We have small lots here in the hood. (That is part of the attraction).  Almost every house has a wooden fence enclosing the back yard.  Here is a picture of a little art work I did on my back fence during the pandemic lock down.  I must have been truly bored!  Since our houses are so close, the fences give us some privacy in the backyard.  I have a love - hate relationship with my fence.  I LOVE my backyard and side neighbors - yes, I know I am fortunate.  The neighborhood covenants state the fences have to be a certain height.  I cannot see over the fence and would love to be able to occasionally have an over the fence conversation with my neighbors--on all three sides.  The fence does allow the Wonder Dog to go outside without running away, but he refuses to use his own backyard for a bathroom.  It also keeps various varmints out of the backyard, but the cat who roams all over the neighborhood ignores the boundary by jumping right over.  (This fence cannot possibly be meant for me)  What's that old saying ~

Robert Frost's poetry made this saying famous.  It is referring to the boundaries we need to keep in relationships.  Boundaries establish invisible fences to keep us from being in each other's faces and stepping on sore toes.  It is tricky to learn when enough is enough and when we have crossed the line into over the top in relationships.  I like that adage, a little bit can go a long way.  Especially when we have failed to establish good boundaries. 

Whose fault is it when things become cross ways in a relationship?   The person who went too far or the person who did not have good boundaries which allowed the breach~ who is to blame for a break in good relations?  One thing is certain ~ both parties are going to think it is the other's fault.  Blame shifting and refusing our own culpability is a topic for another day---but believe me--it is epidemic.  How much responsibility do we need to assume when it comes to having healthy relationships?  When do we cross that line from being a good neighbor to morphing into Gladys Kravitz?

 Boundaries are like fences in there are many choices in what those fences/boundaries look like.  Part of that deciding factor might be the other party.  Sometimes we need higher -  stronger fences and others the fence could be a step over.  Unless we are willing to assess the circumstance and establish appropriate boundaries based upon that assessment, we are headed for trouble.  We need a higher fence or larger boundary when we are speaking of Oscar the Grouch than with Bert or Ernie.  

WHERE IN THE WORLD AM I GOING?  The bottom line is we need to have healthy boundaries and we need to enforce those boundaries or pay the cost of broken relationships.  To get along with our fellow man, we have to make the rules and then always play by the rules.  I love how Kenny Rogers stated it

Sometimes we need to fold up our welcome mat and close the door for our own mental health.  We are called to love all mankind, we are not called to allow mankind to use us as a doormat.  Learn to recognize the difference and maintain healthy boundaries.  Build those fences with care and keep them in good repair~

being a good friend is always a two way street.

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."

Luke 10:27


  1. Healthy boundaries are necessary for healthy relationships, Lulu, that's for sure. I love your analogy with the fence being around your property. It puzzles me, though, as to why the intrepid Hero doesn't view this space as a perfect bathroom spot. What an original dog!

  2. I trained him when I lived in Fort Worth and did not have a fenced back yard. He learned to go on a walk. He is a creature of habit, Martha! LOL!


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