Tuesday, August 2, 2011


We'll be getting a new fence this week. The old one will be torn down and carted away. New posts will be set in cement, allowed to stabilize and then all in one day (or so we're told) boards nailed into place and with the exception of a short new section, we'll have what we had before. Except that it won't be rotting in certain places, supporting lichen or held together with wire, and hopefully won't need to be repaired as often after a windstorm. I can't wait for that structure to look fresh. I think it will feel like getting a new haircut or an updated room of furniture. It's something we see from nearly every window in our house and I didn't realize until now how often I thought or worried about it falling down. It's time.

While it's absent, for the first time since we've lived here I'll look into the back yard and see something different. Until now I've been snuggled in here pretty cozily, comfortable within those six foot planks of cedar. The very minute we passed through the front door of this house, both of us headed straight to the back yard, and shortly after knew it was the kind of setting we wanted for our home. The fence acts like an enormous picture frame surrounding native fern, berry bushes and salal that crowd and crawl around small boulders and a couple of tree stumps. It holds jewel toned moss that refreshes its color each spring and grows on trunks and branches and rocks. It wraps around the huge and ancient maples that serve as colorful barometers of seasons when they change. It is a peaceful retreat from a busy and sometimes too noisy world and was a great place for kids and dogs to play.

For a few days I'll see into our neighbors yards....and they into ours...which I think is kind of a good thing since they are both fairly new to the area. It will give us a chance to exchange a few more waves and maybe chat more than we have. Our families are at pretty different stages, but still, this makes me realize I should make more of an effort in that regard. They'll probably notice the garden area which, although I keep it fenced off and weeded, contains empty raised beds full of dirt, waiting for the day or the year I make time to plant more than rhubarb. The couple azaleas I want to dig up and give to someone who will appreciate them more than I do. The cottage I once thought would be my writing space but ended up as a pool hall instead. The empty strip where apples trees used to be, that I plan to replace as soon as a new fence is built. The patio we had put in.

It's interesting what you notice when a barrier is removed, or notice again or see a bit differently.

Have a wonderful week,

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