Fence Fixing Fun

The other morning when Laura went out to feed the horses, she discovered that a tree limb had fallen across a corner of the horse pasture fence. Not only had it knocked down the fence wire, but a gate at the corner was standing wide open. Fortunately, the horses did not go through it, perhaps because they would have needed to step over the fallen limb first. Or maybe they had gone through it and decided that they better come back to where the food is. Horses aren’t entirely stupid, after all.

Also fortunately, it was a Saturday, and we didn’t have much planned for that day besides Jaylin’s football game, which was early in the morning. That left the rest of the day for fence repairs. And still more fortunately, my parents came to help us. I don’t think we would have finished if it hadn’t been for a few extra hands.

Another fortunately: the fence wire wasn’t broken by the limbs; it had just been mashed down and could be straightened back up. The wooden corner posts were slightly damaged, but we had been needing to replace them for a while anyway, and this gave us the chance to do so. Sometimes, digging up an existing post is much harder than just digging a new hole for a new post. But because overall it was going to be easier to put things back like they were, we did have to do a bit of digging.

The other big job of the day was cutting down what was left of the fallen tree. It wouldn’t be very good to do all that work and then have the tree fall on it again, would it? The tree was dead, so I didn’t feel like we were hurting the environment by cutting it down. But there were two obstacles. First, the tree was rather large, well over two feet in diameter at the lower part of the trunk. And second, there were several other trees around it. I have a limited knowledge of how to cut a tree so that it falls in a certain direction, and I figured it would be best to have it fall toward the other trees instead of toward the fence.

If you have never used a chainsaw, it seems like they are always either hard to start, or hard to keep running, or both. Especially if your chainsaw only gets used a couple of times a year. Laura always has better luck starting it than I do, and she was finally able to get it running. So I made my best effort at cutting the tree to fall toward the other trees. And that worked well, except that it was then leaning on the other trees, instead of falling to the ground. However, as we continued working, more and more of it would fall, so that by the time we were finished, the tree was completely down. Even though you know it is falling away from you, there is something about the sound of cracking limbs and falling trees that makes you stop and look, just in case it starts coming your way. Even if there is no possible way in gravity that it can do that.

By the time we were finished, we were all sore from the hammering, digging, cutting, hauling, and whatever else we did. And here is another fortunately: it wasn’t hot outside, so that we weren’t completely dehydrated. Although we did sweat a good bit. But the fence was repaired, and it was probably in better shape than it had been before.

Oh, and all those fortunatelys. After a while, I started realizing that we weren’t fortunate at all. We were blessed. And for that, we were thankful.

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.