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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don't Let That Boat Sink You

                           "The wise stores up choice food and olive oil,
                             but fools gulp theirs down." - Proverbs 21:20

My family was in a park one day, watching people drag their kayaks and tow their boats out to the water. Even in silence I could read my husband's mind. He loves to fish, wants a boat, wishes for one every year as soon as the first summer sun ray hits his skin. He likes to say that he could spend days out in the open fishing with the kids and stock our freezer to the brim with all the fish and seafood that we all love to eat.

My husband is a great provider. We never lack food on the table, there is always money for books and things that the kids need for school. We have a lovely house. He has a big, detached garage which he calls his "Garaj Majal" with shelves of tools that even our contractor-friend salivated over. We do indulge in some stuff for a fell-good treat but that is more exception than a rule. I'd draw the line, though, when it comes to a hobby boat.

You buy a watercraft and you would, of course, have to get yourself a trailer to tow that beast of a thing. A dealer might throw in a trailer to seal the deal but you know that a clever dealer would find a creative way to tack in extra fees to cover the price of the trailer. Nothing is honesty free when you're in a store. Then, of course, you would also need someting to pull that boat if you ever want to enjoy it in the water: a pick-up truck. A monster one for more hauling power. Then add to the bill the yearly registration and insurance costs for your three new acquisitions. Your male neighbors might drool in envy for that glistening boat but for half of the year, that big money drainer just sits in front of your house freezing in cold weather. Park it beside a bush and it'll soon be home to beehives and cobwebs. Living in the Northwest when people still wear light jackets while the rest of the country swelters in heat waves, that pricey toy just sits on your driveway longer than it'll ever hit the water.

Father-and-son and daddy-and-daughter moments are priceless but in this uncertain economy, splurging on something big and expensive as a boat just does not make sense. I want a boat that can keep us financially afloat that would not drown our bank accounts. I do encourage my husband to go rent  one once in a while or join fishing tours to satisfy that itch for game fishing. As for dinner, I could hit our stores for some good salmon and tilapia to bake and grill. Our local butcher woul even gut and scale the fish for free! Now that is a deal that's hard to beat. So for now, until the day that we have excessive amount of money to throw in the wind, my family will stick to clamming, waiting for mother nature to roll in the tides and  wash those shells ahore. Digging for clams are lots of fun for the kids and you don't need a boat for that! Clam bake, anyone?

I hope that our president and representatives in Washington would think about our "boat situation"  before spending the taxpayer's money. The debt ceiling debate divided the country even more - between those on the liberal side who believe that we should take on more debt to pay for programs and services that we simply cannot afford and the Tea Partiers who would like to stop the government from spending money that we do not have.Whether you're taking stock of your financial state from a  kitchen table or from the chambers of Congress, charging unnecessary expenses on endless credit cards and indulging on limitless spending with borrowed money will eventualy bring the house down.

On our way home from the park, we passed by a man cutting logs in his front yard, obviously saving them for the cold winter days. That is something Washington would do well to remember.The idea of feeding firelogs to a woodstove is to warm the house, not to burn the house down.

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