Tearing Down Fences

The fence separating our property from our next door neighbors was falling down. Too many years of watering and the daily wear and tear of life was making it wobble and it had started taking on a slight I've-had-one-drink-too-many look. 

Through the screen

Looking down at the wobbly fence from my screened bedroom window.

But you know how you look at something every day and it makes you slightly crazy every time and yet you choose to ignore it because there's no time to deal with it right now? That was us and The Fence. 

"That fence is really wobbly." 

"I know."

And we would go on with our lives until the next time we were outdoors, which was usually the next day as we watered the few plants that were still hanging on to life support in our sadly neglected backyard. 

"That fence..."

"I know."

And so it went, until the day, about a month ago when we got together with our neighbors (whom we dearly love, by the way) and actually talked about the fence. 

"We need to do something about the fence."

"We know."

Then it was time for high school graduation and we decided to throw a huge party to celebrate. Not only was Jon graduating, but their daughter, Tori, and Jon's best friend, Nathan were too. So we had 3 graduates to celebrate and 3 families who were on board. 

It was the kids who first made The Suggestion.

"Let's tear down the fence. It's an eyesore."


"But let's just leave the space open."

"Wait. What?"

They convinced us to tear down The Fence and open up the space between our yards for the summer, at least. And maybe for good. 


We hadn't managed to muster up enough energy to plant fresh flowers or pull up the dying plants. (I know. Shut up.) How embarrasing to tear down the fence and have our neighbors have to daily look upon our eyesore-of-the-neighborhood backyard. 

Not only that, but we were now making plans for The *Biggest Graduation Party of The Year (Or the *BGPOTY) to be held in our corporate backyard space. 


So we had a Party Summit in which we discussed ground rules and what to do with our respective yards to pull off the *BGPOTY. There were sketches and discussions and many, many trips to the nursery.

Then the day came. We were going to tear down the fence. We were making the cataclysmic and counter-cultural decision to live our lives in a type of community that is rare in this age. 

Tearing down the fence

We recruited all the able-bodies who were willing and able. 

Eric tearing down the fence

Tearing down the fence 2

And down it came. 

Tearing down the fence 3

By this point, our wonderful neighbors, much to my everlasting delight, had already planted some beautiful butterfly garden beds and seriously, from the moment that fence came down, we have had some gorgeous Monarch butterflies dancing back and forth between our two (now one) yard(s). 

It felt so magical and like somehow we had broken not just the physical barrier between our respective property lines, but like we had dismantled a cultural norm. 

We are choosing to be counter-cultural and live in community. It feels freeing and magical. The dancing Monarchs feel representative of the magic that we have created between us and how our lives are intertwined.

I took this next photo this morning. The *BGPOTY was absolutely amazing and deserves a post of its own (coming later this week). But here is what the space looks like and we couldn't be more delighted.

No fence

The day after the party, we pooled our collective resources and shared a family meal.

Sharing life

This, ladies and gentleman is how we are now doing life. And we couldn't be more content.

The Fence that used to separate our lives? We found a much more appropriate use for it.


I can't stop smiling.