There are plenty of old gate posts around here. Many were put in twenty years ago. They were pieces of old telephone poles.
Over the last few years these posts have gotten wobbly. I could sway them back and forth with one hand.
Digging post holes in the Ozarks is not easy. Post hole diggers are only a way to remove dirt and gravel already knocked loose with a bar and sledge hammer. They aren’t even very good for that if the gravel is actually small rocks.
Arguing the way down two feet was only a matter of persistence twenty years ago. Now it is only sheer determination that makes the holes go down. Each one takes two days or more now.
So gates were argued with, lifted and moved inches at a time. Steel posts were driven down next to the posts and tied together to try to pull the gate posts up again.
The old gate posts kept getting worse. The pasture gate post was a source of nightmares as Augustus stood on the gate looking over at the does in the hill pasture.
Then one end of the clothes line fell over.
It was time to get serious.
An unlucky young man came by looking for work. He was game to dig a couple of post holes. And he did dig two: the clothes line pole and the pasture gate.
He was well paid, but it wasn’t enough to entice him to dig the third post hole. So I tackled it as that gate had fallen over and was now propped up to appear to be there.
Old gate posts rot off in two ways. The pasture gate post disintegrated into wood chips easy to remove with the post hole diggers.
The clothes pole and the other post rotted off at ground level, but left solid post down the center to be laboriously dug out by hand.
Once the aches and pains subside, the joy of having working posts and a standing clothes line will make it seem worthwhile.
For 25 years we kept our place looking good. You can see it in “My Ozark Home“.