Yes, Nita Trusts Me With Power Tools

One August, we had a series of freak storms blow through that did all sorts of house damage. We needed a new roof. We were cleaning parts of our neighbor’s tree out of the yard well into the following spring. It also tipped our privacy fence into the neighbor’s yard.

That was 2009. Nita and I went out into the backyard to look at how we might fix this. The post clearly had no anchor left, which puzzled me. Weren’t fence posts that size supposed to be anchored in concrete? The chainlink fence originally installed to keep AJ in the backyard as a toddler sits anchored by five such concrete bases. Dump a bag of Quikrete in a hole, add water, and set your post in. Simple, eh?

Neither here nor there. Nita and I had zero experience with fences. We went to Ace, bought a post-hole digger and a new spade and marched out to the backyard on a mission. After about three hours of studying the fence, two aborted attempts at using the post hole digger, and not coming up with anything better, we planted two temporary posts and looped a rope between them and the fence to hold it up. It was a repair job worthy of There, I Fixed It.

Then we left it for the rest of the summer. That was 2009.

In 2010, I got laid off.

In 2011, it rained so much the ground around the fence post was mush.

Come 2012, I noticed the fence had fallen back even farther than when the wind blew it down. In that time, we’d already repainted the living room, made a couple of attempts to fix the bathroom walls, painted the garage, replaced the roof, and created a second patio in the back corner, which, if I’d made the investments in the proper plastic lawn furniture, would have afforded me the perfect view of the sagging fence and the now-ruined redneck repair we’d done on it. I’d had it. Three weeks ago, I marched around the block and left a note on the door of our neighbor to inform her I was going to be trespassing on her property that weekend. I was going to fix this damn thing once and for all.

I worried about digging the hole for the post. That would be the hard part. Putting the fence back together – Hey, the wind had the disassembly part – would be the easy part. String an extension cord over the fence, eight screws, boom. Right?

Turns out the sagging post did have a concrete base. The storm had simply snapped the top off. There was no way I would be able to remount the fence onto a new post.

But two new  posts…

The posts we used for our entry to There, I Fixed It remained. They did nothing anymore, but they were solid. I dug up around the hole for the old posts, dumped in a sack of Quikrete, and put in what are now two temporary posts. Wait one day for the concrete to dry, and we’re done. Right?

Wrong.

When you get screws to put your fence back together, you might want to look at what bits you have for the drill. I did not have a proper square bit for the drill I used. I did not have long enough screws with a Phillips head that would work with the drill. Um…

I looped a rope around the two new posts and decided to come back later to fasten everything into place. Only it started raining on the nights I had time to work on it.

I know I’m going to have to eventually rip down the fence. I also realize I’d made that job harder with the extra concrete. But I’m not undertaking this project until after Gurl passes onto Doggy Heaven. I have too many other domestic projects for which I’m wholly unsuited to complete. So until that day comes…

There. I fixed it.

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