Monday, April 21, 2008

Building Fences and Meeting Neighbors

Dear Home Owner,

About two weeks ago I closed a mortgage for a poker buddy of mine. The closing was at 2:00 pm and by 3:00 p.m. he and I were headed to his new house to move in his new furniture.

We called in a couple of "young bucks" to help move the really heavy things. This allowed us to do what we both do best; lawn chair supervision. One of his new neighbors came by to welcome him to the neighborhood. I stood to greet her but my friend scarcely looked away from his managerial responsibilities to acknowledge her.

Gladis introduced herself, "I'm a member of the homeowners association. I've been watching you move in; you have some nice things."

"Uh-huh", my friend grunted. "Hey!" he howled. "You guys be careful with my gun safe; it's loaded!"

Gladis made another attempt at connecting with her new neighbor. "My husband and I retired a couple of years ago and moved into the neighborhood and we just love it. What do you do for a living?"

My friend stood and pointed to his fourteen-foot trailer, "My name's John and I sell stuff out of that". His attention was diverted back to the activities of the young bucks.

Now, I know my friend, and I know he's just playing with the lady. But Gladis didn't get it and was clearly uncomfortable.

"What kind of, uh, things do you sell, John?"

"Nuts, bolts, wire, electrical fittings, various tools; things used in manufacturing. Everyday I pull my trailer to my customer's businesses and restock these supplies."

Less annoyed, but more confused, Gladis managed her best, "That's interesting".


She finally spoke, "Well, I can see you're busy...I'll let you finish moving in."

John just smiled and said, "See you later." Gladis walked down the drive way and we both resumed the more pressing task of lawn chair administration.

After the heavy stuff was in place the young bucks left and we finished the move-in by about 10:00 that evening. "Finished", that word has a wide span of subjective meanings. Well, let me put it this way; I was finished.

Fast-forward a few days...

The next Saturday I was back out there helping put up stockade fence. Not that my friend is crazy about spending the money, but his subdivision has covenants which stipulate that the trailer he uses for business must be parked behind a fence. So, like it or not, he's committed to putting up a fence.

Never mind that the trailer is eleven-feet tall and the fence is only eight-feet tall. And never mind that the south property line (where the fence will be installed is over two-hundred feet long) and the fence we will be installing is only one-hundred feet long. "Hey, it's behind a fence" my friend shrugs.

The galvanized heavy duty tubular steel fence posts were already secured by concrete in the ground. Most fences of this type are installed using pre-fabricated fencing panels. These panels typically come in eight-foot sections constructed on three 1x3 runners. For most applications these panels are more than adequate.

But not for my friend. No. He calls this, "The easy way out".

We install sixteen-feet long 2x4 runners and then attached each four-inch wide eight-foot tall fence panel with six, three-inch wood screws. Thank the tool gods for cordless 18 volt hand drills.

By the end of the day we had put up just about one-hundred feet of fence and it was beautiful. Just two problems. There are still just over four-hundred feet of fencing to put up. At one-hundred feet of fencing per friend, I believe my friend has enough resources to put up about another two-hundred feet of fence. Second problem, I think Gladis is President of the homeowners association.

No comments: