Bamboo, it's what's for breakfast

Channeling my inner panda after receiving a gift of bamboo for the outdoor classroom today. Oh, the structures kids can build when they are not playing light sabers with the bamboo! Oh, the fun things I would love to build, beginning with a very simple shade structure for the classroom. Maybe some Girl Scouts could give me a refresher course in lashing poles together with rope...

Six vertical poles lashed to permanent wire fences, three on each side, ... two horizontal poles lashed across at the tops, ...three poles lashed spanning the divide, ... fabric draped to give shade and create a dramatic play setting. I'm thinking Barbie Dream Canopy Bed on Gilligan's Island. Hmm.

The professor and Mary Ann...

My dad, Howie, made a treehouse of lashed boards for us in a dying, sappy weeping willow tree in the backyard. Dad had to realize the tree was in bad shape, so lashing the boards was not about saving the tree. Maybe it was a Cub Scout project for my brother to do the rope lashing. Probably the goal was to keep nail holes out of the wood so the boards could be reused later. After all, this was a structural engineer who used rubberbands to manage major bathtub faucet problems. Just a temporary fix for two to three decades... We had a rope ladder and a pulley bucket message system, even if shade was sparse. The treehouse was my escape for reading about archaeologists and embroidering lazy daisies and french knots. Ants got stuck in the sap. Dad was stressed to the max. His mother was in the hospital, and then the nursing home after a broken hip. I was stressed to the max transitioning to junior high. Watching ants stuck in the sap while I read about Knossos in the treehouse was the highpoint of the year.

But back to the bamboo, let's get more Stick-lets for connectors. We'll build a tiny resort for miniature pandas, part childhood jungle, part Buckminster Fuller with drinking straws and spiderweb, part haiku.

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder

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