To Grandmother’s Treehouse They Go!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

I know very few grandparents who don’t jump for joy when they hear the grandkids are coming to visit.  They anxiously anticipate the noise and laughter, games and puzzles, and helping choose crayons for the coloring books. Cherishing their grandchild’s artwork which they will attach to the fridge with magnets or frame for a bedroom wall.  And the grandchildren crave the unconditional love and undivided attention that only a grandparent can give.  Grandparents don’t stop playing to pay bills, do laundry, or mow the lawn.  But in today’s world of Homeowners Associations so many neighborhoods squelch a grandparent’s dream because they are not kid-friendly.   
Jeri Wakefield lives in Dallas, Texas, and she must not live in an HOA. For her that’s a good thing because of her lifelong dream of creating special memories, including a treehouse for her grandchildren. Her husband, Stephen, was skeptical of what Jeri and their architect friend, James Curvan, were planning.  But he was a good sport and followed along with them seeing how his wife was so happy. The treehouse they built is fabulous.
When I think back to my childhood and the fun I had at my grandmothers’ houses…mostly playing outside…those were some really fun and impressionable times.  If they had lived in HOAs, knowing what I know today, I don’t think I would have wanted to go visit. The restrictiveness of an HOA would have drastically changed the landscape of my cherished memories.  
Please watch this short video, think of your own grandkids, and try to imagine what many grandparents are missing out on by choosing life in an HOA. 

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

2 thoughts on “To Grandmother’s Treehouse They Go!

  1. Dave Russell

    Reminds me of my brothers and I. Although, we didn’t have a tree-house, we had tents. Nothing like camping out in the backyard under the stars.

    All to often these days, children living in an HOA, are deprived of those childhood memories later on down the road. The kids of today, will surly not have the memories of tree-house’s, tents, swing sets and in some cases even a sandbox.

    The kids of today will not pass along their fond childhood memories to their children, like camping out in the backyard or playing in a tree-house.

    When the HOA isn’t complaining about kids just being kids, the neighbors who live in homeowner associations are.

    And we wonder why the kids of today are violent, bullies, and are in need of medication. We lock them up in a house, condo or townhouse so “we don’t get a fine” if little Johnny does something against the rules, like riding his skateboard on a sidewalk.

    While we keep our kids locked up, we expose them to violent video games and graphic television shows. Geez, I wonder why kids these days are committing crimes, shooting up their schools and bullying others. You don’t suppose its because they can’t be kids anymore, do you?

  2. Nila Ridings

    Oh, but you know, Dave…kids playing outside depreciate property values! The price we have paid and the sacrifices we’ve made to keep up those property values! What a load of horse manure! And once again, the kids pay the price because the adults drink the poisoned punch.


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