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My Rickety Fence

My rickety fence

After a few years of wanting a flower bed, bordered by a white picket fence, I finally bit the bullet and bought all the supplies, gathered my unpaid manual labor (AKA my kids) and set to work.

I had visions of a picture perfect scene of a finished product, worthy of a glossy magazine cover. Or at the very least a viral Pinterest pin. Never mind the fact that I had lost my perfectionistic standards (if I ever had any) 3 or 4 children ago.

In the flavor of Real Life, as opposed to Magazine Cover Life or Pinterest Life, my finished product wasn’t picture perfect.

As in the photo above, I could angle my camera in such a way that the fence looked almost similar to perfect. It could give the illusion of perfect, if not closely scrutinized.

My rickety fence 2

The reality though, is that it could never be mistaken for the work of a professional landscaper, because in fact, it wasn’t.

My rickety fence droops and leans. It weaves and juts. It falls right down when the dog jumps over it and bumps it with a leg.

I worked and worried with my rickety fence, and devoted as much time as I could afford to it. I used wire cutters and thin wire ties to secure the posts in place.

My rickety fence

After many hours of repairs, I stood back and beheld my still rickety fence.

No matter how much I fussed with it, the appearance hardly changed.

And I started to mourn my lack of landscaping skills and our sloping yard. I wondered why it seems that other people’s fences seem so much straighter, and nicer, and more professional looking than mine.

It seemed to me that some folks move right into houses with nice level yards and nice, straight picket fences already in place. And here I was with little experience and uncooperative earth, fighting a losing battle with my rickety fence. I wanted a neat, straight picket fence, but it seemed not to want to live at my house.

And I thought about how this is so much like Life.

Some of us have an easier time of it, whether it be because of more margin in the budget, or more compliant children, or more involved husbands. It seems that some people move right into a life with neat, straight picket fences already in place.

And then there are the rest of us who work and sweat and arrange and dig and cut wires to tie up what should stand up anyway, only to step back to behold our still rickety fences. It’s not that we don’t want Straight and Neat, but that Straight and Neat doesn’t seem to fit us.

Like skinny jeans on a non-skinny jean friendly body. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)

And I wondered  if maybe I ought to be celebrating my rickety fence.

Maybe that rickety fence is a symbol of my imperfection, my striving for beauty and order despite my imperfections, my failure at Magazine Cover Life, but my mastery of Real Life.

It was then that I could see that I love my rickety fence, despite all its sagging and buckling. Maybe even because of all its sagging and buckling.

Yes, I do believe my rickety fence fits me fine. It looks just right with the toys strewn about on the front porch and the mud pies drying on the sidewalk.

A picture perfect fence just wouldn’t fit into my Rickety Fence world.

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Comments

  1. Tamra Ali says:

    I absolutely love each one of your blogs, truly amazing. I feel like I can breath and relax when I read this, I’m not the only one with a droopy fence lol.

  2. I have found once we get to really know people we are all sort of the rickety fence type. I know people who have told me while they have the straight, up right fences, they would trade them in for rickety ones any day…because rickety fences are real fences.

  3. Kimberly says:

    I loved this post! Sunday my sweet husband was telling me how he hoped I knew he never desired a “just perfect yard” or “just perfect house”. I was confused. I was like, “so you like the kids’ junk on our lawn and our house when it’s a mess?” He said, “no, I just like real that’s all.” This post, THIS is exactly what he was talking about! You have such a way with words.

  4. I am a rickety fence type as well. Life is full and fine and messy. But similar to what Marilyn wrote, the people whose lives look like the straight perfect picket fences, do have rickety-ness as well – just hidden where we don’t generally see it.

  5. It is a lovely fence. Absolutely lovely. It seems to me that it has almost as much character as your lovely family!

  6. Connie, I love the post. A different take on your fence…what about putting it right against the porch and use it for the backdrop. The kids could find bigger rocks to make the border and it would be lower and work well with a crooked border.

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What's the big deal about Young Living