Sooke, B.C. couple turns tree trunk into 10-foot-tall 'Boot House'
Melvina is delving into her photo albums, recalling "so many memories" made in "so many houses" that she and her husband fixed-up.
"That’s kind of been our passion since we’ve been together," she says.
Over the past 40 years, Melvina and Lloyd have built or renovated 13 houses together.
"13 and a half, I think!" Lloyd says, nodding to their latest project on the front lawn.
Before we get to the new half-house, Melvina tells me about another property where they’d built an outhouse.
"The outdoor lock locked," Melvina recalls. "And I couldn’t get out!"
She tried unsuccessfully to kick the door open and the walls down, before resorting to hollering for help.
"Finally, my neighbour heard me and came over," Melvina smiles. "We had a pretty good laugh about that."
Melvina says a sense of humour is crucial when you’re living in a construction zone. So is a vision.
"My husband’s a little weary when I say I have an idea," she smiles. "Because that means more work for him."
Melvina dreams and Lloyd makes it a reality. It seems to make them a good team.
"We enjoy doing it," Lloyd says, before smiling. "Up to a point."
"If I suggest moving again, that’s were I’ll be living!" Melvina gestures to house number 13-and-a-half.
Melvina got the idea for their latest project in the midst of cutting down a dead tree in the front yard.
"I thought she was crazy!" Lloyd laughs, when his wife told him she thought the remaining trunk was shaped like a boot.
Lloyd changed his mind after working to realize Melvina’s vision. After he built three windows and a door to attach to it, their son installed a roof on top of it, and Melvina bought rope to lace-up the length of it.
The trunk was transformed into a 10-foot-tall boot treehouse right out of a fairy tale.
"It’s whimsical," Melvina smiles, before showing me the gnomes she’s placed on the boot’s front porch and the garden she’s planted around it. "We had a lot of fun with it."
Melvina says there’s nothing better than working together with her husband. Lloyd says he appreciates his wife’s drive to make things better for their sons and 15 grand- and great-grandchildren.
"Mel always tries to make a happy family for all us," Lloyd says meaningfully. "And she’s done a very good job."
Together they’ve turned 13-and-a-half houses into home sweet homes, with heart and "sole."