When I was nine, my mother decided that we should give up the hippie lifestyle. We moved to the farm to live with Great-Aunt Mabel and Uncle Roger. After all our moving around, I found it hard living in a regular house. They kept finding me in the barn sleeping in a pile of hay.
Then Uncle Roger built me a treehouse in the crotch of the big oak tree in the side yard. It wasn't much more than some two-by-fours for a floor and a roof. There weren't any walls, just the supports for the roof, but I had a proper door with a doorknob that Uncle Roger spent a whole afternoon bringing down from the attic and hauling up to my treehouse with a rope and pulley. He put that right in the middle of the treehouse so I could pretend I had two separate rooms, or even a street outside my door.
The oak tree was close enough to the house that my mother and Aunt Mabel could look out their bedroom windows at night and see me in the hammock strung between two branches.
I slept much better in my treehouse than in my room. I spent most nights there the first summer we were at the farm. When winter came and the snow was two feet deep, I usually slept inside.
But I always knew that my treehouse was there.