New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

SSS – Sucky Storm Sandy & “I Cried that I Had No Shoes, Until I Met a Man with No Feet”

Greetings New Jersey –

Happy Saturday!….we’re a few days into spring and thank God we seem to have moved, albeit painfully, past the winter of our collective discontent. Good riddance to a miserable winter (and fall, for that matter).

Here’s a Shout Out and sincere thank you!! Thank you Tracy Giery for fantastic thoughts and comments about real value and other positive ideas!!

Tracy, you’re not only a super person but a great realtor and a true resource for positive thinking in this environment!! Thank you, thank you for great conversation and illuminating thoughts! Readers, definitely call her right now for help with marketing and valuating your house and more importantly clarifying your thinking about what you’re home is and will really be worth! 609 296 4667.

Another great mention goes to Sandra Guage, who is an excellent attorney handling insurance issues. She’s been volunteering her time to help people negotiate the labrynth of confusion of our insurance policies and can certainly help you with your appeals. Read her blog at Great resource for everyone who is unhappy with their insurance settlement.

Okay, we have a bunch of things today. As a note, I am getting criticism and complaints – on one hand I’m being too specific about construction technique and process and ignoring the social and societal impact of SSS (Sucky Storm Sandy), and on the other getting complaints that I’m waxing too general about attitude, mindset and motivation and not giving enough specific information about how to actually rebuild the damn state as quickly as possible. There are also a number of people (bless your souls) that actually tell me I am being helpful to them in their efforts to rebuild after SSS. (As a note, I’m sending all of those people cookie platters.)

One never makes everyone happy all of the time – such is life. Given that I could never adequately address all issues for all people simultaneously, I’ll just stumble along blissfully continuing to opine and hope for the best. If I was too concerned with other peoples opinions I’d still be waiting tables and getting fired for talking too much…J

So let’s talk about you, today, right now. What should you really be worried about? Probably going to Wawa or WalMart for milk, eggs and maybe coffee. Really.

In NJ, 62 people out of 100,000 die from TMC (This Mysterious Cause – which I’ll reveal in a minute – don’t cheat and skip ahead!). In contrast, 32 people out of 100,000 die of cancer and 26 die of heart attacks.

So you’re almost twice as likely to die of TMC than you are to die of cancer and 2.2 times as likely to die of TMC than a heart attack.

Want to know what TMC is? Ok, here goes.

Car accident. Yup. True. We have much more risk driving to Wawa for gas (or cigarettes) or WalMart for interesting social experiences than we do of dying of cancer or heart attack. Fact. Google it.

So what’s the point?

Start worrying about what you can control and don’t bother with intangible, unresolvable, unknowable issues. Let’s focus on rebuilding your house, not solving world hunger.

If we fix one home at a time, each neighborhood will follow.

Keep your perspective – it is at times like these that you need it the most.

Think “I complained that I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.”

It can always get worse, folks.

Don’t ever say “oh my God, it can’t get any worse!”. If you do Karma, Mr. Murphy, fate or circumstance will most likely rear their ugly heads and bite you promptly on the ass. Then you will wish things were back as they were, before you started complaining.

Some ideas and concepts bear repeating over and over. For now, until you’re more centered, focus on your situation. Exclusively.

Unless you’re a social worker, a therapist or (God forbid) a builder, architect, engineer, township planner or FEMA genius, stop trying to eat the whole elephant at one time. Focus on your situation.

You have one house (presumably). You have one set of circumstances. Concentrate on them – not the entirety of resolving all of the issues of the Sandy rebuild and the effects on the macroeconomic situation.

So let’s start now.

Get a blank piece of paper.

Draw a box at the top. Write “Fix House” in the box.

There. You’ve started.

Draw a line down and make another box.

Write “Flood Zone & elevation” in the box.

Enter your flood zone, which is probably an A or a V. (reminder: go to to find out, or call me) Your ABFE (advisory base flood elevation) will probably range from 8 – 12.

Draw another line down and form another box.

If you are A, type in the box “Lift House & Block up Foundation”.

If you are in a V zone, type “Lift and Move House, Install Pilings, Set house down.”.

Draw another line and make another box.

Write “Get soil boring to establish bearing capacity for new foundation”.

And on, and on, until you feel some clarity.

Keep going. One step at a time.

Get the idea? Focus on your situation. It will clarify your thinking and help you to move forward, again one step at a time. Remember the elephant. Or think about the Great Wall of China, which was built one brick at a time, starting with one Chinese coolie and a wheelbarrow.

Again, and not to be repetitive, digest and understand your process one step at a time.

There is another expression that’s unusually applicable – “Paralysis through Analysis”.

You don’t have to understand the physics of cell phone usage to make a phone call. Don’t over analyze things. Enough said.

Let’s keep something else in mind. We’re Americans. Digging deeper, we’re from New Jersey. We suck it up, pull together, perform herculean efforts and surmount seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We overcome. If we didn’t, we would still be living in England, or Spain, or Ireland or Portugal. We don’t give up, or give in.  We persevere.

NJ, we’re not going to get through this by wringing our hands. The situation is confusing, difficult, complicated, frustrating, and mind numbing. We’re feeling despair, and grief, helplessness and uncertainty. We can only choose to struggle back to our knees, and painfully up to our feet and look forward to try and see past the clouds.

Keep up! Let’s keep rebuilding NJ one house at a time.

Take care.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s