After all the mowing, horse training, and tractor driving, I couldn't think of anything else I might be able to learn.... until Dennis said that he'd like to build a fence. There is a post and rail fence in one section of the farm and our aim was to add another section before I left.
I had been out working in the garden, but I finished a section of bricks and thought I'd go see what Dennis was up to. He was walking over to find me to help him put the auger onto the tractor. As much of a pain as it was to attach it, it was worth the effort. It loosened up the earth quite well... after we figured out that the reason it wasn't working was because it had hit a layer of rocks. Not pictured is me digging out and deepening most of the holes with the shovel.
Next came placing all the posts, making sure they were aligned right for all the rails. I held the posts while Dennis filled the holes and tamped down the earth. It was really had work! Eventually Dennis tired out and I took a turn at tamping. Dennis remarked that he hoped Diane wasn't taking a picture of me doing the hard labor while he stood holding the post. I secretly hoped that she was.
It felt pretty good to look at a row of posts all assembled. Next came adding some nails for the rails to sit on so that it was easier to get the bolts in without having the rails fall down. While I hammered away, Dennis cut the rails to the correct measurements.
24 bolts might not seem like a lot, but I had to screw them all in, and I'll tell you that it was quite a bit. Especially because I had to un and re screw some of them as we decided to make some adjustments on the rail lengths. The rails had also warped a bit in between being bought and being screwed in. Dennis told me that if they hadn't warped, I probably could have done much of it myself. As it stood, it took two of us to wrestle the rails into submission. Then I removed the extra nails that were holding up the rails. Dennis added a few nails to the middle of the rails to help the centers from sagging.
Diane picked up some used engine oil and yours truly painted away for a few hours. It was told to not stand down wind of where I was painting. It was windy. I got oil all over me anyways.
The end result made the five day's worth of work feel worth it.