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End of a long year

When I was a kid and my dad wanted me to clean my room, I'd say, ‘I will,’ and he would say, ‘Yeah, when? In 2010?’

This was around 1962 and at that time 2010 seemed like at least a couple of lifetimes away. Now here it is, almost history. I have to say that for me, 2010 has been pretty much the worst business year I have known.

1995 was looking to get the honor but in the middle of that recession there was a huge fire in the Oakland hills that took out over 1,500 homes. It was a horrible experience for those who lived there but it did provide a lot of work once they set about rebuilding. There was another fire that provided work for me – when the Tomales Bay fire came through Inverness and took out a house we had just finished after almost a year's work. The owners decided to rebuild that one, too, so we got another year's work out of it.

This time there have been no such windfalls. Not that I would wish that kind of misfortune on anyone! But there has simply been little to no activity around here for several years.

Our new governor is said to be packing a machete with which he plans to attack California's overblown budget with a vengeance. We are anticipating more cuts in the government workforce and the university system and that is going to mean less money floating around for building and remodeling. So it is looking like another year of small projects and repair jobs that always seem to pop up just around the time the shop rent is due.

But Christmas is coming and the family is all doing well so I think I'll just put off worrying about jobs for a week or two …


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