I never was one of those kids who thought they could recreate some of the antics of Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck. ‘Don’t Try This At Home’ never applied to us, because we always knew our limits. Of course, we did do stupid things with bicycles, bricks, boards and rope, but for the most part, we remained in one piece.
There are projects around the farm, however, that I really wish had the DTTAH disclaimer. And if they did, I would put Removing Old Barbed Wire at the top of the list. So what was I thinking when I decided that the space beside where we store out hay down by the pond would be a good spot to build a compost bin? Especially since there was a 100’ + of old, rusted, and in places, tangled barbed wire?
The Country Boy was busy trying to get the welding done on the fence by the barn, so I decided to pull on my Big Girl Farm Wife gloves and get after it. I will admit – although it was a bit cool today, I stepped lightly with trepidation. I would be working right by the pond, a favorite hangout of Mr. No Shoulders and his family and friends. There is nothing I want to encounter less than a Water Moccasin or Copperhead who decided to sun himself in the spot where I would be working. Another serious concern was the fresh growth of ‘Leaflets Three’ – that is a plant that I just do not get along with.
But I am tough. I am brave. I am determined. I have had a Tetanus shot. And I can be stupid, but I can be smart about being stupid – if you get my drift. Besides, it was my big idea to build a compost bin that would fill up our main garden, and this was the only space large enough to hold it. Might as well put my money where my mouth is.
With fence pliers and pruners in gloved hand, I got busy. I took my time, and tackled one strand and one section at a time. The first section was about 60’ in length, with two strands of wire to remove. About 40’ into the first strand, I ran into a huge tangle of additional wire that must have been a straight strand at one time, but since had broken, curled up and back on itself until it was one tangled mess. It took some doing, and some tricky maneuvers to remove the barbs from my gloves and clothes without getting stuck, but I managed to unwind it from the strand I was working on, then finish with my original goal. Back to the start, and after untangling more wire that had been used to hold one post to another heavier post (don’t ask me, I didn’t build the original), and pulling about a million staples out of both wooden posts, I managed to remove the second strand, and only got the wire tangled around my ankles once.
Whoever initially built this fence, they decided to use a Pine tree as a corner post. Over the years, the tree had grown around the wire, until the strands finally ran almost directly center of the trunk. Nothing to do but to cut the wire. I love my fence pliers. They do just about everything. I can pull staples, bend and twist post ties and cut wire. It took some doing and a bit of uh huh, but I managed to cut the wire and move on. About an hour later, I was looking at a job that was finished, complete with pulling up tee posts by hand (Thank you rain and soggy ground!), and not a snake in sight (surely that part was strictly by the Grace of God).
It just goes to show you. No matter how much you dread a job at hand, no matter how much trepidation is involved, and no matter how deeply you feel that it’s a job bigger than you are, you still can find the courage and tenacity to get it done. And with the right tools, I have a little more confident to start the next project that may be out of my comfort zone. However, if Acme ever shows up with a delivery, I may have to rethink my plans. I did see a Road Runner not too long ago…