Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am a Water Baby.

I am a water baby.
My daughter is a water baby.

I am happiest, calmest, most relaxed, when I'm on the water.

The Wildlife, The Sights, The Sounds, The Smells Even.  Time with Family, and Friends.   

In our 11 years together, we have had 3 boats.  2 were purchased off the side of the road, for minimal amounts of money, and while we ran the heck out of the first one, the second one was a dud from the start.  Our third boat has been, by far, our best investment yet.  A 1991 Four Winns Freedom with a 120hp Evinrude Motor, and a Factory Trailer (all painted up to match nicely) .. we purchased it from a co-worker of mine, who I have known my entire life, five summers ago.  It's crazy to think of how long ago that was, and how much we've done, where we've been and what we've seen with her.

Our boat, motor and trailer, are 20 years old.  Twenty.   In car years?  That would be considered a Classic.  Our boat, motor and trailer, are in exceptional condition for being 20 years old.  For 2 years, Mike and I have been bantering back and forth ... should we trade in what we have, and get a slightly larger boat, for when Em gets a little bigger, and we need more space?  Me?  Nope.  The Four Winns is great, she's paid for, she runs like a top.  Fast Forward to June of this Year.   

This summer - we have had a few problems with her.   She's tired.  We used her every weekend, and sometimes, quite a bit actually, during the week.  She's seen many lakes, many hours, and many friends come and go.  She was there with us when Em was born, and has seen her through her her infancy, into and out of her toddler years, and has spent the first summer of her preschool years with us.

She had a hard time starting, and would lose her "prime" .. and her battery would drain .. quickly .. when we were on the water this Summer.   There were days, when we were afraid, we'd have to row back to the shallows, and then - haul her (and our precious cargo) in by rope.  There was a day, at the end of the Summer, when we had to do just that.   She's Tired.  She needs work.  More work than we can do ourselves, and in reality, we don't have the time to invest in the sort of overhaul she needs.

She's Tired.    She also, doesn't owe us one more minute on the water.   When we pulled her in September, we had already been revisiting the idea of trading her in.   I feel like a failure to her.  We promised her a good life, and gave her what we could.  She was appreciated, loved, and well cared for.  I feel like we're giving up on her.  Even though, in reality, We aren't.  She never gave up on us, and we never gave up on her.

Since June, we've been bantering.  Should trade her in, should we wait, what happens if we wait, and no one offers us anything, or accepts our offer, should we have one?  What happens then?   Some people go away for a week here, or a week there, some people go away for days, some people (like us) do inexpensive day trips, that always end on the water.  Always.

There's nothing like packing up for the day, and just .. floating your cares away.  At least, to me.

So this weekend, I lost the battle.  After weeks of research, and offers, counter offers and even more counter offers - failed financing followed by more failed financing.  Used boats, new boats, trade ins - We made one last ditch effort, and were resigned to the fact that this wasn't our year ... the Four Winns would have to last another.   We'd have to make it work.  And we were fine with that.  We were okay with "not this year".  And then .. our bank, our credit union actually, approved the financing, for a deal that is perfect for us.  Essentially a car payment (since we don't have one of those).  In the past year, we have paid down our debt, and saved what we could.  We have built my credit up, and his credit is slowly creeping up behind mine.  

I lost the fight.  We agreed on a deal, which offered us nearly what we paid for the Four Winns 5 Summers ago, and a brand new boat, slightly larger than the one we have.  It's brand new, red & white *the perfect color scheme for us* and a pontoon boat (the argument I lost)  We can pick her up anytime, however, it being October (the best time to get a great deal) the Marina we went through offered storage through the Winter.  That way, we don't have to worry about Winterizing her, and seeing her until we can use her.  We take delivery, in March or April.  

The weekly deduction from our pay is nothing compared to what it could have been.  Saving money left and right, the deal the owner gave us - were too good to pass up.

This Summer, we'll have room to invite friends to float away their cares with us.   I can't wait.

Not that we owe anyone anything, explanation or justification wise - this blog is a way for me to work through my mixed emotions.  

I am a Water Baby.   

Emily is a Water Baby.

Plus?  She's Pretty


Jessi said...

Congrats! You deserve it. I fully believe you need to do what feels good sometimes!

Jessi said...

Dude, I get it. You're a water baby... let's move on ;)