It has been forever since I have posted and this is because I have been exhausted! Sonny and I were hard at our fencing project every day in June(which, by the way, was the hottest June ever recorded in the area). There were so many days when we were sure we could not go on but we kept at it. We were so excited to get to the stage of actually stretching the fence because we thought that would be the easy part. Well it did not exactly work out that way. It may have been easier than digging fence post holes in solid rock but it was a close call. The first day we decided to stretch the fence down the long line on my southeast line from Sonny’s property to the road. We thought rolling the fence downhill would be easy and in reality it is easier than rolling uphill but it is still hard. We got the fence laid out and crimped together by about 11:30 and I asked Sonny if he wanted to call it a day. We were both excited to be able to actually have some fence done so we decided to stay at it another hour. Bad, bad idea. We had to use the truck to attach the stretcher to and it took forever to get fence even with all the ups and downs and uneven ground. We must have walked 20 miles back and forth making sure the fence wasn’t caught on T posts or stumps. Then we we finally got it tight we realized that neither one of us knew how to tie on to pipe posts. If we left the fence attached to the truck we had to walk back to the house and both of us were too tired to do that. We could hardly think straight but we finally got the fence secured enough to detach it from the truck. My cousin Libby was not impressed when we came dragging in. She had assumed we had some sense and had gone into town to pick up supplies and had eaten there. From that point on we set the rule of 12pm cutoff on fencing.
The stretching process soon lost it’s allure and I hope I never have to deal with another piece of mesh fence in my lifetime. It fights you from every direction and catches on everything that sticks out more than an eighth of an inch. We used class 3 wire for most of the fence and that stuff does not twist worth a darn. Sonny promised me that the staples would hold it to the wood post without it being wrapped back around to itself but I was sure I could twist it back around as well. After breaking several strands I gave up. They probably make some special tool for this. Speaking of tools I did find out about a nifty little bar with holes in it that worked well for twisting the ties used to secure the wire to the T posts but it did not help much with the heavy mesh wire. I also got very good at working the come along. At first it was a fight every time I wanted it to let go of my fence but soon I figured out how to coax it into submission. We also refined our setup for attaching to the fence. It is amazing how much time you spend inside an air conditioned Tractor Supply looking for ways to make your fencing project easier.
I have to mention that if you have not already figured it out that my cousin Sonny(who I found out is actually 78 years old) deserves a medal for staying with me on this. I offered several times to hire someone to help me finish but he wanted to see it through. I only thought I came near to losing him one time when we were stretching the bottom section in back. After we had carefully measured the fence so we did not need an extra roll we started our crimping. We made sure we saved every inch we could as it was going to be close. When we finished the crimping and stood the fence up we had crimped the lower piece on upside down. You might wonder how this could happen but trust me it is a miracle we did not crimp ourselves into the fence on a few days. Anyway, Sonny wanted to just leave it because it was the lower pasture and we were short on fence. I did not want to have to look at upside down fence for 20 years after all the work we had done to make the rest look good even if I was the only person who ever saw it. There was a moment when I could tell I was pushing my luck but we did redo the crimps and we had enough to reach. We got a little grouchy toward the end but all in all I think we were a fantastic team. Madalyn