Notice Foreclosure Notice

Yesterday I got the call. The mortgage company called, and in a rare case, I answered. In their usual manner, they delivered the news that they will begin foreclosure on my house on March 17th. I can’t recall their quote verbatim, but I am sure they were very particular with the words written on their script. The news didn’t improve my day. One nice tangible bit was self-provided as my most recent book became available in paperbackWalking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland Maybe that will eventually be more than enough. Buy, read, review, and stay tuned. By the end of the day, telling folks about my news revealed too many other turmoils hidden behind requisite smiles – and a new way to acknowledge what’s essential.

The foreclosure news released a crowd of scenarios that I’ve kept in consideration ever since I put my home on the market about nine months agoHome For Sale That was precipitated from a previous crowd of scenarios by nine months of unsuccessful job searches (which is now past 18 months), which was initiated by a triple hit to my investing strategy. I enjoyed brainstorming as an engineer. I enjoy it as a consultant, artist, and entrepreneur. I use it in my life. Significant news that changes some ifs to whens drops me into another mode where the brainstormed list is reduced to the most likely and most appealing, with the hope that there are plenty of choices that are both likely and appealing.

Unfortunately, the most likely scenarios are based on extrapolations. There is encouraging growth in consultations, speaking events, book sales, housing prices, and even my stock portfolio (though not so far this week); but those extrapolations suggest months or years before anything significant enough to appease the mortgage company. And the mortgage company is apparently working to a closer calendar.

Fortunately, the potential of getting a good job, selling my home, sudden improvements in those currently shallow extrapolations, and windfalls (hello, lotto) continue and may even be more likely due to simple perseverance. As I’ve said many times, every email, every phone call, every hello on the street can be the life-changing event that happens without prelude.

Yesterday was a rare day. I had two social events. At the price of gas, and as hard as I am working, I rarely leave the house unless work is involved. But, one friend had finally recovered from an absence and I wanted to catch up on his news. And last night was a dance practice. (a practice dance by dancers for dancers without the pace of a class or the social expectations of a dance, $5, two hours, Bayview Hall, be there) I even snuck in a phone call to a friend for the sake of talking to a friend. By the end of the day I’d heard about death, major illness, bankruptcy, car accidents, a house accident that involved a car, and two or three stories that were obviously lurking just behind requisite smiles. Within that collection I’m the only one being public about personal turmoil, which is not surprising.

A couple of conversations mentioned the same new perspective. Losing so much changes the way the world is viewed, renders the essentials much less theoretical, heightens the awareness of wealth disparity, and reinforces the desire to give to others. Scenarios for winning lottery jackpots are more likely to include giving the excess away, and most likely, giving it to individuals instead of institutions.

While I was dancing last night I wondered about those other stories that I glimpsed but didn’t hear. I glimpsed them when I asked, “How are you doing?” and saw the struggle between honesty and politeness. It is what one friend calls, “Pretending not to panic.” Despite our pride in openness and compassion, few people want to hear the real story. I’ve had readers tell me so. I understand that. I prefer comedy as well. But someone has to tell these tales with more honesty than politeness. Then I found a new greeting. As a friend dropped into that struggle for a response I got their attention and rephrased the greeting. “It’s good to see you.” That brought a smile. I went to another who’d struggled earlier and playfully re-greeted them. The response: a pause, a smile, and “It’s good to be seen.”

My turmoils are almost exclusively financial. At least that simplifies my scenarios. My friends’ turmoils include that in a longer list. Unfortunately, in this society with this type of economy, finances are necessary for life. That’s a scary situation. I wonder if finances, society, or economies would shift if we relaxed the politeness and exercised more open honesty.

Those grander considerations are put here, and then put aside. Social change, politics, economic upheavals are inconsequential to my immediate concern. The mortgage company delivered a date. Sequestrations, multi-year revenue projections, Occupy movements, even global climate change are subjects of luxury. Do they have massive impacts? Yes. Should we resolve them? Well, it depends on how you define “we”. The struggles of many people I know are all-consuming. Working long hours (with no guarantee of getting paid) then trying to maintain the basics without the ease of money doesn’t leave time or resources to volunteer. For some, that $5 dance was a major luxury. It cost me an extra $6 because of gas. When my portfolio was healthier I spent about 32 hours a week in official and unofficial volunteer work. One of the other conversations I had was with someone in the midst of that world. There was a bit of surprise when I didn’t accept any of the invitations to join, or attend, or in another case, contribute.

Yesterday I released the good news about my most recent book being publishing in paperback. Self-publishing books is effectively writing my own lottery ticket. Persistence means my personal lottery ticket is potentially multiplied by six because Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland is my sixth book. (Multiply by twelve if you include my photo books and my book on Modern Self-Publishing.) Twelve Months At Double Bluff on blurb Success breeds success, and the early reviews of my Scotland book are encouraging. It is possible to sustain a comfortable lifestyle as a writer. I even know a few. Maybe I’ll join their ranks. But that doesn’t change the mortgage company’s calendar unless I get an amazingly lucrative book advance soon. (How about Walking Thinking Drinking Across France, or Ireland, or Italy, or Japan, or all of them?)

My story enters a new phase. I never expected this one. I don’t know what to expect in the next one. I appreciate you keeping me company. It’s good to be seen.

PS As I got ready to post this another message came in that a friend no longer had a working vehicle. Anyone have a car to donate?

About Tom Trimbath

real estate broker / consultant / entrepreneur / writer / photographer / speaker / aerospace engineer / semi-semi-retired More info at: and at my amazon author page:
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10 Responses to Notice Foreclosure Notice

  1. Mark Hafen says:

    Tom, I admire your tenacity. People of a certain age (us!) should not be worrying about paying the bills and being forced to embark on new careers. We should be awakening at noon and eating chocolate sandwiches (to channel the late Erma Bombeck). What I admire even more is your willingness to share your experiences with everyone. As you said, most of us just post the requisite smile.

  2. lizaloop says:

    Hey Tom, I see you. And after that a couple of comments…
    1) Life changing events are better than life threatening events. Loosing your house may be a big blow but you won’t be out on the street because you have friends who would take you in. It may not be your preferred arrangement but it’s not life threatening.
    2) As I’m sure you are aware, there is a large gap between working for an ample pay check and volunteering with no direct personal benefit (volunteering). Too many of us fail to explore barter and gifting as alternatives to the cash economy. This probably doesn’t describe you but I thought it was worth mentioning in public.
    Now I’ll go back to writing stuff that might result in putting some coin in your bank account. It’s not only good to see you, it’s good to work with you.

  3. Heather Wallace says:

    Are you healthy Tom? If so there is hope. Send up a wee prayer see if anyone is listening. I find when one door closes another one gets flung open to new possibilities, send out your thoughts to the universe see if they can come up with something, it works sometimes. In my thoughts this evening must be hard for you. xx

  4. Thanks. And thanks to my walk across Scotland, I am healthier now than I was before I started that trip. In Scotland I learned how to appreciate life more. By the way, I’m also checking for jobs outside the US. I’ve even looked at Prestwick, Bristol, other places around UK. Nothing yet, but who knows, maybe we’ll be neighbors.

  5. Tom, I applaud your bravery, tenacity edged with grace, and openness to all that is in this moment. “SAWABONA” is a common greeting among the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa and it literally means “I SEE YOU” As to say, “I respect and acknowledge you for who you are.” In return people say “SIKBONA” which literally means “I AM HERE” as to say “When you see me you bring me into existence.” I see you, Tom.

  6. Tom, I keep thinking that you should walk the entire length of the Great China Wall with the complete media package of film/TV as well as the old fashioned writing and stills. Not that this will help you with your immediate problem and obviously it’s a major challenge but . . .

  7. Talia toni Marcus says:

    Dearest TomTim~ Here is your next assignment, should you choose to accept: This blog entry is a good PITCHfor a Movie or TV Series. We know this, as many of your friends have suggested. I have 2 personalcontacts to submit this Pitch to. Plus there are several great guys here locally to review The Pitch and/or take on the Pitch Presentation. I have a knack for “Hollywood Editing”. Try writting it up in5forms. 1- Title plus A One Sentence Description (fast paced, forget grammar). 2- 100 words of dynamite sentences good for aPress Release. 3- Three detailed paragraphs that outline the Basis and Development of the Plot. 4- Character Descriptions:Name, 2-4 wordsand a 100 word background paragraph for each. 5- Sound Bites for: 1the Poster, 2 Review Headlines, 3 Praising the Author, 4 Praising this Everyman’s Delemna, 5 etc different points of views. There are lots of Moguls & common folk around the world in this same dynamic. Sincerely, Your Pal, Talia TONI MARCUS


  8. says:

    Get to writing…if there’s a last supper in t here anywhere, give me a call 🙂 Seriously, you’ve been tapped on the shoulder…turn around and say “hello, hollywood!”

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