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Semele's Riches: Good Fences Make Good Friends...

Semele's Riches

Adventures in handmade childhood.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Fences Make Good Friends...

In a perfect world, everyone would have friends like mine. We held a "work party" yesterday to begin building the permanent back yard fence. (Goodbye, hillbilly wire!)

Ian is ready for work...

The posts for the new fence are all in place- the concrete is still curing. Once the panels and gates are in place, we will have an attractive fence that will resist the children's efforts to dismantle it. (I wish I had video for you of the day Ian and Sophie decided to try to defeat the fence. First they tried to push it down. When that didn't work, they tried to push it down with the yellow jeep. When that didn't work, Sophie got into the jeep and drove it while Ian pushed. Then they used buckets to try tunneling under it. When they moved on to trying to remove the bungee cords on the temporary gate, we told them, "No more fence!")

Chuck, in particular, was a very good sport- showing up at Home Depot early on a Saturday morning to pick up supplies for someone else's home improvement project, running out to the equipment rental place to help pick up the LAST one-man auger they had on hand, digging fence pole holes out by hand when the auger hit a root it couldn't get past, measuring, rejiggering, and backing my car up to the side yard to unload six 80 lb backs of Sakrete... you get the idea.

While Chuck and Chris were busy working on the fence (and I'm sure my next door neighbor was thrown for something of a loop when they saw the new gap in the hedge for the first time...), Nathalie, Claire, and Danette kept the collected kids from taking over the world, I made supply runs, and Heather and I made a good start on dismantling the trash pile masquerading as a flower bed in the back yard.

I am convinced that the previous owners put in a flower bed at the front of this area solely to escape the responsibility for cleaning it up so grass could be planted there. It is a very narrow area of plantings backed by some terribly inappropriate, scrubby bushes which are just front-men for a thicket of poison ivy, sticker bushes, rusty metal, tin cans that have been through the lawn mower, dead dog balls, old carpet, styrofoam, and broken glass.

What I OUGHT to do is have a truckload of dirt delivered and bury the whole thing. What we ARE doing is clean it out, trim back some bushes and remove others, and turn it into a "play fort" for the kids now that they've reached that imagination age.

The high point of the day for me (new fence not withstanding!) was watching Ian and Jade play with a large tree branch. It wasn't immediately apparent what they were doing- they'd put it to the ground or a tree trunk and lean into it. Once I got close enough to hear the sound effects, I realized they were "running the auger." Priceless. Absolutely priceless. A few minutes later they noticed the pile of leaves Heather and I had made and the "auger" was suddenly a "leaf blower."

Close behind it was watching Ian and Gregory use shovels to move dirt from one particular spot to another in support of a plan known only to them...

I am now more motivated than ever to complete both projects in a timely fashion. Because obviously we can't allow them to take over the world- which they will surely do if all that's between them and domination is a flimsy hurricane fence- but they also need fodder for their emerging imaginations!

work party

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