Friday, June 19, 2009

Lessons from Fence Wrecking

This past week I've been spending some time wrecking fences up here at RMBL. The old fences, while picturesque in places, are thoroughly falling down in others. Nowhere do they do much any more to keep the cows, expected in July, out of the townsite. So down they must come. It is highly satisfying work. Not only did I get to take any aggression I had out on rotton logs, but, even more important since I can't seem to drum up much aggression up here, I got to see progress, and an end point.

As I worked today, I thought of some of the life lessons that can be learned and relearned when one is doing something like fence wrecking:
  1. If you focus on one pole at a time, before you know it you've done a whole section.
  2. Work with the forces of nature when possible. Gravity is your friend.
  3. The right tool can make a big difference.
  4. Watch the experts. They know what they're doing.
  5. Sometimes getting the right angle works better than force.
  6. If someone offers to help, say yes!
  7. A little bit of rest goes a long way.
  8. Plan ahead or you might have to move the whole pile.
  9. You'd be surprised at the load you can carry if you have your balance right.
  10. Share your snack!


Dorraine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorraine said...

An edit button would come in handy!

Anyway, Pegs, I just wanted to say how impressed I was with your list! And all of this from putting up fence. Great observations. And lovely pictures of Colorado too. So glad you got to go!

Anonymous said...

My father was a construction foreman and had to work away from our farm during the week. He returned on Fridays when he would do the "farm" work.

One Friday morning, he looked at his sons 15, 14, 10, and 6 and said "By Sunday evening we'll be at the edge of that woods looking back at one mile of barbed fence from there to our house."

We thought he was crazy.....he was referring to a mile of fence that had to be build by removing old fence, clearning brush and cutting down two huge trees.

He put us to work and made us part of the project planning and the problem solving. If we came upon an obstacle, he asked us how it could be solved, we selected a solution, and used it...if it didn't work, we tried one of the other solutions. We got better and creating and using solutions as we went along.

As the sun set behind us on Sunday evening, we looked back at one mile of cleared land and bright new barbed wire fence.

I never forgot the lessons he thought us about team work, determination, and never giving up, no matter how tired you are.

My dad passed away in 1994, after which, I soon discovered I had cancer. The surgery, radiation and other treatmet were extremely painful, but through those lessons I learned from my dad as a kid, I survived.

My wife and I never claimed backruptcy (it wiped out our life savings, but my wife and I worked a couple of jobs each to get back on our feet after my treaments were over)....but I couldn't have done any of it without my fence building lesson.


Peg Spencer said...

Dorraine - thanks for visiting. It WAS lovely up there! I miss it already.

Texas Poet - Yours is a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing from your boyhood and how it has carried you through difficult times as an adult too. This would make a wonderful nonfiction article!

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