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Tales From The Treehouse

A Word On Dryers and Lint Balls

Dear Daniel,

Actually, I don’t have a literal treehouse yet, but I will someday soon, I'm told, and in the meantime, I have come to realize that both my home in the US and my borrowed cottage here do a fine impersonation of a treehouse, so I can't complain. But when I do, I will write there in splendid bliss, looking out at the African treetops festooned with wild orchids, moss and more, such as all the birds and insects that reside there, and pray no spitting cobra or viper drops in for a visit to inspect my penmanship. (Or jugular artery).

That said, today I climbed a tree to inspect a simple children’s idea of a treehouse and found myself clinging to a branch two meters from the ground, overcome by nauseating vertigo and dizzy spells, so clearly my treehouse will need certain amenities like actual walls and a proper staircase allowing for a swift, vertigo free escape should it be necessary. Just like there is camping and then there is glamping, there are treehouses and then there are well, treehouses. Mine will be of the second order. You catch my drift.

Perhaps you think me mad, but a treehouse, even just the tiny if glamorous hut planned for my office, seems to me the epitome and height of luxury and inspiration. I admit, even sitting in the pseudo tree house on loan from my host is enough to make me feel my blessings so acutely I have to pinch myself daily. Sure, I see my fair share of hard knocks, challenges and heartbreaks, but blessed? One look out the open window and I know it’s true.

Maybe part of the appeal of a treehouse is the way it provides a new view of the same stuff, just as one of the reasons I enjoy my visits to Africa so much is the radical shift in perspective. I get to get excited about very little, and I like to feel enthusiastic so yay, bring on the... Carrots! I found carrots at the market today! Which may not seem like much but when all I usually find at the Dirt and Daub Emporium is various greens I’ve never seen before and must guess how to cook, and the ubiquitous potatoes, onions and tomatoes, yes, carrots make a nice and exciting (!) change.

On a different yet similar note, I miss my dryer. I have acquired a new and lasting appreciation for such a contraption. Back in the US, I don’t like my dryer very much. It’s old, it’s loud, and the lint pocket thing sits in a truly idiotic place atop the dryer so every time I pull it out to empty it, dust and lint goes everywhere. But see, I’ve learned something since I arrived this time.

When you buy new and really fluffy, yummy towels, dryers are your best friend. For while I have access to a washing machine here, it does little to collect lint. It just wets it. Instead, I am the lint collector and for three weeks in a row now, I have had the dubious pleasure of rolling little lint balls off myself from morning till night and shower to shower. New towels sure are nice, but I’d really rather not be wearing them under my clothes, mixed with my body lotion it makes for a sticky, lumpy mess. So yeah, I miss my dryer. And next time I’ll be sure to wash and especially dry new towels five times or so before packing them for Africa, and I’ll be nicer to my dryer henceforth.

Anyhow, that’s all for now, lint balls and all.

Best regards,


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