Friday, June 23, 2023

50 years and new fencing

Greetings Folks ~ here it is the first day of summer. This year sure is zipping right along. It is 50 years ago this month that my dear husband and I moved into this little 50's cottage. Hubby had served his 4 years in the US Navy, we traveled to 9 countries by Eurail, with our backpacks, cameras, canteens and guide books for almost 60 days, before coming home to this little place.

The road out front used to be two lanes, then imminent domain came along taking another 15 ft into the front of our property. They already had a 10 ft easement. We did have 1/3 of an acre, now we have 1/4.  This is basically how it looked when we moved in here. Hubby's grandparents bought this place in the mid 60's, they bought it with him in mind. We came here in 1973 and bought the little place from their estate. They had both passed on before we came home.

 I just went out and took measurements. From the front of little porch overhang out to the sidewalk is roughly 21'. Then there's the 3' sidewalk and the 5 lane busy road. Very noisy especially at certain times of the day. Traffic is lighter during the summer as the 'snowbirds' have gone back up north.

We are all hedged in across the front now, have been for years, plus there is privacy fencing on the other sides. When we moved in, all of the neighbors were using our property like it was theirs.

A lot has changed in 50 years. When I say that I've lived here that amount of time, I am amazed. I was just 24, now I'm 74. There have been ups and downs here, joys and sorrows, laughter, we enjoyed working together as we were self-employed and did different things. We worked together building a workshop, a polebarn and a storage building, all with permits. I grow flowers, hubby did a lot of hardscaping. We've gone through hurricanes. The saddest and hardest thing I've dealt with is that my dear husband/best friend went to be with his Creator, our Savior and God, Jesus, 10 1/2 years ago now. Oh how I miss him every single day. God is seeing me through this widowhood journey though and I am so thankful for His many blessings big and small.  Every day is a gift.

Last year I received a totally unexpected monetary gift which has allowed me to get a new washing machine, a new ac, and a few other things, plus pay taxes. I've been able to get started on replacing privacy fencing, the first part is along the driveway. Over the past few years that fencing has been falling down more and more. It is probably at least 30 years old. (Fencing on three other sides was paid for mostly by those three neighbors, Sean and Stan did labor on two sides, and the third side was replaced and done by someone that neighbor hired.  There is still the fencing along the back of the property to replace, but not at this time.)

 I have a Christian brother/friend, Sean, who has helped me quite a bit the past 3-4 years, with other fencing, cutting back trees, etc. Well, he is now helping with putting up this new fencing.  I ordered the fencing, the three young pastors from my church, picked it up and stacked it here at the back of the driveway.  That way when Sean is able to work here he can just come and we can get started. We've worked two mornings a week or two apart, for roughly 7 1/2 hours, getting up 4 6'x8' sections.  What a job, cutting roots, tree limbs, vines, digging holes, hauling fencing.leveling, etc. What a difference in how it looks and feels here. Another answered prayer, a burden lifted. I am so grateful to Sean for his help. He is 61 to my 74. I'm thankful I'm still able to work at helping even though it is getting harder and I move slower. This weekend we are hoping another friend will be able to come, then I won't have to work so hard. ;-)

Views of old fencing. Neighbor's trees that I keep having to keep cut back. It grows very fast, hangs over driveway and grows up into the power lines. Every now and then then power company comes along and cuts them back.


View from scullery window. The purple flowering tree on this side of the driveway is a Queen Crepe myrtle. A real beauty.

In the picture below, the huge tree base to the left of post in the middle was a real pain. Sean had to cut roots it in order to dig a hole for new post. We couldn't cut away the base of tree, way too much work, so at that point in the fencing it bumps out a bit. Hardly noticeable in the overall scheme of things, but it was frustrating to say the least as we/I wanted it to look 'perfect'. Sometimes we just have to work around things.
This work was started on the 10th of June. He took down the old fencing, cutting it into manageable sections and I carried it out front to be picked up.  Look at these tangled woods.
This is Sean. 

What you don't see here, is us having to get sections of fencing from behind Sean's truck down to this area. No pictures of that. Below, getting first section in place.

First two sections up. Yay!!! Forward progress.

The next day, I put these two wrought iron hearts that had been cut from two antique ice cream chairs no longer usable as chairs. That space on fencing needed something to go between those two darker fence slats. From these two sections of fencing you can see that they were made with whatever slats could be used. The pandemic caused so many shortages, and prices to go up and up. You take what you get and it will end up weathered in the end anyway.

New look through the scullery window, what a difference!

Now on to the next two sections on the 19th, giving a total of 4 new sections of fencing. We are moving right along.

You can see that I had more foliage to be cut away before the next two sections can go up.

 View now from the scullery window. The round piece leaning on the fencing is another iron piece with hearts. ;-)



I made a start the next day on digging up plants. There is another section of roots from a different tree from the neighbor's side that we are going to have to deal with as the roots are up and showing on my side.

Below you can see an upright piece of wood to the left and one beside the green barrier (to keep critters from coming through), these mark where the next two sections will go more or less. This work should happen tomorrow, depending on the weather.

We worked 3 hrs and 40 minutes roughly each of the two mornings we worked on this,. 9-12:40. In the shade for the most part. We were pooped and hot and sweaty. Drank electrolytes and plenty of water. The heat and humidity have been awful, although not as bad as some people in TX are having it. This morning, Friday, it is cloudy, it is 90 and the real feel is at 100, humidity at 68%, wind 5 mph from the se.

I didn't feel like working outside this morning. I started this post yesterday, but with getting bogged down from working with this photo editing program I stopped. This morning I'm better at it and glad to be able to wrap this post up.

 I am thankful for this new day, a gift from my heavenly Father. I have much to be thankful for. This cottage is small, 675 sq ft, quirky, not modern, but it is paid for. I have running hot and cold water, a comfortable bed, food to eat, a stove/oven to cook with, gardens with flowers, butterflies, bees, birds. I've seen a few you-tube videos lately of people living in their houses of corrugated tin and other materials, not just for a single person, but families. The women hauling water, feeding farm animals, cooking over fires, raising children, running little businesses, whatever they to live their lives. They dress in their colorful clothing, there are smiles and laughter and they keep on living, one day at a time.

Jesus gives me the strength needed for each new day. My hope is in Him. He is my Savior, He is  Almighty God, Creator of all things, He is the Prince of Peace, He is my Provider, Healer, my Defense. One day He will make all things new, evil will be no more, and there will be no more sickness or death, all tears will be wiped away. Amen.

He desires a relationship with each and every person. He is the only One who can satisfy our longings. If you don't yet know Him, seek Him, He will come to you.


That's it for now from Plum Cottage.

Have a great weekend. Be kind, be thankful.