One of the most common issues of damage after hurricane Ike is that many fences in our neighborhood, and others, are down. It was to be sort of expected in our neighborhood. The youngest fences were a dozen years old and the oldest are pushing two dozen. Most people did not do a good job of maintenance on the pickets and there really is not a whole lot that can be done about a fence builder who sunk the concrete below ground to hold the standards. Even a pressure-treated 4×4 is gonna rot in Houston after awhile. And then there is always the problem of whose job it is to maintain the fence. It is generally assumed that if you have the “good side”, you’re responsible for maintaining the pickets. Lots of folks ignore this. All along my backyard fence line there are missing and rotted pickets. It’s been this way since long before the storm. One yard holds a largish Great Dane that could double as a horse for my youngest daughter. I’ve never met the other folks. Dropping new pickets over the fence in hopes that they would tack them up has been a futile effort.
Well, today I went and talked to them. Instead of leading with a “You gonna do something about your fence?”, I asked how they fared in the hurricane and made small talk. I then eased into the subject of the fence and one of the homeowners (the guy with the dog) said he was going to be replacing his whole back fence line as soon as possible. I asked if it would be all right if I came over with oldest daughter’s boyfriend to help build. And then I asked if I could help the other folks replace the pickets. Fences mended and friendships started.