Several of my siblings and I went together and bought a sixty acre parcel of land last year. The land is a few miles from my parents home. It’s really too low to build, but it’s great for hunting and cutting timber. In fifteen years, we should make our money back from cutting timber. My dad bought the same parcel of land back in 1993 and then sold it to his friend Jack. A few years later, Jack sold the land to Dad’s friend, Andy. Last October, we bought the land back from Andy.
Dad still owns fifty acres near our property. He calls his land the cotton picker, because an old broken down cotton picker has been on the property for decades. Our property is just separated by a small strip of land owned by a different landowner, so the hunters in the family have a larger piece of land for hunting.
The land deal has proven to be more complicated than we could have ever imagined. Curry, the guy that owns the strip of land between my dad’s land and our land is claiming a section of land that belongs to us. I made five trips to the courthouse pulling deeds and maps. My first trip to the courthouse, I had no clue what I was doing. By the end of the week, I could walk straight into the records room and pull the section book, which referred me to the appropriate book to find the deed. I am so thankful for Glenda because she watched the kids while Dad and I spent two days at the courthouse and riding across the land on four wheelers.
With Tom’s help, I learned to plot a fairly complicated land description from a warranty deed. I plotted the land descriptions and overlaid our map over Curry’s map to trace how much he is infringing on our property. I went back to prior deeds to verify that Dad held the clear title back in 1993, not the adjacent land owner. Dad and I met with Rogers, the lawyer that was involved in all the land transactions back in 1993 and 1995. Rogers said he couldn’t help us because he also represented the other party in the previous transactions. On our last trip to the courthouse, we got a copy of the current tax map and we were relieved to see that the map had been corrected to show our property line corrected. Our next step is to negotiate a property easement that doesn’t require us to travel up a creek bed to get to our land. My next trip home, Dad and I will make another trip to a lawyer’s office, hopefully to get closure on the whole situation.
The books were huge. I bet some books weighed close to twenty pounds.
With measurements in hand, we carried the four wheelers and a GPS down to the property to verify property line boundaries. We spent two days on the property, because I couldn’t figure out how to use the GPS the first day.
We rode down the creek to get from Dad’s land to ours.
This beaver dam sits in the middle of a pond.
Now the land is used for timber, but at one time it was used to grow cotton. This is the broken down cotton picker that has been there since before Dad bought the property back in 1993.
This is one of the shooting houses on the property. Notice the propane tank under the house for heat. I remember when Dad used to climb a tree stand to hunt. My, how times have changed.
Although the circumstances that led to our time together were a huge pain in the neck, I cherish the memories of hiking through the woods with Dad following me on the four wheeler. I cherish the endless hours at the kitchen table discussing land deeds and property boundaries.
For me, it’s not really the huge things in life that make it worth living. It’s not a birthday or a vacation. It’s the simple pleasures of riding on a four wheeler with your dad, or walking through the woods with your kids hunting for big sticks, or watching the sunset in your sister’s back yard while the kids run around like wild little people. It’s the sweet smile of your little girl when she walks out of her bedroom first thing in the morning with her favorite blanket and baby doll in her arms. I’m so thankful for these times.