Mending Fences

It’s fall, and winter seems to be coming quick this year. I promised to have a big BBQ at the end of summer, but it didn’t happen. Instead, the Saturday after Labor Day there was that crazy storm that rolled up suddenly with strong winds, heavy rain, and nonstop thunder. We’ve had a few good days since but this fall has been dominated by cold and rainy weather.

Well, it looks like this Saturday is likely to be clear and cool, and it might be our last one before winter. So I’ve got to get something done. Living in Seattle has taught me one thing — take advantage of the good weather when you can.

In that wind storm, our back yard fence blew down. Not all the way, but it’ i’s sagging pretty good. About the only things holding it up are our neighbor’s sprinkler heads and apple tree (and maybe a few clinging weeds on our side.)

Our landlord won’t take care of it. But there’s “shoud” and “can” — he should do it, but we can. So, tomorrow morning I’m going to go on a bike ride with my kids, head down to Lowes, and fix the fence. But I’m also going to barbecue.

That big neighborhood BBQ I talked so much about is going to happen. I’ve got to use the last of the charcoal anyway. There will be ribs, spicy sausage, and kabobs. I’m going to ask Kelsey to make rolls. If we can find it, we’ll have corn on the cob. Things will be cooking all day.

And there will be plenty of work to do. I could really use a portable table saw (that can cut 4x4s), a post hole digger, and a portable cement mixer. I’ve got a couple screw guns, but we could use another.

If the neighbors are ok with it, we’ll reuse as much of the old wood as possible. Maybe cut a few inches off the bottom to prevent rot. That means work unscrewing and trimming boards. If we get enough people working on it, it shouldn’t take too long.

Bring the whole family. Or just come with the kids and give your wife a couple hours off. Stay for as long as you like. There’ll be plenty of work to do, and plenty of food. You don’t have to work, and you don’t even have to eat if you don’t want to.

But while tall fences make good neighbors, I’m betting good food makes even better ones.

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