Look Again

“Let’s build a tree house!”

There are no small ideas in the Bradley household, only small budgets. So, when we were reminded how expensive lumber can be, we almost tossed aside our plans. Then we realized how much bigger this idea was than just “something cool to build for the kids.”

It meets three of the items on my husband’s good mental health to do list: a daily dose of sunshine, more time spent out of  a chair (or bed), and a project he can work on with our boys.

So, we looked again – under our house, in the shed, in the attic, around the backyard. I’m so glad we did. When all the odds and ends had been gathered, we discovered we have more resources than we realized.

Isn’t that always the case?

Too often, our knee-jerk reaction is to look outside ourselves for what we need – more lumber, more resources, more support, more confidence, more … ? Finding what we needed was here all along not only saved us money (money we didn’t have to spend in the first place) but gave us more satisfaction than any trip to Home Depot ever has (and we haven’t even hammered the first nail yet!)


Post script: One of my favorite children’s books on this subject is Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, by Simms Taback – the tale of a man who takes a coat that’s too worn to wear anymore and turns it into a vest, then turns the vest into a tie, then turns the tie into a handkerchief, then turns the handkerchief into a button, then when there’s nothing left, turns it into a story, because, in his words, “You can always make something out of nothing.”


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