I'm thinking of roping off a special section of Hick's Shackytown Theme Park to display his very first shack. Almost. The actual very first shack was a tool shed, built on our land out here when we lived in town. But that's more of a work shack, and not for pleasure. So we'll put it on the back burner until I can get a picture of it. For today, we're only showcasing The A-Frame.
Before there was a homestead, before there was a BARn, before there was even a Genius or a Pony, there was The A-Frame. Hick and I bought our original 10 acres before there was even a marriage. Oh, it was in the works. But we wanted to snag the land while it was available, with the intention of building our house, which didn't happen until the summer Genius was three, and The Pony was waiting to make his grand entrance.
We got the land, and Hick liked nothing better (well, few things better) than to drive out and putter around. The first thing he built was an outhouse. Then he started thinking about a barn, probably always having the plan to finish out the upstairs to make it his BARn.
That summer, Hick was living in his one-bedroom apartment in the complex where we met at the pool, and I had moved from my townhouse into my $17,000 house a couple miles over. Hick has always been the busy sort, and did a lot of work fixing up my house. Of course he knew it would one day be his as well. No man can resist a woman with a $17,000 house!
Hick's boys, HOS and The Veteran, were just little shavers back then. Probably 7-8 years old. When they came for weekend visits, Hick would take them out to the land, and have them pick up sticks or stack wood, something to show that he was the boss over them, and laziness and whining would not be tolerated. I'd pack them a lunch or supper. Sometimes they took hot dogs (of course, Hick's favorite food) and built a fire, and stayed the night, sleeping under a tarp stretched across the bed of the pickup truck.
Hick kept the front part of the property mowed, but the woods he left alone. He decided that he wanted a cabin down by the creek, and set to collecting scrap materials for construction. Such as the wood from shipping crates that work gave him for free, so as not to pay to have them hauled away as trash. Let the record show that Hick never builds from a plan. He imagines it in his head, and then slaps it together. If pressed, he can sketch out the idea for skeptics. But he doesn't draw out his blueprint before building.
The A-Frame has a window up top that doesn't open, but lets in plenty of light. It's made from a piece of plexiglass that Hick salvaged somewhere. Same with the door. He didn't buy his materials back then. We weren't the Rockefellers that we are now. Inside, on the left, there's a platform built about knee-high, which opens on hinges for storage. The top is flat for sleeping. Beside it is enough space to put a couple of lawn chairs for seating. There's a board ladder to get up to the loft, which is the right size for two boy young 'uns to sleep in sleeping bags.
That A-Frame has provided many happy memories for both sets of our boys. But I think nobody has enjoyed it more than Hick.