A photograph of Jann Arden's Magical Tree House. It is a small cabin structure high above the ground. It is mounted on several trees with a small suspended bridge connecting the main doorway. | Harrowsmith Magazine

Jann Arden’s Tree House

The award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and author gives Harrowsmith the scoop on how her forest oasis came to be.

We always seem to be saying to ourselves, ‘Someday, I’ll do this, or someday I’ll do that…’

Whether it’s moving to Italy or losing 60 pounds or changing jobs or buying a sail boat or in my case–building a tree house. Someday I’m gonna build a tree house. I started thinking about exactly what that ‘someday’ meant, and when exactly was it going to be?

I remember getting a phone call from one of my dear-heart childhood friends and it changed everything for me. It put my ‘someday’ into action. She had called to tell me that her husband of 25 years was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. I was so shocked and so shaken. I had just seen them for dinner a few nights before, and they didn’t say anything about his tests. They were waiting to see what they were going to be dealing with. Someday indeed.

I decided the very next morning that mine had arrived. I walked out into my back yard and eyed a set of trees that I thought would be perfect for my forest oasis. The fellow that built my house nine years earlier met with me that weekend and wandered around with me, making sketches and jotting down his ideas. “I want a suspension bridge connected to the trees from my house Phil. Have you ever built a suspension bridge before?”

A photograph of Jann Arden's Magical Tree House. It is a small cabin structure high above the ground. It is mounted on several trees with a small suspended bridge connecting the main doorway. | Harrowsmith Magazine

“No,” he said very matter-of-factly, “But I can just look on YouTube.” That made me smile.

Eight weeks later I had my tree house. Overlooking the Elbow River from about twenty feet off the ground, it has become the ideal writing room/coffee shop/crying post/dining area and overall ‘Ah-Ha’ hut. I have a small table with four chairs and an electric heater that looks like a fake wood burning fire place. (I don’t want to burn the thing down after all.) I have wi-fi and speakers and disco lights running around the entire thing in case I want to have a small rave one of these nights. I LOVE my tree house.

I’m glad that I decided someday wasn’t 2034 and that it was okay to do something indulgent and magical any time I wanted to.

Before my dad passed away a year ago, we were able to wheel him out there and have him look around. He thought it was “really great.” As we came back over the bridge, he said to me that he always wanted a tree house. “Someday I thought I’d build one,” he said quietly.

I knew exactly what he meant.

Jann Arden is a singing writer who hails from rural southern Alberta. She loves cooking and baking and walking, which she has to do much of, considering all the cooking and baking. She loves her small five-pound canine companion and considers social media her nemesis. Jann travels 200 days a year and enjoys it for the most part. In her spare time, she reads, watches the BBC and looks up words in the dictionary. Jann loves life, even when it’s hard.

Jules Torti
Jules Torti

Jules Torti’s work has been published in The Vancouver Sun, The Globe & Mail, travelife, Canadian Running and Coast Mountain Culture. With experiences as a canoe outtripper, outdoor educator, colouring book illustrator and freelancer, she is thrilled to be able to curate, write and read about the very best things in life.

julestorti.wordpress.com

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Posted on Friday, September 24th, 2021
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