stone walls really mean something to me.
when i was a youngster, growing up in New Canaan, Connecticut my father wanted to build a stone wall along the quiet lane that we lived on. a stone wall that went from our neighbors property to the south of us to our neighbors property to the north of us. and this distance had to be at least some 300 yards.
the way my father was building the stone wall was one stone at a time. he would take his wheelbarrow to the backyard, dig up some rocks and then lift them into the wheelbarrow and transport them to the front yard to be dumped and then placed into the stone wall.
my dad was very strict and he always made me do chores. when i was in the third and fourth grades i had to work on this stone wall for what seemed like years. at least until it was done. and it was a lot of work. needless to say there were many other things i would rather have been doing. nevertheless i put much sweat equity into that stone wall. and ever since then i have had much respect for the stone walls that i have seen around the world.
in addition, i have always been a believer in Robert Frost’s 1914 poem Mending Wall with its often quoted line — “good fences make good neighbors.”
Northumberland, in the northeast corner of England, really is into stone walls. they take their stone walls seriously.