Forgive me for being a bit indulgent here, but I had to dedicate a blog post to a wonderful, faithful friend who is no longer with us: my old, run down fence.
Sure it had it’s flaws, like rotting fence posts, or needing a new coat of paint. But it sure was the perfect place to hang quilts for blog photos, lending its rustic charm.
This fence has been a happy part of our lives this past year. And in some cases, the absence of our fence was an even happier part of our lives.
So here’s a little behind the scenes story for you. Summer of ’08, after 16 years of faithful service dividing two backyards, the farthest back panel of our fence started to lean in a somewhat scary fashion. While we and the neighbors decided what to do, we just removed that panel – which turned out to be the coolest thing our children had ever seen. Now they suddenly had a ‘secret passageway’ to our neighbors’ backyard. So we left it that way. Because we had the world’s greatest neighbors.
Well, Spring of ’09 the rest of the fence dividing our yards starts to tip due to rotting posts and one day we came home from church to find a gusty storm had blown some of the panels over. So we had to take the rest of the panels down while we decided what to do. And in the process we created one huge yard. The bad news was my favorite photo spot was removed. The good news was I could sit at my sewing machine in our downstairs family room and watch my children play in the neighbor’s yard (which they much preferred to our own.)
The downed fence created a golden, memorable summer. There truly is nothing better in the world that having wonderful next-door neighbors. The kind who make life better and you don’t want to share a fence with.
But alas, we both had weird, dysfunctional houses (not neighborhood, mind you) that we’d endured and been frustrated with for years and the night I went to deliver this quilt, we mutually confessed that we were each looking for some place new. But during the drama of finding the right new house we enjoyed our shared yards and dreaded the thought of knowing we were going to have to repair the fence before either of us could move.
To the right is where the missing fence belonged.
Don’t you love that mountain?? I miss that too.
The night I watched the final fence repairs in August I was melancholy. And when I woke-up the next morning and went into my nicely fenced-in yard I felt claustrophobic and full-on depressed. I knew it was the beginning of the end of that sunny period of our lives.
But isn’t that the secret of life? Enjoying what that space of time has to offer and opening up our hearts (and fences) to the great people God puts in our path? And now I have a snazzy new fence, with no rotting posts (but no place to shove thumb-tacks either.) I know that after we settle in, we’ll find new places to take pictures of quilts and new people to open our hearts too, but I’ll always treasure the memories of the summer we lost a fence.