Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Line

Things fall apart. That is part of the reason the title of this blog is Entropical Paradise. Over the weekend, while wrestling with the ivy that had become entwined in the fence separating our property from that of the apartment house next door, I uncovered the truth about that fence. It is rotting. Having the ivy draped over it for years had not proved to make it stronger, though it certainly made it thicker, especially over the course of this past year of increased precipitation. Once the vegetation had been stripped away, it was apparent that rot had set in. A great stinking swath of moldy rot. The ivy was slowly working at breaking the fence down to its component molecules. Given another decade, I'm sure that there would only have been a lump of of decomposed vegetable matter where once stood a rampart, strong and tall.
It is this fence, the one around our yard, that has been the bane of my home-owning experience. I have built, repaired, rebuilt, and repaired again this barrier between us and them. It kept the dog in and the neighborhood kids out. It provided a safe haven for front lawn football and back yard water fights. It drew a line around our little plot near heaven. It gave me a place to go and close the gate behind me. When the latch worked, that is.
Now, nineteen years later, I find myself on the verge of tearing down a great section of that edifice, with the intent of replacing it, of course, but with an eye toward the future. That fence was here when we moved in. We have replaced the south section, which had once been chain link and permeated with bamboo. The slats in the front were once replaced on a regular basis when the plum-gathering kids scrambled over them and in their rush to get in and out with their tasty treats or projectiles snapped them off. A few of the posts were dug up and restored to their less-rotted and upright condition. It's part of the plan.
The plan is to tear it down and put something else back up in its place. There is plenty of imagination going on out there in the world of fencing. I would like to tell you that there will be some grand construction set in its place that will stand as a tribute to its builders. It will be another one of those summertime projects, and once it is complete, I can start the clock on how long before I have to repair it. Or chop down the ivy.

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