The Treehouse Writing Studio

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Ever since roaming the woods of Michigan as a rambunctious child, I’ve dreamed of having a treehouse.  I tried to build one when I was 10 years old, but the reality fell far short of the dream.  A shoddy wooden platform, perhaps, but a stretch to call it a “real” treehouse.

That dream has persisted for five decades, though it’s evolved over the years. Since retirement, the dream has been to build a treehouse writing studio. With some modifications, the dream has finally become a reality. In fairness, the modifications resulted in the end product not being a treehouse at all. But it may just be the penultimate writing studio. 

More importantly, it FEELS like the treehouse of my dreams. 

A dream come true, after 50 years in the making. I believe that’s worth writing about, and I trust you agree.

Today’s post is the first I’ve written from my new “treehouse writing studio”.  As I type these words, I’m looking out the window of my “treehouse”, staring at the trees.  I’ll be writing here for years to come, but this post will always be the first.  Fitting, then, that it introduces my treehouse writing studio in a manner befitting the achievement of a dream. 

So, come on in.  Take a look around.  I’ve got some pics to share.

Today, I’m introducing you to…

…The new World HQ of The Retirement Manifesto!

Today, I'm sharing the penultimate writing studio. The new World HQ of The Retirement Manifesto! Click To Tweet

The Treehouse Writing Studio

My desire for a treehouse writing studio intensified with the success of this blog (just ask my wife, we’ve laughed about my treehouse dream for years).  Since moving into our “Great Retirement Cabin“, I’ve spent a fair amount of time scouring our woods for the perfect “treehouse tree”.  You know the type – that huge sprawling oak or maple tree, with the 5 huge branches that form the perfect horizontal base for the ultimate treehouse writing studio.

Alas, we live in the North Georgia mountains, a land better known for its magnificent pine trees.  Pine trees are ok, but their “telephone pole” design and shorter lifespan make them far from ideal for building the treehouse writing studio of my dreams.

As the dream evolved, we got more realistic.  As I wrote in the recent post “Building A Dream“, we settled on an alternative route.  Below is an updated picture since I wrote that post, showing the completed 20′ x 30′ “Purpose Full Workshop” we settled on as the building of our retirement dream:

The Completed Purpose Full Workshop

The building has come a long way since I wrote that post on June 17th, and today I’d like to share with you the 10′ x 15′ “treehouse writing studio” behind the blue door shown above.  A future post will highlight the adjacent woodworking shop, it’s skeleton hidden behind the 16′ door on the right of the photo above.


The Ultimate Writing Studio

It’s rewarding to design something “from the ground up”, and I took full advantage of the opportunity to design my ultimate “treehouse writing studio”.  I’ve always loved natural light, so it’s got a lot of windows.  No treehouse is complete without a deck, so I incorporated a wrap-around deck with sleek black metal tubing to open up the view of the woods.

It kinda looks like a treehouse from here, right?

Ok, it’s time to head inside…

As you step off the driveway, up the stairs, and across the deck, you’ll turn the knob on that blue front door.  Push it open, and you’ll enter the completed treehouse writing studio, in all her glory:

I’m particularly fond of the Gettysburg print hanging on the wall – it was a gift my sisters and I gave to my Dad, which he regifted to me when he moved into assisted living.  It’s the 4th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment in some of the fiercest fighting of Gettysburg, which took place in the Hell known as “The Wheatfield”. 

Some young men from my home town fought in that battle, and that print has special meaning to both my Dad and me. The eagle head sculpture is also a gift from him.  Heirlooms which I’ll treasure for years to come.  (To see both the eagle and painting up close, check out “18 Lessons I Learned From My Dad: A Tribute”

I also love the look of that “chestnut” wood laminate flooring.  It was my first ever flooring install, and I was pleased with the result.  I decided to make a “How To” video as I installed the floor, so have a look if you’d like to see what I went through to put that floor in place:

As you move to the right (toward the entrance to the woodworking shop), here’s the view looking back at my writing area.  I’m sitting in that chair as I write these words.   Gotta love those views!  Feels like a treehouse, right?

Ok, one last photo and your tour will be completed (hey, it’s only 10′ x 15′, after all…) If you walk out those french doors and turn around, here’s the view you’ll see as you look back into the treehouse writing studio:


The New World HQ of The Retirement Manifesto

Thanks for stopping by and taking the tour of my new treehouse writing studio.  I hope it gives you the same sense of being in a treehouse that it does me.  If you’re wondering about that “World HQ” title I’ve given to the place, have no worries.  It’s official!  There’s even an awesome glass nameplate on one of the windowsills (just above my main computer monitor), which my sister gave me as a gift:


Pursuing Our Dreams

As mentioned when I “announced” our Purpose Full Workshop project, the workshop isn’t about material possessions. Rather, it’s about pursuing our dreams in our retirement years.  Investing in those things that we know bring us Purpose and Passion in retirement.  Knowing we’ll be building doghouses for my wife’s charity, Freedom For Fido, for years to come was the foundation for the woodworking shop.  My love of writing was the purpose behind the treehouse writing studio. 

The fact that I can also trick myself into thinking I’ve finally built the treehouse of my dreams?

That’s just a bit of frosting on the cake.

Pursue your dreams.

You never know where they’ll lead.


Conclusion

Pursuing our dreams is the frosting on the retirement cake.  Keep trying new things until you find a few that you love.  Take that first step, you never know where it may lead.  5+ years ago I started this blog when my wife was away one weekend.  I had no idea that writing would turn into a passion that would bring me fulfillment through my retirement years. A passion that would help thousands of readers “Achieve A Great Retirement”. 

A passion that would lead to the treehouse of my dreams.

As I sit in my new treehouse writing studio, I’m pinching myself.  It’s hard to believe that a passion can have such power.  That a passion can bring so much fulfillment.  That a passion can be so rewarding.  

The view from my treehouse is amazing. I think I’m going to log off now and stare out the windows for a while.  Because, you know, I’m retired and I can.

Find Your Passion.

Build Your Treehouse.


Your Turn:  What dream have you always had?  What dreams are you fulfilling in retirement?  Let’s chat in the comments…

45 comments

  1. What a sweet pad, beautiful. I’d hang out there all day. When I was a kid we always dreamed of treehouses too and at one point me and the some of the local kids built a crude one. We used scrapped together wood that we’d find in alleys. It had nails poking out everywhere and wood splinters all over, but it was fun. I never left it without bleeding from somewhere… the good ole days when kid could be kids with no adult supervision. Congrats on a beautiful creation!

  2. Beautiful view! I am always at peace in the woods, so your room looks peaceful and beautiful. Congratulations on chasing your dreams.

  3. Beautiful Fritz. Simply beautiful – your dreams, your tree house vision, your tree house view come to reality. Your description actually tugged at my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Such peace. Love you ….

  4. How cool is that Fritz! For me my dream in retirement was a boat that would take me to all places unknown. I am now 7 months from retirement so we made the purchase about 2 months ago and are starting slowly 2 nights away then 4 and next time 5 or 6 to eventually more than a week or whatever we decide while boating. I am in the thick of your book in the hidden challanges chapter. Really enjoying and contemplating all the advice deeply! Thanks so much for this!!

    1. John, you’re a man after my own heart. For years I dreamed of retiring on a 40′ sailboat and sailing the world. 4 dogs have a way of changing the reality of that one. Enjoy your dream, and congrats on your rapidly approaching Starting Line. Thanks for the kind words on my book.

  5. Really nice design and look! Looking forward to reading your blog that will be created in this space !! Nice when dreams come true !! Do you ever go back and think about how the sacrifices of monthly investing and living below your means for years is paying off nicely in retirement?

    1. I’m looking forward to the writing that will be created in this space! 😉

      Interesting question about “looking back”. Strangely, I’ve never done that. I really don’t spend much energy looking backward, my “car” only has forward gears. Valid point, though, and one I should ponder. The payoff didn’t come without sacrifice, for sure. Nice to finally be reaping the rewards. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. What a beautiful setup, love the wrap around deck and metal tube accent ties! Well done Fritz, wish you many years of enjoyment there.

  7. Fritz you get an A+ on your new shop/office/treehouse. Perfect! I am just weeks away from starting my new garage/shop addition. Sometimes if I let myself go there I can justify in my mind that I don’t really need it because of what it will cost. But then I think I’m going to be retired for a long time (3weeks I’m so far) and I love tinkering on my classic cars, so I know I’ll be spending a lot of time out there. It’s what I’ve been dreaming about and working for the last 40 years to be able to do. So I’m not going to let my dark side talk me out of it. I know when it’s finished I’ll be glad I did it.
    Keep writing Fritz, I look forward to your blog every Wednesday morning.
    Dale

    1. Dale, I can relate to “the dark side” trying to talk you out of it, I had that same voice in my head. Having completed it, I can assure you you’ll have no regrets. Build the dream, if not now, when? I always wished I knew how to “tinker” on old cars, I’ve always appreciated them. Keep me posted on your progress!

      Your Workshop Brother.

  8. Fritz,

    It’s a beautiful “treehouse” and thanks for sharing the tour. I can’t wait to see what the workshop will look like. The only thing missing from the treehouse is the zipline through the woods. 😊

    All the best,
    Bob

      1. What you’re missing for a true treehouse is a rope ladder and a “No girls allowed!” Sign😬. Maybe an exception if she knows the secret password.

  9. What a great spot you have created. I’m jealous and inspired at the same time. Thanks for the tour!

  10. Fritz, nice work. I noticed a mini-split was used. I am about to install one in my new shop. The building has a rental apartment above for passive income. I thought the mini split would be a good use here because of the diverse needs. Are you happy with the results?

    1. Ian, that was at the recommendation of my contractor, and I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s PERFECT. It’ll turn the office into an icebox in spite of the Georgia summer heat. I can open the door between the studio and the woodshop and it’s sufficient to cool down the entire 600 square feet without issue. Depending on your application, it could be a great solution for you.

  11. I’m so happy for you Fritz, retirement really is about ‘living the dream’, but you have to have the courage to seize the moment and really live with a purpose. You obviously have seized your moment after years of preparing for your retirement. As I’ve read your blog over the last few years I have been so happy for you as you have written about each retirement mile stone that you have accomplished. Your achievements have been an inspiration to me and I would imagine most of your readers. Enjoy your ‘tree house’, I know how making your life long dreams come true in retirement puts a smile on your face that words really can’t describe.

    1. 31, thanks again for being one of the few who’s read everything I’ve written. Pleased to know my words “have been an inspiration”, that’s all the payment I need for doing what I do. Sitting in the treehouse now, and I still can’t get that silly smile off my face…

  12. Looks like a treehouse to me. There’s something about seeing green leaves and trees that quiets the soul. Japanese call this forest-bathing.

    I’m on Day 22 into retirement. You, of all FI/RE writers, gave me the courage to step off the fast-spinning wheel. Been planning it for years. Still working on the transition and execution. Got an extended trip into the mountains coming up for my forest immersion.

    1. It’s mid-July in Georgia, I would never build a “treehouse” without the AC! Fortunately, my contractor recommended an awesome mini-split unit, it’s perfect for the job! Nice and cool in spite of the heavy heat and humidity of a Georgia summertime.

  13. What you’re missing for a true treehouse is a rope ladder and a “No girls allowed!” Sign😬. Maybe an exception if she knows the secret password.

  14. Love the new world headquarter “tree house” Fritz!

    It appears so peaceful and tranquil, the perfect place for creative pursuit. As you mention, this is the time for “pursuing our dreams in our retirement years”. For my wife and myself, creating a blog has become a shared passion fulfilling a sense of purpose and meaning.

    In fact, we were just discussing the other evening how happy and content we both are. Between research, writing, and reading your inspirational posts we have learned so much over the past year. When I think about it, that’s become our passion and virtual tree house.

  15. A great example of a creative, out of the box, (dare I say tree?) solution. A reminder to us all to free ourselves of what we think something should be or look like and be open to alternatives. Especially in retirement during these times.

    Bravo for achieving something you have dreamed of for so long. One would be hard pressed to think this is anything BUT a tree house.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. I am so ready to start my passion project, I have a 20 acre farms with lots of opportunity to do things. Not my biggest passion but a frisbee golf course might be in the near future.

    1. Ha, I love it! What a great (and creative) use of a “hobby farm” that you don’t really want to farm. You could start a business! All you need is a mower and some cement to set the “frisbee hole” thingys. Fun game, I hope you do it!

  17. Beautiful space and surroundings. I hope it brings you and your wife many years to joy. I have to laugh though. The chair you sat in while writing those words is the same chair I’m reading them from in my office space.

  18. The place looks great, and I’m sure it feels better when you helped build part of it. I like your video of the floor install…you have another career as a “how-to” videographer.

    1. If you liked that “how-to”, you’ll have to stay tuned for my “How To Epoxy Coat A Cement Floor”. I’m half way through the process (acid-etch is complete), hoping to put the coating down this weekend. Filming along the way…

  19. Wow! Beautiful space- we’ll done! I’m not retired yet but you and a few others in my life have definitely inspired me to think about my Retirement goal! I’d like to teach underprivileged kids to learn the skill of sewing. Through my work, I see kids develop a passion for creating and whether they sew, paint, do woodworking ,or any other creative pursuit; their life is enriched. Of course, it takes modest funds to participate. I wish all kids could have an opportunity to be creative – it could change a life path. Now you have me thinking about what my studio might be😁

  20. Just retired myself…and just built a tree house. I said it was for my new grand daughter but reality is it is also for me. Always wanted one. I’m a retired TV writer and it gives me the inspiration to write again.
    Gary Ress

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