Sunday, April 04, 2010

New Fence

New fences at our home this past week, but only on two sides. One side was replaced a few years ago. Don't make me think when. All my years are running together now. I used to be able to anchor events around the children's births, or where I was in school; now we use the sabbatical in Washington DC as a milestone, and even then we're always asking each other: "Was it before we went?" A shrug. Who knows. It's so bad now that when our water heater was replaced I got out a marker and wrote the date on it. . . just so I'd know. Our new windows have their manufacture date on the interior separating the dual-paned glass, and we got the new kitchen counters and stove then as well. Those guys are on to our forgetful minds.

Because my father is a fan of Robert Frost, I give you a fragment of Frost's famous poem Mending Wall:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
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 offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.'
Sometimes living here in Southern California I love a wall to make me feel like we have our own little fiefdom, tiny as it is. I had to walk around the block to the backside to enlist the approval of that neighbor (who asked me to please remind him when to send me the check; all I could think was, please, you're a grown man, give me a break and ask your own wife to do that for you)--and the next door neighbor below us. They both have pools so they have to have fences.

Our fence has been in bad repair for years. We had a lovely wedding reception in our backyard for our daughter and somehow, one of the fence posts had broken off and we didn't notice it in all the fixing up we did for that celebration. It's in all her pictures, this snaggle-tooth fence post.

Things like that, and the fact that I can't remember what year that was, keep me humble. Without further ado, the photos of our new fences.

We had a stockpile of fence boards in the corner near the garage and I asked the men to take them, please. This little animal had made a nest at the base, protected by the leaning wood. It's gone now, scared off by the noise of the workmen's air compressor.

I couldn't resist giving you a photo of the lovely wisteria, snaking around our wall, heavy with lavender, fragrant blossoms. I love spring.

1 comment:

Ramona Wheeler said...

The poem you've posted is my favorite work by Robert Frost, and I smiled while reading his prose in your blog. And spring is more evident in Riverside than along the Wasatch Front, where they are promising six inches of snow in the valley. Sigh. Thank you, Elizabeth, for continuing to share. Love, Ramona (and Dan)