Friday, March 18, 2011

Child Labor

We have four neighbors we share our fence with. Two are fabulous. Two are not. Three have Trumpet Vine that have eaten through our fence posts and support beams. The fence has fallen over on two of those sides. On one side we had it propped up all summer long. On the other the vine is so immense that the fence is just leaning up against it. Sigh. Since I married into a family that doesn't hire if they can do it themselves, we spent our Spring Break fixing a fence. I grew up as a worker so I love it. And I'm glad my girls are seeing that with a little hard work they can accomplish a lot. I'm sure our neighbors appreciated the fact that 20 minutes before the loud roofers left for good, we started at our fence with hammers and crowbars. We're nice like that. To save money we saved as many pickets as we could to reuse. I messed up plenty of them before I realized by going into the neighbors yard and taking them off from the back, I saved a lot more. It only took me about 15 ruined ones to figure that out. With three hammers and two crow bars the pickets came down pretty quickly.And soon after that the posts and supports were gone. To reuse the pickets we had to remove 6 nails in each one. That probably took longer than anything else. Luckily we had our sweet little slaves. I mean girls. After $500 and a loaded down flat bed cart at Home Depot we were ready to rebuild. Since we know it's nearly impossible to kill Trumpet Vine we used metal posts. And since the bright fence builders before us had put the post 12 feet apart we had to dig new holes. Shawn did the first two and with a tiny bit of his help, I did the next five. We used a hand auger that had been my Grandpa's. I love that. Using something that was his meant so much. I also was sure I was burning some serious calories. The leveling and pouring the concrete mix in took what seemed like forever though.After Shawn put the supports on we started nailing the pickets back on. 700 nails. Hello sore hands. We all took turns. McKinley could not get a nail to go in straight so she decided to get on the roof and start scraping paint off. So now our fence was on its way to looking fabulous and our house looks awful. Oh well, it's the thought that counts. Kennedy and I did the pickets until Shawn saw that we were going a little bit wonky. He had to take over. He's all about quality and wanting a straight fence. Whatever.The day the last section was finished was very exciting. Dinner had to be moved so that this momentous event wouldn't be missed. And here it is! We are very proud. And overwhelmed since this is only one of three sections we need to do. Another sigh. And since our girls worked so hard on their Spring Break we've promised them a summer beach vacation. Shawn is thinking Galveston but I'd like to go to Gulf Shores. Anyone have suggestions? We can't go far so Texas or Louisiana. Send suggestions! Oh, and we like to camp in our tent. I hate hotels. Hate. But that's another story that you don't really need to hear:c)


Mommy's Shoes said...

Ummm....I don't know if I can be friends with someone who would choose a tent over a hotel.

Outofmymind said...

You know, this they will remember, and good for you to teach your kids to do it themselves instead of hiring out. More kids need to learn this. I bet they felt great at the accomplishment.