I GREW UP IN A TREEHOUSE
                       by
                  Bill Culpeper

 
It's one thing to 'play in a treehouse' but it's quite another to 'grow up in one'!
My treehouse was located on the third floor of my parents spacious old home in LaGrange, Georgia, some 60 miles southwest of Atlanta.
It had been built just for me to spend the first 8 years of my life growing up in.
It had medium-sized windows on three sides so I could observe the world below more fully.
In the front yard of the house next door stood a magnificient 60 foot tall magnolia tree. It never lost its large flat leaves but in the spring and summer was ablaze from top to bottom with huge white magnolia blossoms which brought forth the most glorious soft fragrance. The large yellow stamens in the center of each flower attracted what seemed like the entire bird population of the planet to feed upon them.
Winter or summer, whenever it rained, the raindrops plopped on these leaves which made it sound like beavers slapping their tails in the ponds as they built their dams.
The winters found me snuggled into my bed which stretched from wall-to-wall in this 8feet by 8feet square in my treehouse. The tin roof was like a magnet for enhancing the sounds of the raindrops and would lure me to sleep in a state of ecstatic contentment. Occasionally, rain would freeze and the sleet on the tin roof made snuggling under my covers even more of a wonder.
I would awaken and look out at the world below.
I was up higher than most rooftops and I could look beyond them at the rolling hills beyond the city limits.
I felt like I was in a constant state of flying above the world.
What a joyful place to discover how the world works.
I cannot ever recall having a bad or sad day in my treehouse.
My adventures were endless there. I could write volumes about them.
My Mom and Dad knew of my happiness in my treehouse and constantly had me tell them of my adventures. To this day, my Mom wants to hear stories of my adventures there.
I am 71 years old now and my health issues abound. But something told me I should find out if anybody out there on this planet might want to hear about my adventure of ''Growing Up in a Treehouse''.

Part 2                                                    

Wintertime was always my favorite time while living in my treehouse. Nothing could compare to the sounds of rain on the tin roof, especially as I was snuggling into bed . Sometime the rain would be slow and steady, sometime harder and best of all, with sleet and ice falling on those tin panels. I could even hear the water running down the incline of the roof into the waiting downspouts. Rushing down towards the ground the water sounded like I was inside a waterfall.

On those nights and days when, in those more weather-predictable times, clouds could cover the sky for what seemed like forever. I would find something to do in that tiny room because there was always more light there than anyplace else on earth that i knew of then. Keeping myself bathed in light was among the greatest gifts of living in my treehouse. Occasionally there were winter wind storms. I could watch the trees bending in the wind and the rain blowing sideways. The rain would splash against the windows. I would always jump into  my bed shivering with cold. It always seemed colder that it actually was in our warm house. Oftentimes, my dear Mother  would leave me to my fantasies though she was always nearby. she knew how joyous I felt in that tiny room I called my treehouse.

 

  Part 3
 
                    "Window to the World''
 
My Dad loved to surprise our family with
''quiet surprises'' like beautifully wrapped boxes that suddenly appeared all over the house with various family member's names on the accompanying card. The recipient would
exclaim with the greatest of glee : 'what on earth has dad done now''?
One cold rainy day on my birthday of January 21, I found a wrapped box on my bed up in my treehouse. I was 7 years old that very day.
Ever so slowly I began unwrapping that box, about the size of a very large shoe box. ''whatever could this be'' I bemused?
What appeared turned out to be one of the greatest treasures of my life.
It was a combination am/fm/shortwave radio.
That day my 'window to the world' was opened!
As the days and weeks passed, I would spend endless hours of the days and nights searching for anything I could  hear coming from anywhere in the world.
The very first sound I ever heard from another country was from BBC World News in London. World War Two was in the final stages of raging. The news was always so serious and it made me feel so very upset.
Nothing would do but I decided to make the longest antenna in the world  over the roof of our house so I could hear all the world's talking and music. I ran hundreds of feet of copper wiring in opposite directions  around the windows in my treehouse and one day I even managed to attach one end to that big magnolia tree next door by swinging it back and forth. It caught on a limb higher than the top of my treehouse. I could not wait to hear the results.
That summer night  I heard for the first time
''Radio Cuba'' and their amazing rhumba music.
That radio was such a glorious gift to me by my loving and wonderful Dad as part of growing up in my treehouse.

Part 4

Little did I know when I began stringing copper wire outside my tree house that it would become something else than just that.
That wire that caught itself on the magnolia tree next door became a 'highway to high-jinx' , for squirrels that is.
One very hot summer morning  I heard scratching and running on the roof of my tree house. I figured it was the squirrels but little did I know they were playing 'tag'.
Suddenly they jumped onto that copper wire and scrambled across it to the magnolia tree with the ease of a circus wire-walker. When they got deep into the tree the big magnolia blossoms would shake and tremble and those huge black-green  leaves would shake and show their back sides which were cocoa in color, so different from their 'show-side'.
Then in a second the chase was on again across the wire, but this time a third squirrel had  joined in the chase and across they came in a loud scramble and then onto the roof of my tree house only to create such a noise as to say, 'this is really cool'.

I GREW UP IN A TREEHOUSE

Part 5

''A Bird in the Hand''

One day while 'bird-watching' from my treehouse I spotted a young chick learning to fly. It was a red robin. I could see it easily in the magnolia tree next door. It's Mom was there prompting it to begin it's lifelong journey of flight.

Finally the chick lurched forward, only to fall crashing to the ground below.

I ran downstairs to see if I could help. At 6 years old you really don't understand much of how anything works so I could only do what came to mind. I picked up the little bird and saw that it seemed unhurt.

I decided to run with it back upstairs and re-launch it from my treehouse. Very carefully I placed it on my sleeping pillow and opened one of the large windows. Then ever so carefully I held the chick in the palm of my hand and waited. It seemed forever before that red robin got up enough courage to fly away from my hand back into the nest of it's waiting Mom.

I never ever felt so good about saving something before. That little bird in my hand was able to fly again rather than being in a bush somewhere unable to fly its way through life.

Treehouse Page 2

 

 
 05/11/2009
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