One grand benefit to having parents who build their own home is left-over materials. Dad gave us permission to use whatever was in the scrap pile, and use it we did. My brother took over the old chicken hutches, cleaned and reconstructed them into a hide-out with a ladder that could be pulled up to keep girls away (girls meaning me and my friend, Ludene, from down the street.) We invaded and staked out the territory by bringing our dolls with us.
The two existing walnut trees at the end of the drive were eyed for possible tree houses. I could climb all the way to the top and sit there by the hour watching the world go by. Unfortunately, the branches weren’t big enough to support boards, and I suspect Dad nixed the idea of driving any nails into that tree.
Flattened appliance boxes made great sleds, though flying down a dry grass hill could build up scorching heat under our bottoms. There were a few times when I thought I’d go up in flames. We also used scraps to build soapbox cars we raced on the country road.
Mom and Dad fanned our imaginations. Dad went so far as to bring home a load of old railroad ties. He and my brother built a “log cabin” on the back hill. Once finished, it needed something more, so my brother and his friends dug a tunnel out to another underground hide-out. They covered tunnel and hide-out with boards and camouflaged it with a thick layer of dirt. “Boys-only” meetings were down there in their cave. Ludene wanted no part of it, but I crawled in a few times to investigate.
Did you build any hide-outs or forts when you were a child?