Well, my wife and I moved into the new house, so last week I started my first home improvement project. Of course, there is the typical moving jobs of changing locks, painting rooms and putting up shelves or photos. Those projects were enough to keep me busy for a couple of weeks, but with the last few weekends of good weather for the year, I decided that I was going to install a fence. I got up on Saturday and took the trip to big box store to buy supplies. I left there late in the morning with a lighter wallet and a truck full of pressure treated lumber, concrete, and a post hole digger. I spent the rest of my Saturday digging post holes, which wouldn’t have been so hard, except for the old house had some bricks buried in the back yard, and a garage footer that was precisely where I decided to put my last fence post.
As I was digging my fence posts, I was contemplating my station in life. How did I come to a place where I need to separate myself from my neighbors by building a fence? The most pressing reason for building the fence was to keep my dog in the yard. He likes to chase things that are in his backyard, which I encourage. The problem is once the cat, squirrel or bird has left the yard, he still chases it into the neighbors yard. After I find him in the neighbors yard, I have to apologize. Since meeting several neighbors this way, let me say that it is not the greatest way to introduce yourself.
The icy stare of the neighbors after my dog had treed their cat convinced me that the old proverb, “tall fences make good neighbors” might not be exactly right. I think it should be rewritten as “tall fences keep you from being a bad neighbor”, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it. Many people have mistakenly attributed that phrase to Robert Frost, but according to YourDictionary.com and Wolfgang Mider, the author of “‘Good fences make good neighbours: history and significance of an ambiguous proverb’”, a version of this proverb exists in many different cultures and languages. Consequently, no one person can claim to have said this.
Robert Frost actually seems to be advocating against fences in his poem, Mending Wall, or at least arguing that things aren’t just as simple as the proverb makes it out to be. I will let you read the poem to judge for yourself. At EXAIR, instead of mending fences, we are trying to tear them down. We make it a priority to be accessible to our customers at every turn. Obviously, we post on this blog regularly, and as you see from my twitter handle at the bottom of this post, I (and every other Application Engineer) can be reached on twitter. We make it a priority to be present on Facebook, Google+, and our Website. Even still we are available everyday from 8 AM to 5 PM EST on the telephone at 1-800-903-9247, through email at Techelp@EXAIR.com, or online chat.