As I put the finishing touches on the Tree Fort it became pretty evident that the fort would be highly used by all the boys, regardless of the age. In fact the 17 year old friends of our oldest are giving it rave reviews as they mount their airsoft guns on the window sills. I already have plans for the “crows nest” that we will build on the next school break, just ten feet higher in the limbs of our big old cedar tree.
All good tree forts need a trap door and rope ladder and even more important – a way to pull the ladder up and lock the trap door once the defenders of the fort have retreated into the high rise protection. A trap door is a necessity to holding up for weeks on end against the invaders from the south. And, of course, any door that is called a trap door is just plain cool. So I made two.
All good trap doors need to sturdy and since this one is right in the middle of the floor of the tree fort it has to be constructed in such a way that a 190 lb boy can jump on it when they are playing with the 50 lb boys. Actually, when it comes to tree fort etiquette, “the person or person’s playing can act any age they want without reprimand…but preferably the age of the youngest person in the fort.” Hence, a trap door must hold up the weight of, not only the lightest boys, but also the heaviest boys.
I have been on a quest to not spend any money on this fort, save fasteners. So when it came to making hinges and a handle for the illustrious trap door, I, being of frugal mind, and not having any hinges or handles at my disposal decided to sleep on it. And sure enough in my dreams I came up with a solution…my old leather belt needs to be reassigned.
And…I was giddy with accomplishment and frugality.
Talking about trap doors though.
I wonder how often we keep a trap door accessible in our lives. The trap door can let people in or keep people out…its really up to us. As we live in our little tree fort lives we look out that window at the person approaching the tree across the backyard and within an instant we have calculated if that person is worthy of us bending over, taking hold of that leather handle and pulling the door open to welcome the person in…or not. Some times we walk right over to that door and stand right on top of it.
Who are we to make such decisions? What’s crazy is the way we so desire to let those people in whom are the ‘popular’ ones and who, frankly, are the very ones who will not let us in. But we turn so quickly and judgingly keep those who would love to be our tree fort friends, out.
“Open your door to strangers.” Is what Jesus said.