By Gabrielle. Most of the photos shot by Andrew Grinton.
You just might fall head-over-heels for this home. And then you may feel a little dizzy when you see the tree house so unlike any other tree house you’ve ever seen that you could want to call it a home in the trees instead. Because it needs a fancier title. Some of you might drool over the pool situation or the poolside bench that was once a Balinese boat, or the barn with lanterns to light up any night. A candlelit outhouse. And oh, yes. There is a mermaid shower.
But I’m betting that Lynne (and her amazing family!) is the element in this tour for whom you’ll all fall the hardest. I don’t know her, but I wish I did. She is strong and positive and happy with her life, and all of the qualities in between that I strive to make a part of me, too. If you look only at the pictures, you might envy her. If you only read her story, your heart will swell. Friends, I hope this tour will change your day. Or more. (Because, for me, it changed more.) Enjoy.
Q: Please tell us all about the family who lives in this paradise!
A: There’s my hubby, Michael, who is one of the kindest, most beautiful souls on earth. He is just one of those guys who really puts others before himself in an epic generous sort of way. He has always been a huge inspiration in my life. He was a world class facilitator teaching sales and communication skills to Fortune 500 companies before cancer made a grand entrance in his life. He was diagnosed with a rare one-in-a million cancer six years ago with 70% cancer in his bone marrow. The median life expectancy was five years. He is undergoing chemotherapy and giving cancer a swift kick in the butt.
Our children are Shelby(22), Tristan (21), Mackenzie (15), and Brett (14).
Shelby is living in British Columbia attending a school for psych nursing. She loves to learn. She’s a walking medical encyclopedia. It’s absolutely hilarious at times. She soaks in everything she can possibly learn at school and then she turns it into some good old funny. I wouldn’t dare pierce my ears; she would convince me that I’d paralyze my face and have droopy ears! She’s hilarious with some of her antics.
Tristan is studying psychology at the University of Western here in Ontario, Canada. She chose a small campus with close-knit ties to her teachers and friends. It’s a beautiful community and she is so happy! Tristan is a generous, wise old soul. She is so beautifully kind and giving with a whip of adventure and a big splash of funny!
Mackenzie is a little go-getter. She loves to sing! We can hear her sing when she is driving around on our riding lawn mower. It’s a hoot! (Now she will know that I listen to her sing. Busted!) Her singing grabs my heart. It’s beautiful. She is stunning on the inside and out. She’s a voracious reader. She doesn’t care where she is; she will find a book and read it. She would read on top of a telephone pole if the opportunity arose. She has a sense of kick butt in her. As an adult, I don’t think anyone will ever walk all over her. She has a beautiful sense of self.
With having four sisters, Brett might be the kindest boy on earth. He will certainly know how to be a great hubby some day! He jumps right into things and just goes for it. He loves anything with an engine. He drives tractors, lawn mowers, the jeep on the farm trails, and is a brilliant little bush mechanic if it breaks down. If there was one last cookie on the plate, he’d give it to you. He is just that kind of kid. Big heart. Huge heart.
Q: This place…I don’t know where to start! How did it come to be yours?
A: About 11 years ago, we had a bad neighbor. He was a big ‘ol burly brute. It was at that time that we decided that we wanted a home with neighbors…but ones that were further away! We wanted a long driveway, a barn for fun parties, and forests to walk through. We searched and searched and finally found it.
The moment I set eyes on it, I knew it was the one. Problem was, it was in super rough shape. The good news was that it had good bones. I could work with it. It had hope. Slowly, over the years, we’ve chipped away at turning the house into a home.
I love an eclectic style of home mixed with my little favorite things and special spots. I always want our home to feel warm and inviting to everyone that is in it. Our home is happiest when it is full.
Be prepared. The kitchen and treehouse are next.