Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

For the past few months our fence was in pieces and we could see straight into our neighbor’s yard. Every time I thought about how badly we needed to put the fence back up I couldn’t help but think of the poem Mending Wall by Robert Frost. Here’s my favorite part:

“…He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…”

Here there are no cows, either, but there are dogs (2 basset hounds which bark so deeply and loudly AND two little yappy ones). I am walling out those dogs. And smokers. And an unsightly above ground pool and lots of junk. He was like to give offence to me just because of the crap in his yard! Anyway, our neighbor has a chain link fence about a foot away from our wooden one and there were trees growing in between. When we moved in, it looked like this.

We liked the shade and privacy they afforded, but they were knocking our fence over. See how bowed out the fence was? It looked like it could have fallen over at any time. Our insurance company even mentioned that it might be unsafe after their inspection. Whoop-de-doo.

Looking at the tops of the trees we thought taking them out might be a quick process. BUT the stumps had other ideas. It took Andrew probably 15 or more hours to get 5 stumps out of the ground, which we talk more about here and here.

Finally all but one were gone. Here’s the mess we made from all the trees. Can’t really tell from the picture, but this pile was as tall as me. Next time we have to cut down trees I think we’ll be a little more realistic about how long it will take.

Even though we had one stump left, we decided to call it good and put the fence back up. Unfortunately that’s not a quick process either. Andrew had to take several of the posts out and replace them cause they were too bowed out from years of pressure from the tree trunks. In order to replace them, though, he had to dig out the old concrete footings so he could put the new post and new concrete in its place.

When that was all done we put up the horizontal beams and started putting the planks back up. A lot of the planks were broken or cracked so we had to buy around 30 new ones. Here’s an in process view from the front yard.

When the fence was down it was even worse cause you could see everything in their yard. Now from the front of the house you can’t see into the neighbor’s yard at all! Hooray!

And this is all we have left to do with new planks.

We’re so happy with the progress we’ve made. We certainly weren’t expecting it to take as long as it did, but now just in time for summer we’ll have privacy for the many parties that we’re planning…you know, a regrading party, a relandscaping party, a retaining wall building party, a sodding party, who knows. It could get wild.

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