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  • Reverend James Squire

Lesson Learned On The Chesapeake

Updated: Feb 8, 2021


I learned a valuable lesson from my neighbor on the Chesapeake. Patience. Before you build a home on the bay you must first have to dig your well at the edge of the beachfront property. The house is built after the well is in. That goes in first. For the most part there is no public water on the properties that are that flow directly into the Chesapeake.

Our neighbor who was ahead of us in building his home was a high-powered fellow at DuPont. His home was finished as we were clearing the land and starting our building process. He was the person who led Dupont to have a footprint in China which was not easy to do. Today we would call him a “hard charger”. He was very frustrated that his well was not being drilled so he tells this cautionary tale about his experience which is followed with a hearty laugh.

When the well driller wasn’t getting to his property, he had several lawyers from Dupont go to the well driller to make him aware of Bob’s rights and well drillers responsibilities. The attorneys appeared in the well driller’s office which was a small operation. The well driller was sitting next to a wood burning stove in a rocking chair and was listening attentively to the lawyers‘ comments. He then stopped rocking and said, “Thank you for making me aware of my legal obligations. I was going to drill that well in June. Now I will wait and drill it in August.” The lawyers’ mouths dropped open. They didn’t know what to say!

What worked in China was not the way business was conducted on the Chesapeake when dealing with the people on the Bay. They are rugged independent thinkers.

My family and I literally built our home with our own hands under supervision of a friend. I remembered our neighbor’s experience. When I had a subcontractor do some work for us, I had difficulty getting him to do the job. I said nothing. When he appeared, I did ask him what delayed him, he simply said, “It is hunting season.” No apology. The implication was I should have known better.

I am not very good at patience. Although I hate to admit it, I am a bit like my neighbor. I am still learning that lesson and that includes seeing the positive when you are waiting and “knowing your audience”.

We recently lost some trees on our Newtown Square home during the derecho storm six weeks ago. Our tree person is just getting around to removing the trunks that were left.

What I try to say on my better days is that the tree person didn’t get up in the morning and say, “I think I will frustrate Jim”. When he apologized for taking so long getting to them, I simply said, “What I will remember is that you were here the first thing the next morning after the storm clearing debris and the bigger tree trunks.” He said, “Thanks!” It made his day!

Patience can work for or against us as we deal with the pandemic and Black Lives Matter.

Some would say we have been patient long enough. We want signs of resolution. Times up!

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