Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ta Ta, 2009!

For those of you who haven't heard from us much this year, may I provide a brief explanation, describing 2009 at the Herlihy's....

We do not care for those annual epistles that bestow unreal glory of perfect, unimagineable lives...."Timmy was just accepted to Harvard at the mere age of 10, while little Annie will be joining the Peace Corps after her run as a Rockette for Preschoolers...she speaks eight languages.


Our year, however, was the exact opposite. In fact it resembled a country western song. We would venture to say, the song "Gloom, Dispair & Agony on Me", of Hee Haw fame Click here to see what I mean, best describes what occurred in our lives this year. So much so, that we were compelled to share our tale of woe with you.

Actually, it’s pretty funny….

Let's recount the year, shall we?

September 2008: Construction commences to dig a basement under our 120 year old home.

October 2008: Construction continues slowly; we worry that 4 guys and a wheelbarrow do not appear to be working on the project in a professional manner.

Garage is now full of dirt. Huge hole/doorway cut into back wall. Can no longer park in garage.

November 2008: We hear a thunderous noise at 2 am. Look out window to find sidewalk has
collapsed between our home and the neighbors.


January 2009: We come home from Christmas vacation to find that there is an 8' deep trench spanning the entire length of our house, between us and the neighbors, with no support of the neighbor's home.

Tom freaks out.

January 9, 2009: While Tom is at General Contractor's office, pleading with them to fortify the neighbor's house, he gets a frantic call to evacuate both buildings. Neighbor's foundation slides out from under their house.

The same week I started a new job, all the while, Tom is starting his own company.

Oh, and Jack changed schools that week and was the new kid in school.

Jan/Feb: All occupants of both buildings are forced to live in hotels for 40 days in the coldest, most numbing weather in ages. Imagine being in one hotel room with two small children for that long. Cue the vodka….lots of it.

Mid Feb: We say screw it and move back in the house even though we were told not to.
Dayglo orange sticker graces front door..”STOP WORK ORDER”. Might as well say “VERMIN LIVE HERE.” (which they do, under the house)

Plywood at front of house to secure crevasse between the two houses.

Heavy rains causes erosion in front and back of house. My attempts at landscaping get sucked under and the redbud tree stretches one sad branch up and out as a last gasp under the house.

March 2009: Insurance denies claim, citing “Ground Movement”. Doesn’t that mean earthquakes and landslides????

Neighbor sues us to recoup his costs. Attorneys get to work and start billing. Construction ceases.

April 2009: Tom has 2 car accidents in one day. No construction happening...

Receive letter from city stating our house must be torn down......hmmmm that might be a good idea!!

May 2009: My car bottoms out in an unmarked construction area, costing $2,000.00 Still no construction.

June 2009: A U Haul hits my parked car. Drivers have no insurance.

That’s right, the big hole under and between our houses still exists.

My once lovingly landscaped backyard is full of weeds, construction debris and anything remotely dangerous to children.

July 2009: Summer is here and our house just needs a couch in front to be redneck complete. STOP WORK ORDER SIGN has faded to yellow.

City wants our remodeling plans from 1984 to reissue permit. We bought the house 2002….What the hell??

August 2009: City wants us to remove three bricks from our sidewalk as they intersect the imaginary line with city property OR pay an annual trespassing fee….What the @#*&?

September 2009: Remember the job I started in Jan? The one where I left a great job of 10 years to take? Laid off…..Still no construction, no permit. Husband working constantly to get that first sale…

October 2009: Not sure what is scarier, the head on a stick decoration for Halloween in our front yard or our FRONT YARD?! No construction, no permit.

I get “hired” to be the office secretary at Tom’s factory. Former secretary jailed. (don’t ask)

My parked car gets hit AGAIN.

Tom’s car window bashed in by vandals.

November 2009: Work resumes! Promises are made that this nightmare project may end soon. No permit yet, however.

Tom heads to Bangkok, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and London for 16 day sales trip.

So now it is December and we are 11/12 done with this crappy year. We would like 2009 to have an American ending, with the home project done, all negligent parties found liable, to secure a big sale for Heat Armor and for our devastated finances to be made whole. I don’t see that happening in the next 30 days, however, we are on our way.

And we have much to be grateful for. No one (knock on wood) we know or love has been ill, our kids have had a great year in school, I started my own children's clothing line named Mac & Fitz Check out my store on Etsy and the dog didn’t die (oh, right…we don’t have a dog!!!)

We hope your 2009 was a good sight better than ours and don’t look for an epistle next year.

Love, The Herlihy’s