Fences Make Me A Great Neighbor

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Not the way you remember hearing the old saying? It’s my twist because it makes more sense to me, plus I could really give a shit if I have good neighbors or not. Mine know I don’t want them in or around my yard. For the newbies reading here today, my house sits on 11.93 acres of land somewhere way outside the city of Houston. Now, we live in what’s called an “acreage neighborhood” where all the homes sit on a few acres. Just so happens that when I bought my “lot” that I bought the two lots available to the left and the one lot available to the right. Why? Because I wanted my neighbors to have to put some work into it when they would choose to be nosey. After almost 10 years I would say the experimental theory has been a success because I barely know my neighbors, just the damn way I like it. Within the almost 12 acres there is a roughly 4 acre pond which was dug so I could build up where my house would be built, as well as level out what would become my yard. Also, there is 3ish acres of a densely wooded area which butts up to a feeder creek off of the San Jacinto river. Everything else is mowed as my yard and has a wooden fence around it.

Well, after the storm last night I found a tree had fallen on a section of my wooden fence way in the backyard. This explained why the breaker for the electric circuit had been tripped. Yes, it’s a partially electrified fence. Why? To keep the criiters, varmints, and the neighbors dogs from digging under the fence and getting into my yard. Don’t worry, out in this area its only putting out about 2000 volts. But, the tree seems to have damaged the line by completing the circuit, hence tripping the breaker. At least the mystery is solved, I figured I would find a dead animal of sorts out in the back, not a tree on the fence. Since I located this so late in the afternoon all I really felt like doing was exactly what I did, take a picture of it, well, actually about a dozen. Why? I needed them to show to the insurance company to show the damage. The adjustor will be out Monday morning to make a report so I can’t touch it until afterwards. If it were endangering life or property then I can, but its just a fence so I was told to wait. Waiting is not something I am good at, especially when there is so much work to do. Meanwhile, the neighbor on that side figured out I was back there and decided he wanted to have a 30 minute chat about absolutely nothing, in fact I don’t even remember as I sit here writing this.

When I tell my wife what had happened and what went on with the insurance she went off on one of her tangents and wants me to look into having the tree removed by someone and the fence repaired by someone. She didn’t ask when I would be taking care of it, she wanted to know when someone else was going to do it. There will be nobody else doing any of it because I want to do it. Plus, I have the kids to help me out, so it will be fine. On top of that, I finally got my favorite tool on the planet running again after it died on me back in March, I thought it was really dead, but it runs like a screaming chainsaw banshee now. So I’m good to go. Y’all were aware that every man has his favorite tool? My dad’s is a 50 year old flathead screwdriver, my son’s is an old roofing hammer, mine is, well, mine is the fine machine pictured below, its probably the most useful and versatile tool I have ever owned. Next week I put it to the test, next week I will see if bringing it back to life was worth it, next week the chips will fly. Fuck calling a tree removal company, fuck someone else fixing my fence, I will do it my way. My wife knows this already, she was just trying to be cute and see if she could ruffle a few feathers. The adventure never ends in our marriage, but that is life as well, shit happens, we could cry about it or take care of it. Some of us know the right answer, the others call a tree removal company.

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Bigfoot, God, and Ghosts

Bigfoot, God, and Ghosts share one common factor that nobody can deny, they truly are, in all basics, just myths. I can hear it already, ringing in my ears, questioning me where I can get off making such a statement. So, I will give y’all my answer in advance this time and it is this, prove me wrong. I don’t usually like bogging down my blog with my own personal opinion of God but I found myself having a particular conversation with a neighbor of mine this weekend. I will say, based on my own observations, that he is very self-immersed in being a devout believer in God. How do I know? Fair question with no real answer. I listen to the topics he discusses since, being neighbors, we do talk more frequently than what I actually like. Now, this entire conversation began this past Sunday when my neighbor payed a visit to me in my shop un-announced. Meaning, I was in my shop sharpening the chain off my chainsaw and when I looked up he was standing there. Why this is strange? From my front gate to the door of my shop is 3/4 of a mile or so. So, yes, his presence shocked me, greatly. Not because he was standing in front of me exactly, but because I know he didn’t come from the front gate since I didn’t get a text informing me the gate had been opened, which is part of the alarm. No, he had to have come from the back of my property that has no fence, which opens up the the creek back there. He tells me he saw the doors open so he figured I was out here.
 
Ah, yes, now we get into why he stands before me. He wants me to help him pull a stump out of his yard later, after he returns from church, since I have a tractor and his wife wont let him have one. Now, I don’t mind helping him, that is not what this about at all. I like that people know I know how to do things the right way, plus, this will give me an opportunity to try out the new steering knuckles I replaced a few weeks ago. He made a comment which bugged me before he left though, he said he knew I wouldn’t be busy with church or anything since I don’t believe in God. It isn’t that it is an incorrect statement about my belief in God, its the fact that he felt the need to use that as a reason for my availability later. I don’t know, just struck a chord with me that I couldn’t shake. It hasn’t made me mad or anything, just made me wonder why he would put it like that. As I got back to work grinding the teeth on chain saw I found myself thinking about the most bizarre things ever. There are many things I don’t believe in. The top three are Bigfoot, Ghosts, and God. My reason is simple. Put the proof in my hand. Your answer is pretty simple as well, you can’t. All three share many likenesses in their own special ways. Bigfoot, a North American great ape which many claim to see and hear, but can never produce a body or evidence that science can’t explain. Ghosts get the same, people see them but they can never prove it. The there is God, again, something people believe in yet can’t prove his existence. Now, in defense of all three, the can’t be disproven either. All three remain a mystery to mankind. Unless, of course, you find yourself believing in ghost stories, fairytales, and legends. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I do look forward to an actual discovery one day of one, two, or all three. Wouldn’t it be a great day to finally have mankind fall straight on his ass with overwhelming evidence? But, until then, they are all just myths and/or legends, end of discussion.
 
Finished, and now bored, I didn’t feel like waiting for my neighbor to return. I have a nap to take later and his schedule just might jack that all up. I loaded up the chains into the bucket of the tractor and set off. Since I knew where the stump was I set up for the pull. He had done most of the grunt work digging out around the stump so all I had to do is drop the chains and rock and roll. It came out like pulling a nipple from a babies lips, pop and it was out. I dragged it over to my burn pit and dropped it off. I scooped up a load of dirt and returned to his yard, dumped it out and leveled it, then returned home. Shortly afterwards I went in to the house, got undressed, and showered. I decided at that point, it was nap time. I was woke up by my daughter, who let me know it was dinner time and my presence was required. We ate, talked, played a few games of Farkle, and everyone part ways to do their own thing. My wife and I sat on the couch and watched a movie. Eventually we headed off to bed.
 
I never heard back from my neighbor that afternoon. I just figured he had seen what I did and just decided to leave it alone. Wrong. While I was driving to work this morning he called me to apologize for getting tied up yesterday and not letting me know what was going on. Before I could get a single word in he was asking if we could go ahead and get it done this afternoon. Um, sure, whatever you say. Which is screwed up because that means he has no clue that it is already done. Oh well, perhaps he will figure it all out before he wastes his time walking over to get me later. Funny how people are too busy in their own lives to realize even the simplest of things. I meant what I said with all honesty you know, about finding Bigfoot, Ghosts, and God, I do hope they find at least one of them in my lifetime. Until then, I will just live my life one day at a time, hopefully disappointment free.
 
*********** Story Update ***********
 
It would appear that somewhere during the day my neighbor realizued that something happened in his yard and chose to investigate it further. How do I know this? When I got home I did my normal routine and went into the kitchen to put up my lunchbox. There stood my wife pointing to a bottle of Crown Royal. When I questioned what the occassion was, she informed me that it was from my neighbor. He had explained to her he felt bad that he missed his arranged job with me and thought he would leave a bottle of Crown Royal as payment for my selfless services. What could I do? I just smiled and looked for a glass. I spoke with him later in the evening and thanked him for the gift. He was very apologetic and said he knew I liked Crown Royal and it seemed to be a way to thank me and pay me at the same time. I appreciate the gesture but I wasn’t looking to get paid. Funny thing is that eventhough I assured him, repeatedly, that there were no hard feelings, he kept apologizing. So, in the end, I guess everything worked out just fine. I got to try out the improvements I had been making to the old Beast tractor, he got a stump pulled, and I get to have a nice bon-fire during the chilly nights while enjoying some Crown Royal and roasting marshmellows.