December 4th, 2003
Procrastination Pays Off

photo: privacy fence
2003-12-05. Old and new fences.

I’m always trying to teach the boys that procrastination doesn’t pay, but today proved me wrong. Our back yard is surrounded on two sides by a 4-foot chain link fence and on the third side by a 6-foot wooden privacy fence. The privacy fence, I’m loathe to admit, is in disrepair. It’s never really recovered from that storm in 1995 when a tree fell on it. I prop it up and it falls over. The wood is dry and splitting. It barely supports the assault of the neighbor’s ivy, which is the only thing it has going for it.

We’ve planned to build a new fence. We’ve looked at different fence designs, consulted the Yellow Pages for construction material suppliers, and paced endlessly up and down the length of the fence, considering our options. But, like so many of our projects, we’ve just never gotten around to it.

Then this week, the sound of power saws and Spanish-spoken curses coming from our neighbor’s back yard resulted in a new fence. And it’s a beauty. Our neighbor is uphill from us and a 6-foot privacy fence in his yard is an 8-foot barrier in ours.

Now all that’s left to do is to dismantle our fence. Another project done!

by M Sinclair Stevens

2 Responses to post “Procrastination Pays Off”

  1. From Dana S. Frank:

    Hmmmm, your photo of the new/old fences is so picturesque that maybe you should just leave it all be. Let nature have her way with that old wood; let the ivy work is magic of prying everything apart.

    Things go the same out here in the country. You wait out your neighbor for who fences first. It turns out we fenced our 6.9 acres first, and then the neighbor came through and doubled up with field fence on our barb fence posts. Across the street on the 18 acres, we have two sides of antique barb on the Meyers ranch and one side of new barb on the next neighbor’s property. We just have to fence the street side and we can let the horses run and graze over there. Raymond has started a stacked cedar fence, and it’s beautiful in its rusticity. He aspires to putting oak posts at the main gate cut from trees felled by oak wilt.

  2. From mstevens:

    Raymond’s stacked cedar fence is a master work. Each log is perfectly placed, as if he we’re in communication with the living wood, so he knows just where each should go. I always think of him as an enviromental artist, very sensitive and attuned to the physical world.