I’m keeping my eyes open for deals to build a treehouse.

Nothing too special. Just something for my son to play in — elevated a little, a platform with a rail and tin roof. Gotta keep some sun and rain away.

Something he, my father and I can create together. Something we can all do together and laugh at with each other in the process but something is hampering the process. Something we will laugh at when my son is my age.

I have some sheets of old tin, that will take care of the roof. I have a few pieces of wood to start framing out the support for a deck, maybe a few rafters, but I still need some posts to build it on, some wood for decking and rails. It’s enough to start a small treehouse, something fun for him and something I might be able to fold into with the help of some ibuprofen.

My dad has enjoyed helping him with the sketches and the more they draw, the more grand the plans get. Why wouldn’t they?

My father and his grandson have only been sketching on them for a year now. To see my son’s drawings, I might need to build three separate platforms. He wants towers of different heights with bridges between them and bridges to platforms in trees too.

Now to see if I can pull it off. My dad is retired and available and my son just started summer break. All is good there, now to figure out a schedule for me and we can start putting it together.

Oh but I’m forgetting the much-needed wood.

A few months ago I noticed building supplies had gone up. I figured it was cyclical, maybe still a hangover from the COVID-19 pandemic. I checked again two weeks ago and prices weren’t the same.

They were way up. I remembered the new high school project being delayed because of material costs.

I agree Alexander City needs a new high school and needs to be cost-efficient but what’s a dad to do for a son wanting to build a treehouse with his dad and grandad?

It has me thinking but all the materials for ideas still involve wood products.

My son has a great imagination. Maybe I should involve him.

But he has already shown me the way to make it happen and I have already done it, just a couple decades ago.

My son loves to build forts, nothing too special. Just take a few fallen limbs prop them up against a tree and start to cover with smaller branches and limbs and maybe when it’s cold add some pinestraw to thicken the walls providing some insulation from the wind.

It might be the perfect temporary solution. It will satisfy my son’s appetite for his own small outdoor space for a while and also help pick up the limbs under the trees.

That’s a win-win solution.

I remember those forts I used to make.

One weekend a friend and I wandered down the street to the big lot in front of Mr. Black’s house covered in pine trees and pine straw. The perfect warehouse to make a selection of building materials from.

We had plenty of time to do it. I mean it was the day and time when mom would kick you out of the house and say.

“Don’t come back til dark.”

Mr. Black’s pine thicket was perfect. We found a small bank near a tree. We moved a limb to span the two, propped up by another limb. Then leaning more and more. There was plenty of pine straw too. The walls were created thick, maybe a little too thick. You know we had to keep the girls of the neighborhood from seeing us.

It was all great memories. Hopefully, we eventually cleaned up our mess, I can’t remember that part but do remember we had fun.

The memory gives me an idea with my son. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. It gets me out of overpaying for construction material unless the school board decides the new school can be built from fallen limbs and pine straw.

We will recreate a fort like the one I did as a kid. Maybe grandad will help too.

My dad and I will need the ibuprofen but it will be worth it. Maybe we will keep sketching on the Taj Mahal of all treehouses in a pine straw fort.

I will hear my son’s wishes to build it.

Now to see if the Russell Do It Center will take Monopoly money to create my son’s next vision.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.