Brooks Post Year Re-cap Letter – 2008

At this point we’re just going to run out of time before December 25, but on the upside we haven’t sent our 2013 letters yet, so get used to disappointment. For those just checking in, 2005, 2006, and 2007 are available.

I am noticing the problem with putting these all together is some thematic consistency that might feel redundant. If you are feeling that redundancy as well, you could do us both a favor and admit you’ve spent an entire weekend on Netflix watching episodes of Breaking Bad.

Here we go from 2008.

Dear Current Resident,

Since most of you will receive this well into 2009, it’s not fair to call it a 2008 Christmas letter, but more a post year re-cap letter.  And since most of you don’t actually want it in the first place, it’s actually not fair to call it a ‘letter’ as much as a piece of junk mail.  Either way, I’d like to offer you a 25% discount on your next purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They have toilet plungers in the shape of a Great Blue Heron.  Absolutely adorable.  Just shove his whole head right down there.

NEW HOLIDAY LETTER RECORD!  Straight to toilet humor within 100 words.  Beat that Monica.

All right, so let’s get to the meat here.  What to say about 2008?  First off, Erin and I decided the simple pleasures of home, a comfortable bed, furniture not made of plastic or picked up off the side of the road, or a functioning kitchen, were over-rated.  So we left ours behind in Phoenix to spend the summer in a ‘fixer upper’ near our family on the Connecticut shore.  The funny thing about a fixer upper that you’re renting for 2 months is it actually remains as a ‘piece of crapper’ for your entire stay.  Within 24 hours of moving in, Father Bob had flooded the washing machine and collapsed the entire, moldy ceiling in the second bedroom.  So for 2 months the entire family –  2 adults, 2 children, 2 dogs and Andrew’s belly – all slept in one room.  And while we had pushed 2 beds together, Calvin managed to sneak between Erin and me each night.  You knew he’d arrived by the gentle placement of his foot in your crotch.  Actually, the complete truth is we made Harper sleep in the closet.  What’s she gonna do?  She’s tiny.  Really little.  I could beat her up with one hand.

As if that wasn’t enough fun, we THEN decided that going back to our beautiful, spacious, furnished, golf course, kitchened, pool-front home in Phoenix was just crazy talk.  Instead, we’d move in with Erin’s parents.  Awesome.

Why, you might ask, would you do something like this?  Rest assured the answer isn’t ‘because the housing market in Phoenix was booming and we could make so much on the home it was crazy NOT to sell.’  No no.  We just enjoy paying the mortgage every month and letting the house appreciate, unused, like a fine cheese left out in the desert sun.

After years of deliberation, we decided to move the entire family to Connecticut to be closer to family.  My brother, Erin’s sister, our nieces and Erin’s parents all live there.  The other things that live there are mosquitoes, cold, rain, personal poverty, hippies, that guy from the Verizon commercials and about ten more pounds around Andrew’s waist.  Some of them THRIVE there.

Of course it’s not all bad. In Uncle Josh, Calvin finally has a male role model in his life that understands what ‘wainscoting’, ‘actuators’ or a ‘saw’ are.  Erin has met new friends in Connecticut who believe she’s 29.  And Andrew now knows that nail polish remover gets off the stubborn smell of bait fish.  Also cherry red polish after a night in the city.

“So what’s the plan, Brooks clan?” you’re probably asking.  Slap yourself.  Hard.  Rhyming is uncalled for and decadent.  Face nice and red?  Good.  Now I’ll summarize the plan, Stan:

    • Step 1 – Put house on market 10 days before global, thermonuclear, economic collapse.
    • Step 2 – Wait.  Listen to crickets.  Wonder if crickets are eating wiring in your home.  Or stealing copper to re-sell on the commodities market.
    • Step 3 – Cry.  Blame your spouse.  Drink.
    • Step 4 – Research insurance coverage and legal definition of ‘arson’.
    • Step 5 – Repeat step 3.

We’ve gotten pretty comfortable with the plan and believe it will continue to serve us for the foreseeable future.  For those of you freezing in the northeast, I’ve got a hot deal on a resort-like vacation home in Phoenix, furnished and complete with Ford Mustang and all my stuff in boxes in the garage.  If you get out there I need some boxers.

Love, Erin, Andrew, Calvin and Harper Brooks

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