehouse

Thought you'd like to meet a few of the folks who've visited Lincoln, Vermont, to stay in H's treehouse. It took three summers to build the treehouse with son Will:
They picked a grove of tall maples and started with the platform. As you can see from the picture, there's a ramp to the building, but the property falls off so that the treehouse is 30 feet in the air. The sleeping loft is another nine feet over the living space. Thank goodness Will used a harness to hammer the metal roof on. The treehouse is insulated and has heat and electricity so that it's cozy even when the temp dips below freezing. And because it's in the trees, it stays cool in the summer.

Our first guests came in June '09 from Germany. Frank is a doctoral student in comparative literature and his girlfriend Friederike studied in the states and works for an American company in Stuttgart. They speak impeccable English and Frank's 6'5" frame fit nicely in the treehouse loft. Sorry not to get a picture of them. They took a pic with their camera and I'll try to get a copy.

We were a little worried about six-year-old Cai, who came with her parents Ron and Bobbie, but Cai loved the treehouse and didn't at all mind being so high up. She ate Cheerios for breakfast and afterward we built fairy houses out of limbs and branches we found. Ron teaches music at Wesleyan and Bobbie is restoring an old wooden boat. They were a sweet family, and it took me days to get over their leaving.

Melissa emailed at midnight on a Friday asking to come the next herself. We accepted and are glad we did. She works long hours for Paul Farmer's international health organization in Boston and was looking for a brief escape. She found it at the treehouse and hung out on Saturday reading and taking in the fresh Vermont air. What a brave soul to stay alone out there with the critters. The picture is of Melissa with Meryl Streep, who came to Boston for a fundraiser, Ophelia, the director, Dr. Paul and his wife DeDe.

My friend Amanda came up from the Jersey shore in October to spend a few days and give me some yoga pointers. When H and I had to go into town, and she spent her final night alone in the treehouse. In the middle of the night she hiked back to the main house sans flashlight to use the bathroom. Brave women like Amanda give me courage.

Claire and John came all the way from Perth, Australia, to see some good American blues. John plays mandolin in a blues band in Perth and brought a DVD of one of his gigs to share with us. I had book group the night they came, so H went to the Bobcat Cafe with them for a bite of dinner. They shared outrageous outback adventures like catching gowandas barehanded. After they left, they sent a text message from New Orleans, where they were sipping cafe au lait at an outdoor cafe. Wish I'd been there.

Stephanie and Jeff are philosophy profs at Stonehill College in Boston. The temp got down to 22 degrees that night, so they watched a movie on their laptop in the guest room before heading out to the treehouse to sleep. Stephanie said it got so warm during the night that she turned off the heater. After breakfast they went out to climb Mt. Abe on a sunny crisp November day.

Robin and Hazel were visiting from London. They took a tour of Burlington and then came back to hang out with us for a few riotous games of tiddlywinks and several bottles of the local brew. Hazel works for a mobile phone app company during the day and plays in an all girl rock band at night. Robin designs games for Facebook. Cool.

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