Growing up, we used to love to go visit family in Southern Utah. There were people to see, horses to ride, rivers to swim and fish in, mountains and hills to walk and climb on, and many other things to do. Today, our children (nieces, nephews, etc.) will complain sometimes about nothing to do when we visit there. Have they lost the ability and imagination that we had, or is there really less to do than when we visited as youth.
One of my favorite things to do was walking Uncle Karl’s fence. It was like a right-of-passage to walk the entire length of his fence-line. You started with the white, log fence up near the house. It was the widest, but some of the logs could be loose and roll when you walked them. Then came the slat fence. It had board nailed flat on the inside that you walked on. This was easier to walk, but it swayed a little, so you still had to be careful. Then came the tall board fence where you had to walk the skinny side of the 2x4 nailed to the back. Finally came the barbed wire fence. This had a smaller log that ran on the inside that you walked on. I learned the hard way what could happen if you fell forward across the barbed wire on this fence. In spite of that, I remember the sense of accomplishment in walking the entire length.
We spent hours hiking in the hills, looking for arrowheads (before it was illegal), pine nuts, animals, or whatever we happened across. We hiked just to explore. We built forts and hide-aways, climbed mountains, and in general enjoyed being kids. If it was hot, we invariably ended up either in the irrigation ditch, or the river, and it didn’t matter if we had swimsuits, or not, usually we just went in clothes and all. The boys tended to fish more as we got older, but even that sometimes took a back seat to other activities.
Granted, today when we all gather, we like to sit and talk--probably not the most entertaining activity for younger kids. Maybe if we were more exciting, the kids wouldn’t complain as much. Tough. Make your own fun. We did.
Walk your own fence. Stick.