So it’s been a long week here at the Family Manse, and for reasons I will pass lightly over for the moment I now know exactly how much it costs to put up a fence along one side of my property, what the proper setbacks are here in Our Little Town, and how long you have to wait from the day you make the call to the day they can come and put it in. It's longer than you'd think. Apparently lots of people are doing this.
Fences! They’re the new black!
I’m not used to having a fence of my own.
I grew up on a one-block long street where fenced-in yards were the exception rather than the rule. There was a mafia of us kids who just ran from one end of the block to the other all day long, paying precious little heed to property lines or grass. We did our best to go around anything that looked like a flower, which to this day is about as far as my ability to discern the fine gradations of plant life runs (grass/flowers/trees/other), since flowers did not occur naturally in that neighborhood. Someone had to work on them, and you didn’t have to be on the receiving end of that lecture more than once to know to avoid any plant life that wasn’t pure green. It was a pretty borderless existence, though.
The house we moved to in junior high, where my parents still live, did have some fencing, but most of it was way up the hill in the back so I didn’t pay it much attention either. You have to be part billy goat to reach that fence, and the results never seemed to justify the effort as far as I could tell. There’s not much up there other than a small shed with a missing window.
Since then I have mostly lived in apartments, dorms, and other assorted places where the outdoors really wasn’t mine to worry about. And when we moved into our current house we found it bordered on two sides by fences, but none of them were technically ours. And they were see-through – chain link, or rail – so you could ignore them if you wanted to.
The new one will be solid wood. And it will be mine.
I’m not sure how I feel about this.
On the one hand, it is a self-evident necessity. We wouldn’t be spending that kind of money on something that we could live comfortably without.
On the other hand, it is kind of sad that this is so.
Also, now I have to run the gauntlet of contractors, since putting it in myself would just be an invitation to disaster. I’m okay doing small projects, in an “oh well, I suppose the world won’t end if I don’t do this right” kind of way, but anything that is supposed to last and be sturdy is a project that other people need to do. What construction experience I have I acquired backstage, so if it has to look good from more than one angle for more than three weekends, I’m better off hiring someone else.
So far the contractors have been nice, and we picked the one that seemed the most honest about what a nuisance the job would be. I appreciate honesty.