Saturday, July 31, 2004

Why did I take my shirt off? (or ... Daddy, your back is really red!)

Last month, while I was in Mexico on a missions trip, Stillwater experienced a little bad weather in way of really high winds. As a result of the winds, a few sections of our privacy fence decided to 'take a dive'. The fence is old, and in need of replacement, so that is in the works.

Upon hearing about the fallen fence, my pastor GT has been offering to provide labor during the replacement project. He called one morning this week to ask if this was going to be the weekend, but I told him no, due to the excessive rains we have been having. I thought the ground was going to be too muddy to work with. It turns out that today was a beautiful day and I decided to start the project without GT. The part I was going to do really didn't need his help, so out I went.

Point to remember: I haven't really done any excessive outside work since my accident in June 2001. I haven't even spent a great deal of time in the sun since then as well.

I got my work shorts on, and my cover for my socket (don't want to scratch the new socket's finish), grab some tools and headed to the back yard. Before a new fence can go up, the old one has to come down. Off to the west side of the house to drop the 9 feet worth (3 of which is a gate) first. After several swings of a hammer and some firm tugs on a crow bar, that section is down. Initial thoughts: this isn't going to be so bad (oh ye of little faith).

Off to the 80' worth of south fencing. With a beautiful day like it was, I thought I needed to get some sun, so off came the shirt, 'cause I thought I was only going to be about an hour and a half. Slowly but surely, down come 8' sections of fence. Some needed more coaxing than the section on the side of the house. Being that several sections were entertained with rose bushes, honeysuckles and other assorted vegetation, additional tools were brought out, including one very sharp hand saw. Two hours later (and several blisters as well), the 80' of fencing is stacked into a 8'w X 6'd X 2.5'h pile. Not only the fence was dropped, as Renee brought out a 32oz glass of ice water, that I refilled twice from the back hydrant.

I had originally told Sarah I didn't need any help, because I knew there were going to be nails all over the place. She came out after the south portion was done and told me it was time for lunch. I asked her to bring it out, instead of my going inside with the air conditioning. I said I would do one section of the east side (~54') and that I would stop when she got back. I didn't stop. During the south section, as I loosened a section, I would drag it to the pile. Not this time .... this time I would loosen all sections and then let Sarah (she was still asking to help) help me pile them. Since I had a method for dropping 8' sections, this side went quicker (sometimes sawing a 2x4 is quicker than breaking it free). As the last section was falling, Sarah calls out, "lunch is served".

While eating, Sarah remarks how I am getting some sun on my back, and that I am getting a little red. Since I think we will be going only a few more minutes since she will be helping me stack, I don't put my shirt on. Wrong answer! About an hour later, we are heaving the last section onto the new pile (no reason to lug these things all the way over to the original pile, that is too far away!). Somebody's back looks like it needs the letters STOP painted in white on it, however I am so tired I don't feel a thing, other than my stump throbbing in it's socket.

As a result of all the sweat, wood chips, mud and collection of vegetation all over my body, I am way to dirty to go into the house. I ask Sarah to bring me the hose so I can rinse off the top layers prior to going inside. After basking in the warm "been in hose" water, here comes the refreshing cold water. Ok, that was just a bit too cold, especially on a now sun-burned back, but it felt great!
Fence is down and I am so tired I can't think (or walk) straight. However, now I can rest before going out to remove the dozens of nails in the posts, and figure out how many posts need replacing. More about the fence as things happen.

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