25 February 2014

Fencing…and Other Forms of Torture

Hi, there. Welcome to today’s episode of “This Old House.”

Since moving to our place in 2010, we’ve made a lot of progress. Some slow, some fast, some exorbitantly expensive, one tiny free thing, and always steady. Today, I want to record some pictures of the fences Brady and a slew of helpers have built along the driveway. I don’t want to leave out anybody that had a hand in it, but I’m not the best at remembering. I spent a lot of time right after Katie was born in some kind of baby fog, so we’re lucky I remembered our first names. And when I say right after she was born, I mean August 2010 through yesterday.

We’ve had friends and family and hired help, and they’ve all made a difference. And my husband has sweated through enough shirts to earn himself a trip to Hawaii in 2039. I’m gonna start saving $2 a day, starting right now.

So back to building fences: I have no part in this, so I loathe it from afar. It’s back-breaking and expensive. Quite naturally, it’s best done in the warm/hot months…go figure. It’s also incredibly necessary.

The fences lining our driveway serve the purpose of keeping animals IN. Namely, horses. (But I’ve been around my husband long enough to never assume anything in the definitive.) The fences keep them off the Farm to Market road and out of our yard…

…on a good day.

I mean, how mad could I get, with a baby involved? That mare and me? We were like kindred spirits…bosom buddies…sisters from a different mother. She and her baby were doing that on one side of the dining room wall, and me and my baby were doing the same thing on the other side of the dining room wall.

Except who am I kidding? My baby was busy doing everything but lying down.

Here’s a recent picture of the entrance, in all her painted and piped glory. Simple, clean, functional, and just right. We still need some rock on the road, but look at that automatic gate! No more getting in and out in the rain and mud. No more surprise visitors spooking me out in the middle of my remote haven. But I’ll have to give God the glory for that gate in another post, because I’m not going to have room for all the bells and whistles and fireworks and sugar-sloppin’ that automatic gate deserves. I am in love with this gate. I whisper “I love you” every time we drive through. I tell B on the daily how much I appreciate that gate, and here’s what I plan on getting her for our anniversary….

Here’s a comparable shot, from a year or two ago. Notice there’s no paint on the pipe yet, and no fence down the north side. The painting was done the same day as Katie’s 3rd birthday party, because if there’s one thing we thrive on around here, it’s doing everything at the exact same time.

And there’s Husband, of course, in his farm rig, full of…you guessed it! Fencing supplies. It’s never-ending, people.

My sister took this picture for us, as we descended upon her. See that baby blondie in the back of the Jeep? She was already three then…I know that, because the pipe is painted. But no north side fence down the driveway yet….

When the babies came last spring, a hot wire had to do the trick. Whoever invented hot wire was definitely cookin’ with all cylinders, but they weren’t planning for the long haul. Hot wire + anything over 2 weeks = One Hot Mess.

And then one heading out the driveway, so we can all reminisce about past springs and all the lovely green. Green, which is the opposite of cold. (Still no north side fence here….)

This is a really old one, which shows the beginning of the welding process. Before the pipe, we were operating with nothing but cattle panels. I won’t lie: I was kind of chawed that people who came to visit our newborn had to lift a cattle panel to get in, but that’s life. We’re definitely moving in the right direction.

This was so long ago; there wasn’t even a fence along the south side of the driveway yet. We were just one big, open pasture. Loosey goosey.

Please note the pregnant shadow.

This is the oldest photo I have in my possession...well, barring anything taken when my grandparents were still there. My parents and aunts and uncles were clearing brush and trying to reclaim The Wild.

Look at that picturesque sky. I could lay down on that road right now…and fall asleep.

And we’re full circle. Back to how it looks today. We’ve come a long way, baby. It makes me excited and relieved and happy. And really, really grateful.

Thank God for this gift.

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