Sunday, July 19, 2009
I Scream, You Scream
For ice cream. Yes, Bill and I returned to the scene of yesterday's uncomfortable situation. Not that we were looking for trouble. It's just that the ice cream at this place is just so damn good and cheap. The families and the kiddies were there again tonight but we didn't hang around after we got our ice cream. Instead we headed down to visit out friends Big Bob and Jim at their home in the woods on Anderson Corner Road, right outside of Georgetown.
Neither Bob or Jim were feeling well. I suspect a lot of their disposition had to do with their neighbor who encroaching on their 22 acres of wooded land. Bob and Jim like to walk around the perimeter of their land but their neighbor chased them away. Big Bob has lived on that land since he purchased it in the early 70's. I used to visit him often. Big Bob is the reason I moved to southern Delaware. I grew to love this area of the country and decided this is where I wanted to live when I retired. I am so glad I made this decision. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.
Now I feel bad for Big Bob because he's not comfortable in his own home. He has already had one home invasion by a druggie (who is now in prison.) He keeps his door locked all the time now. Unlike Bill and I who almost always have our garage door open in the beautiful, peaceful Ryan Homes development we live in on the east side of Route 1. Route 1 is like a moat around our castle. It keeps out all the bad elements. Anybody strange wandering around in our neighborhood is very noticeable.
Bob asked me about the tax consequences of selling his land and buying or building a new smaller house with a basement and enough room for a small garden. He is 72 years old now and he says that is all he wants. A small house that is easy to care for and none of the stress that he and Jim are now enduring. I explained to him the $250,000 capital gains tax cost exemption which I think Bob would qualify. Unfortunately for Bob, he has two problems. First this is a terrible market to sell a house or land even if it is a prime 22 acres of woodland that is easily cleared. Secondly, his neighbor has been encroaching on his land for years now and Bob has not contested it. He knew it was going on but did nothing because he wanted good relations with his neighbor. It isn't the way I would have handled it but to each his own. I can't tell someone else how to live their life. I think if he does get a buyer for his land, he will have problems establishing his land borders. He may have to get legal help. That could prove costly.
I wish Bob and Jim the best but I don't think they will do anything. It's a shame they didn't sell their land when the real estate market was hot. I advised him to do so but he wasn't ready to sell at that time. Big Bob's situation makes me appreciate even more the beautiful and peaceful place where I live and my wonderful neighbors. I've been through the Bad Neighbor experience and it wasn't fun. It was one of the most stressful situations of my life. I felt trapped. I am so glad that in my twilight years Bill and I can live in relative peace and comfort without having to worry about bad neighbors. We may encounter rude teenagers at a local ice cream stand but we can always return to our safe haven home were we can live in peace and comfort. For that I am so thankful.