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Family Man 5-17
I'm building a wall and paying for it
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For some reason, my dog goes insane every time she sees my neighbor out in his yard on the other side of our picket fence. I’m not really sure why she acts up since she sees the man every day.
It’s not like the guy is a stranger. Logic would tell you eventually she’d get used to him and go on about her way. But then, she’s a dog and dogs tend to have issues just like people.
The continued barking and growling, however, were getting on my neighbor’s nerves. I mean, I can see his point. Who wants a dog going nuts barking every time you’re out in your yard? The question was, what could I do? We like that side of the yard for the dog since it has a shade tree.
Then it hit me. When need a solid, dog-eared (pardon the pun) 6-foot-high wooden wall where she couldn’t see the neighbor. I could build the wall and make the neighbor pay for it. Wait. Trump tried that and it hasn’t seemed to work.
No. I’ll pay for it myself and build it myself. How hard could it be? I would simply take down the old fence and use the uprights to nail the new portions on. It would be remove and replace. Plug and play. Yeah, right.
As most of you know, rarely does a plan come together smoothly. This is very true with what I’m now referring to as the Wailing Wall. I call it that because every time I go out and work on it, I’m wailing aloud, lamenting why I took on such a project. At this point, I should be through with construction in about the same amount of time it took to build the Great Wall of China.
First off, the sections of eight-foot-long, pre-manufactured fencing were too tall. This meant I had to cut four inches off each section. This is when I learned that the use of a skill saw takes skill that I don’t have. I’d cut one slat and the saw would jam into the wood. I’d reset it and it’d do the same thing. It became a job just to cut the wood to fit.
So, once I got the wood cut and me and my son Jack wrestled it across the yard to put it into place, we figured out something else. Whoever had built the original fence didn’t build it straight. This meant we had to manhandle the sections to where I could screw them in the uprights.
That’s when the next problem happened. The drill I was using for screwing them in kept dying. So, tired of yelling at the useless drill, I started nailing the sections. For those of you who have nailed fencing before, you know it’s two hits on the nail and one hit on your fingers. Fortunately, the pain in my lower back from contorting to build the fence has made me forget the pain in my pulverized fingers.
As I write this, the fence is half finished and is somewhat straight. Maybe, for my last column of the year I can celebrate its completion.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.