Friday, May 29, 2009

The Secret Clubhouse

Last year Lydia struggled to learn to ride her bike. She took one nasty fall about mid-summer that completely shook her confidence for the rest of the season. This spring she picked up that bike and in a matter of minutes was riding it all over the place. In acquiring that skill she has found a new freedom. 

Her bike rides out the driveway are frequent, and in the beginning often alone. At first she would take off and ride to the Y in our driveway. Then she would go a little further to the little tower, and eventually she was riding all the way to the neighbors, about 3/4 of a mile. 

Soon she was including Nolan on her little adventures. Nolan is not riding yet, but he was perfectly content to run along side while Lydia rode her bike. The amazing thing is how well he could keep up. That boy is fast. 

They began asking for snacks to take with them, and would spend hours on their adventures. When I'd ask them where they had their snacks, they would tell me they went to their secret clubhouse. Later I learned that there were several "secret clubhouses." They had chosen some spots were they could hide away and be alone. One was in the softness of a pine thicket. Another one was in the woods in a place that wasn't exactly hidden, but you had to cross the ditch on a log to get to it. And one was in a small clearing that was behind a patch of blackberry plants. 

After many weeks of using only what nature provided for their clubhouses, they decided they wanted a little something more. The older brother was recruited and a small shelter was planned. They decided to build in the spot behind the blackberries. Even with Kellen's help they were having a difficult time getting something together. Time to let Daddy in on the "secret."

Tim started with a weedeater to clear out their path and their spot a little better. Then he and the kids took some pallets and scrap wood and put together a little shelter. 

It isn't much, but the kids think it is perfect. They have a stump to sit on, and took a small bench out also. They can use the top of the shelter for a leg up to climb the tree. And they took TP out there, just in case.

You can not see it from the driveway. All you see is a little path that winds into what looks like a bramble. It is close enough to the driveway that the kids can hear you call from there. The "secret clubhouse" isn't exactly secret anymore. The first thing the kids do when friends come to visit is to let them in on the secret. But they love to go out there and play. Kellen reports that it is a wonderful spot to go and read a book. 

Yesterday when I went out to take pictures, the goats decided to follow me. They sniffed it out and checked around, and decided there was better eating elsewhere. 

Somtimes living here is hard. It seems there is an endless amount of work to be done. At times it is overwhelming. Watching my little girl set out on her bike, her little brother closely behind, for grand adventures in the woods and their secret clubhouse gives me a whole new perspective, and makes it all worthwhile. 


  1. What a great picture! She looks like a tiny version of Dr. Doolittle. I also had a secret clubhouse (a treehouse) when I was a kid and it really meant a lot to me. One of the first steps towards becoming a Big Girl.

  2. Loved this! I want a secret clubhouse too...

  3. Aww...what a sweet post-and such cute pictures! I still have very fond memories of playing in secret forts & clubhouses w/ my brothers & sister & friends.
    Congratulations to your dd on mastering her bicycle! Holly

  4. I remember the freedom of living in the country when I was Lydia's age. (Carr Rd) And riding my bike all over the place during the summer. I still remember riding my bike to school the one time. I miss living in the country/small town for the kids. Jude would love to be able to go out and run around and Avery wouldn't be to far behind him. Elise would probably be off doing her own thing. Oh the country life.

  5. Secret clubhouses are the best places in the world when you are a child. A place to go and pretend and use your imagination. I'm so happy for them!

  6. Wow- I wish I had one of those for ME somedays. I'll never forget how fun clubhouses were like when I was a kid.


  7. That is so cool! My kids have a "secret clubhouse" in the woods somewhere and a "hide-out" in the backyard. Both are two of their favorite places to hang out.

    Your kids "secret" club will, I bet, be one of their favorite childhood memories when they're grown. Thanks for submitting it for this week's Homeschool Showcase.

  8. Very few kids nowadays experience this freedom. Ours are the lucky ones. Great pictures! I love the goat investigating committee.