The Joy of Fences

I don’t like being fenced in by ideas, by people, by expectations, but I love being fenced in by . . . fences.

I had my whole property fenced in before we realized that the old garage was not much good for anything, not even a shed, and that it would have to come down.

Then, when the shock wore off, I reluctantly let go of my travel funds because I decided that a garage was more important than that one last epic road trip. So most of the fence along the alley had to be ripped out. Not that the fence did anything to keep out trespassers — one snowy morning I woke up to find shoe prints all over my yard. A lock on the gate took care of that problem, but then, so did the fence being gone. If there was no gate, of course there would be no gate for people to open. (A joke of sorts.)

For all these months of construction (or rather, non-construction), I used blue plastic fencing, similar to the blaze orange fencing used at some construction sites, to block off access. It was more of a psychological barrier (at least, I hoped so) rather than a physical barrier because the stuff is rather flimsy. Luckily, there have been no snow storms, so I didn’t have to be frantic about trespassers since I could see no sign of them, though dogs did worry me. Too many the people in the vicinity don’t walk their dogs — they just turn them loose to do their business. It’s bad enough when the dogs are ankle biters, but pit bulls? Yikes.

But yay! Today, the fence was reinstalled. Instead of the fence going straight across the alley as it once did, it now jogs in toward the garage, giving me a huge area to pull into my garage or even a parking space if necessary.

But sigh. I’m still not able to use the garage. It’s getting there, though. The attic insulation is in, the ceiling is up. Wall insulation and OSB boards have been delivered, as well as the garage door opener but have not yet been installed. (One guy has been doing most of the finishing work by himself, and there is no way he can install the opener without a helper.)

Meantime, I am grateful for the gift of this day and will enjoy being fenced in.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

4 Responses to “The Joy of Fences”

  1. Judy Galyon Says:

    It is looking really good! Hope things are able to get finished soon!!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      The garage might be finished soon, but there’s so much to do around here still that the workers will be here on and off for many months. It’s comforting to know someone will be more or less checking up on me (or at least my house) for some time to come.

  2. Sam Sattler Says:

    Those two photos say a lot about the progress you’ve made, even though it probably seems to be taking forever to you.

    We went through a master bath tear-out and rebuild that turned into a three-month job with workers here at least six days a week. It drove me nuts having them inside the house that long, but the pay-off made it all worth it.

    Hang in there.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! I think the progress seems exceptionally slow to me because I worry about my car out in the elements, and there sure are a lot of elements here — sand-blasting winds, searing sun and dessicating lack of humidity for six months of the year and cold and sometimes snow the rest of the year. The car is covered, but that doesn’t stop the effects of the heat. But the bug has held up for forty-eight years, so I’m sure even forty-eight more days (though hopefully, the garage will be done before then!) won’t destroy it.

      Luckily, the work they are doing isn’t inside the house, at least, not yet. There’s still work on the basement to do, redoing the ceiling and one wall in the bathroom, and replacing the flooring in the kitchen.

      I’d considered having the wooden floors done, but (luckily?) I’ll run out of savings long before I would have had to make that decision, so I won’t have to put up with months of upheaval.

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