We have heard this phrase before but it’s hard to understand until you are in the thick of it. Building a house is a marathon and not a race. Our goal of building our home as debt free as possible. Which means some things will just have to wait. Our short-term goals right now are to get a pole barn up by winter to move the camper into for protection from the harsh elements and give us some added space, in turn letting us get our stuff out of storage and saving us some money.
One thing on our list of stuff to do around the property was to get a gate and make everything more secure. After some discussions with our neighbors we learned that the previous owner to our property had annual issues with trespassing hunters. She had set up fences, dug out the driveway and did what she could to prevent it, but some people knocked over fences and one idiot actually drove through her yard to get access to our property. We had hoped that with an obvious driveway that people would realize that this section of land is now being occupied and would not have issues. We were wrong(I will get to that in a moment). So with this information and after hearing about some bold thefts in the area. As in this group would pull up in a truck and not just rob your place but would hitch up any trailer you had with anything on it and take that too. So, with all of this going on and with hunting season just now starting, we made the decision that getting a gate had to get moved to the top of our list, immediately.
The first step in this build was obviously the posts, can’t have a gate without posts. Well the cement around them had to cure for 24 hours before the gates could go up, no big deal, just one more day. Well that one day was the first day of hunting season(for bows). Hubby had to go to his college orientation stuff, no big deal. I made the decision to run off to the post office real fast to get our mail, it’s five minutes down the road, again no big deal. Everything was secured and locked up before I left. On our way back as I was pulling up to our driveway, what should my eyes see, but a pickup truck of excited hunters parked and blocking my driveway with their windows down pointing excitedly at a buck about 50 feet from them. I saw red. I rolled down my window and started yelling. “This is private property! You need to leave NOW!” Yes my kids were in the car, and yes I had my hand gun with me in its holster on my hip (disclaimer… no I did not take it in the post office with me, and no my hands never touched my gun during this whole altercation) we live in the sticks, almost everyone out here has guns and after some stories of hunting seasons in the past, my gun will be on me or very near me for the foreseeable future. Now knowing that I had blocked them in and did not want them to mess up our piles of dirt.
I instructed them to pull forward to a turn around we have to turn around and leave. Once up there I pulled up next to them and got a better look, had some words and expressed how I will not tolerate anyone uninvited with any weapons on our property as we have a horde of kids who love to run and play outside and I should not have to be worried about them playing outside where we live. They tried to tell me that they were just taking pictures of the buck. Yeah, no one believes that. And honestly it was a small two point buck and I had to squint to see that second point. Sure wasn’t going to tell them but we have definitely seen more impressive bucks and bigger doe’s around our property but they thankfully tucked tail and left.
So back to the gate… early the next morning my husband and I loaded stuff up in the wagon and trailer and hauled everything down to the end of the driveway. We started getting it all assembled only to discover that we were missing one pesky part. A hinge bolt. For those that don’t know the hinge bolt is a L shaped piece of metal that is attached to the gate and sits inside of the hinge, you know the part that connects the gate to the post and lets it move. We needed four, two on each side and we were missing one. It even said that it was in the box according to the checklist on the outside of the box, however it was nowhere to be seen. Knowing my husband had to go into town for more college stuff anyways later on, we decided to get the one side up that we had all of the parts for then hopefully find a part to replace the one missing somewhere in town until we are able to contact the company(holiday weekend) to order a replacement because we needed that gate up asap. Thankfully he was able to find one that would work until we got one that was meant for this gate. Took us sun up to sun down to get the whole thing up but it is thankfully up, and felt good locking it that night.