Landed Gentry

Caretaker's lotTom purchased his Callao property with the intention of spending time there with his family until of his sons was killed in a motor vehicle collision. Tom's emotional life fell apart, along with his relationship with Sara, his long-time partner in both business and love. Tom lost heart in the Callao property and put it on the market. He seemed inclined to subdivide and sell all the property, including the caretaker's house and the expansive lot it sat on. After he divested himself of the investment, he would no longer need a caretaker.

Alicia was panicky. It seemed that every time she and Paul could see the horizon, a fog of misfortune rolled in and obscured the path. She couldn't see how she could afford to move; not only would it be more expensive and inconvenient, but also she needed space for her merchandise. The old caretaker's house served both as a staging area for order fulfillment and as a warehouse for the merchandise that overflowed from the new house. Even if she could find similar space, it would be spendy.

Alicia's ears pricked up when Ted suggested that they should buy the caretaker's property from Tom. Tom agreed to sell it to them for a remarkably good price. Paul and Alicia became the owners of a house and a warehouse on a couple of acres of waterfront property in a retirement-and-recreation destination for Richmond and Northern Virginia.

They are there today, holding on during the Great Recession by virtue of Paul's determination to keep commuting, his love of the work he's doing for a good company, Alicia's perseverance with Intrinsic Collectibles, and their enduring industriousness and resourcefulness.

Paul and Alicia had the entire waterfront to themselves, with no neighbors in sight, for a long time; Tom's house was hidden from view on the other side of the little peninsula where the properties lie. The only other houses out there sit behind thick woods in the middle of significant amounts of acreage. Gradually, the Northern Neck waterfront property is being bought up and developed. Two new homes have gone up across Lodge Creek. Paul and Alicia also now have neighbors in view on either side of their house.

LaLa's trellisSo they built this terrific trellis on the property line after attempts to screen the view of a new neighbor's house with shrubbery failed. They used windows reclaimed from the old caretaker's house, as well as lattice and lumber that Paul collected along the way. The only new materials in this beautiful structure are nails, screws, and paint.

Don't you love it?!