Tuesday, March 9, 2010

There's A Giant Mushroom In Our Yard...

It was always clear that dial-up Internet access was going to be inadequate. Cable TV is not available at Honeyhill; fiber is a pipe dream; even DSL is out of range. Our only hope was to look up.

Satellite Internet service is available most places, but it's the 2nd worst of all possible options. We did some research to try to find service providers, and finally settled on Wildblue. We had the advantage of knowing that they had serviced our property before--we have a Wildblue satellite dish on a post at the bottom of our hill, and cable running into the house. So we called them, only to find that they were NOT available where we were anymore--their satellite was out of slots. They transferred us to our 2nd choice, HughesNet. (By the way, if you let us refer you, we BOTH get $50 gift cards...talk to me!)

HughesNet is one of the piecemeal remnants of the old financial and manufacturing empire of Howard Hughes, aviation pioneer, eccentric, and zillionaire. They signed us up and arranged for an installer to arrive on 3 March.

3 March was raining. Not hard, but everything was slippery. The installer arrived, as promised, but he won't do roof installs in rainy weather--it's dangerous, and the sealing goop for the holes he drills doesn't set properly, leading to leaks later. We offered the Wildblue post, but the post was too small for the HughesNet mount, and the angle was wrong for the HughesNet satellite. If we wanted Internet service, we needed a new pole.

And that is why we have a giant mushroom growing in our yard.

The History of Honeyhill Farm, Part 8

On Monday, PAIN was the only thing keeping Steve awake at his desk. Sore muscles. Sore joints. Sore knee, banged on the ice in a fall 10 days earlier, but recovering nicely. He set up a contract for regular oil delivery; he set up a contract for regular garbage pickup; he set up a contract for dial-up Internet service; and he sent Chrissy a question: was there a list of foreclosed properties to be auctioned in Prince George's County, so he could see that the house was NOT on it?

Chrissy replied, "Steve, you are correct. The case is still active."

The foreclosure was still ON! They were going to SELL OUR HOUSE at a foreclosure auction on FRIDAY!

Steve was now awake.

Email flew. Phones rang. John, the title officer, had been trying to reach someone--ANYONE--at the foreclosing bank since February 1. Email had been ignored, phone calls went unanswered. Finally, he sent:

"I believe that this is at least the 3rd email that I have sent you regarding this matter without a response, as well as numerous phone calls, all of which have gone unanswered. It is my understanding from speaking to the attorney's office conducting the foreclosure that they still have received no instructions from you to call off the foreclosure sale presently scheduled for Friday, February 26, 2010.

"The Borrowers have fully and completely complied with the terms of the short sale agreement as set out by your representatives and the funds have been in your possession since February 4, 2010. You and other members of your office have continuously refused to even respond to inquiries regarding this matter and are clearly proceeding in bad faith. If I do not hear from a representative of your office by Noon Eastern Standard Time tomorrow, I will have no choice but to report the bank's actions to the Maryland Banking Commission and the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's office. Hopefully, such will not be necessary."

They responded, not to John, but to Adam and Susanna! John did not send the threatened letters, but it was not until Thursday that we had independent confirmation that the house was OFF the auction block. I was afraid I was going to have to go to the auction and buy the house all over again!

Friday dawned, and the house was finally OURS. We could relax--until Russ and David's friends arrived for the weekend...