Tornadoes and Boats

When you read the rest of this blog, you will notice how long ago I wrote it. What happened? In a word, summer. House guests, parties, summer theater. We’re a small town but the summer theater here is world class. I was stunned when we saw our first play. I was expecting community theater but we got professional actors from big theater companies. The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis for instance. What a wonderful surprise. The blog got put on hold, a long hold, but here is the story of boats and tornadoes.

I’m writing this, waiting for the storms and tornadoes to hit. It’s scary. We’re right in the middle of all the weather coming in. Right now it’s thundering. I love thunder but not this thunder. I have the candles out, all the deck furniture has been brought into the house, windows closed tight. I thought we had escaped all the dangerous stuff by moving away from fires and earthquakes. A tornado touched down three weeks ago and destroyed whole houses, garages, roofs and tons of trees. There was a lot of damage around the lakes, docks destroyed, boats thrown up on shore and toppled, outdoor furniture all destroyed or blown away. You get the picture. The storm hit and we were ok but a lot of people had a lot of damage. I hope that’s the last of the big storms this season.

The storm reminds me of the day we finally decided to go out shopping for a boat. It was raining, wind howling and very cold. This was in April. We figured we’d be the only ones out shopping for a boat, everyone else would be cozied up in front of their TV with the fireplace on. We picked the showroom closest to us and we were the only ones in there. They had beautiful new pontoons for sale for $54,000. This of course did not include the lift which was an extra $11,000. And those are just the beginning of the expenses of having a boat. So we took all the shiny brochures and went to the next place out on the edge of town.

This place wasn’t quite as fancy as the first place and the salesman was great. Quickly we became best friends. AND their pontoons were only $43,000, the lifts $10,000. I was sold of course. We picked one we liked the layout of and they only had one left. We needed to make a quick decision. Tom kept talking to our new buddy and I was pretty antsy. What were we waiting for? “I need to speak to my husband” I said. Our new best friend knew he had me on the hook. “Tom, they only have one left, we’d better get it or we won’t have a boat this summer.” “I’m not ready to commit, you do realize we can’t afford this, right?” I looked at our new buddy and asked if they have financing. “Yes, of course and it’s great financing.” “How many years?” Tom asked. “We actually finance for 10 years which is the longest so you don’t need to worry about affording your boat.” Of course we were hoping for 30 years which would mean we could afford the boat. “I’ll tell you what,” he said, “I will hold this boat for you until 10am tomorrow. I shouldn’t do this, but I can see you need some time to think about it.”

On the way home, silence in the car. Next morning I said we needed to call our good friend about this boat. “We’re not getting this boat” Tom said. I pretty much knew that but…”We don’t have our final bill from the remodel and we can’t afford this boat, we’ll look for a used boat.” “There aren’t any” I wailed. One thing about Tom, hysterics have never moved him. We started looking for a used boat and went to a town (a very small town) about 10 miles down the road where a new boat place had just opened. He had new boats and he had some used boats. He showed us the shop where they refurbish the used boats and they had one there already sold but he had another coming in. It was a 2004 but they would put in new furniture, flooring, motor, etc, whatever you wanted. We struck a deal and also a deal for a used lift. This package was way more affordable. And they did financing. We were very excited. We’d have a boat for the summer.

The boat didn’t come in and didn’t come in. Soon, very soon he told us. Then before the boat came in, our remodel bill came in which was a lot higher than the estimate they’d give us two weeks prior. Something had to give and even I knew it was going to be the boat. The day we got our down payment back, the boat came in.

4 thoughts on “Tornadoes and Boats

  1. John Doman says:

    So Stevie, now you and Tom have added the third best times of boat ownership (1) when you buy it (2) when you sell it and (3) when you decide other things take precedence!

    Sail on


    John Doman 3688 NW Bronson Crest Loop Portland, OR 97229 503-352-4945 Mobile: 316-737-1610


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