“Build good fences, make good friends, and keep your laundry indoors.” 

The lumber is on order. I have the plans. Building the ark will commence.

It rained all night, and it is raining now, a rain heavy enough to be heard. The forecast is for snow and rain. Right now it is in the low 40’s, but by night, we’ll be down to 29°. With all this water, I expect ice.

Henry naps on the far end of the couch. He prefers the ball position when sleeping. Nala, more than not, will sleep on the other end of the couch with her head resting on the arm. My favorite of her sleep positions is when she lies behind me, straight out. I can feel her heart beating and her chest rising up and down. She keeps my back warm.

Christmas is gone except for the scrub pine. It is covered with plastic and still sits in the dining room corner. I’m leaving it there as I have yet to celebrate Christmas with my friends Bill and Peg and Jay and Clare. I’ll play songs of the season and light the tree and we’ll do presents.

When I was a kid, January was the worst month. We had no days off. It was always cold and rainy or snowy. My shoes and sometimes my socks were soaked from the walk to school. We often had to skip recess because of the weather. January had nothing to commend it. If humans hibernated, January would be my pick to sleep through and away.

When we visited my father’s parents, my brother and I would play in the backyard, mostly the neighbor’s backyard. It had a wire chicken coop but no chickens. Vegetables were planted instead. It had a small but thrilling hill for tricycles. All of the neighbors’ houses were built at the same time, all on a narrow strip of land between two busy roads. Houses faced each road, two on one road, three on the other. After my grandfather died, my grandmother sold the house. Years later I just happened to be going down one of those busy roads so I gave my grandparents’ house a look. I was surprised by what I saw. I always thought the backyards were huge, but over the years each owner had put up a fence around his house and yard perimeter so the backyards have pretty much disappeared superseded by the fences. Behind the houses I could see the old clothes lines with the wooden posts, there since my day, a couple of chairs, a small table and a grill, a not so big grill.

I had great memories of that backyard behind all of the houses. Mostly I remember the hill, a huge tree with a giant spreading trunk growing beside my grandparents’ house and the house next door and all of those clotheslines in a row from yard to yard. It was a neighborhood. Everyone knew everybody and waved and chatted.

I don’t know when the first fence went up, but I figure after it did the other neighbors were quick to protect their spits of land with their own fences. “Good fences make good neighbors,” would be the perfect commentary.

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2 Comments on ““Build good fences, make good friends, and keep your laundry indoors.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    The cold rain is forecasted to begin tonight and last through Tuesday night. We might even see a snow flurry or some slight accumulation on grassy areas. However, the temperature has been too warm for the snow, sleet, or whatever to stick to the roads and the air temperature is forecast too high for ice to form on the bridges and overpasses in the metropolitan areas.

    I agree with your kid assumption of the month of January. It has no redemptive value whatsoever. It only holds the place on the calendar between December and March. February isn’t much better containing only Valentines Day. I hate Valentines Day. I will save this one rant for next month. 🙂

    This house is the first one I moved into and didn’t have to replace the fence in the backyard ASAP. It’s not new but serviceable for a few more years. At least the previous owners put in metal fence posts with wood in between. When you have a backyard pool, a secure fence is important.

    Your animals are endless entertainment for your readers. Nala is the canine thief par excellence. If she were human she would be doing 25 to life in the pen. It’s better she’s your dog than mine because I don’t have your patience. Thanks for her endless adventures cluttering up your backyard. 🙂 You never know what she might have found in your house which now lives outside.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      You’ve had it good, the weather. You had all those warm, even hot, days. It is winter after all.

      The overpasses are always the worst for driving. They are the first parts of the road to get icy. I remember I was in the backseat of my friend’s car when we went into a slide on the overpass. I thought we’d go over the side but we stopped with the car’s front facing the highway. It was some scary.

      March and February are cousins. We had no days off in March when I was teaching but the coming spring made everything all right.

      All my fences are wooden so after a time, a shorter time here with the salty air, they rot. My backyard is totally fenced for the dogs. My front yard just has fence on one side of the garden. That fence needs replacement.

      I’m glad the dogs are entertaining. Nala is unbelievable. I never hear her steal things. She is out the dog with the stolen item in her mouth. The rain has kept me from the backyard. I hate the way it looks.


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