Brrr! Today’s WSW wind had a real bite to it. And either with or with out help I was going to set those garden gate posts even if I had to do it all by my loathsome. Greene loaded with tools I dared it to rain as I didn’t even bother to pack along a water proof truck bed covering. Gathering all that I though I’d additionally need from the shop, I jumped the loader-backhoe first thing, before taking the loaded Greene up and park it in the general area I’d need various tools and components off it. Half way there I walked back down the hill for the differ-backhoe. With a chain I snatched my first fencepost off the hay wagon from where I had brought them up on a couple days earlier. On and off, off and on three gates I finally dropped the fence post on the feed lot’s ground. Then it was positioning the backhoe for excavating an old post out for renewing the space a-new for the replacement post.
Dig-a dig-dig the old Ford did it’s thing under my nimble fingers extracting the rotted post form the ground where it had faithfully stood in the fence for something like the last thirty five years.. It was a bit tricky digging and swinging the Ford tractor’s boom and dropping the fill dirt quite out of the way. Emptying the hole was the easy part. Taking Ford from its digging position to pickup and bring to the hole the post I was deluged with about a dozen four footed beastlies. All over my dirt pile one of them even trying to stand on her head atop the pile was beyond my ability to understand her behavior. My greatest fear was what should one of them bump another into my two cubic yard post hole. That could become quite tricky getting the beast freed the hole it gotten itself near buried in?
Setting the post was the most difficult part of the whole operation, particularly alone. Steering it the hole was no easy manner. It wasn’t until my second starting over attempt did I even get it close. The 14” by 14’ treated loblolly pine precariously hanging off the Ford’s loader-end. Hanging so I managed to pry the post’s base right where I wanted it to go. From there on my pole setting had become near impossible to manage. One chain to the bucket for I couldn’t let go yet. I employed two more chains, one each way laterally to steady the post. Having troubles I raided the shop for a couple cable come-a-longs. Plan was I’d rig them on the post sideways to center it steadied against the loader bucket.
Thank goodness, Trapper had called and said he was on his way as he had promised me last week. On his arrival setting the post had finally become a snap. The first post set neatly nailed in via some old plank framing a water fountain the first post was in good shape, good positioning, thank goodness.
Time for the second post the digging was much easier this time. It took two setting to get it right. Leveling it both ways for the gate opening and the fence’s alignment it went well. Trapper hand back filling, foot stomping the earth about both posts, the second post’s efforts took just half as long as the first post.
Still, the day going on the afternoon beginning to drag Trapper’s help was appreciated even more. About the time I was also turning brain dead he kept me going. I don’t know what I’d done without him? I’d surely been a much longer day. Bringing back the woven fence, restringing the electric fence and re-electrifying it I kind-a let hanging the gate go, as did I’ll do a better job running more wires tomorrow, as well as driving lag screws in the old fountain framing planks.
Myself exhausted having gone without lunch I was feeling the cool of the late afternoon soaking into my flesh and bones. It surely was quitting time by my watch. The job undone, knowing what’s needing doing, knowing another day will follow this one, it was more than time to pickup, and that’s just what we did, Trapper and me. Trapper having gone his way I was just finishing unloading Greene down into my barn for sundown to officially do its daily thing, set!
I don’t care. I’m settling in with a bottle of wine and our TV. By-gum I think I’ve earned it.