Sorry men, but
women like being outside, gardening, sports, do-it-yourself projects and of
course boating. Remember years ago when men could sneak out of the house and go
to the manly lumber yard or the hardware store on Saturday mornings? If your spouse
was in the car she didn’t dare get out and enter those “men-only” stores. Women
would be glared and stared out the door as if a suspected shoplifter.
After years of
the home improvement, lumber and hardware stores catering to the men, women
received inspiration, confidence and lessons from icons like Martha Stewart
that women can use power tools and
shovel dirt as well. The home improvement chain stores realized that women can
also make purchases for their homes and spend money too! Females soon discovered after watching
multiple choices of cable television shows that we could bring home the bacon,
fry it in the pan, grow a garden, and envision lovely yards with our shopping
list in hand. This is a familiar and cherished phrase at our house, what’s on
my “honey do” list this weekend? My husband Tom is either very blessed or very
cursed for being such a great handyman. My friends and neighbors have told me
numerous times how lucky I am and my return comment is “Back off, he’s already
When we purchased
our 25-year-old Gibson Houseboat, his knowledge and being a handyman was a
blessing. From bow to stern or head to
toe, it needed to be remodeled, updated and have some TLC. I am the creative one of this partnership
with visions and ideas and Tom is the one who makes most of my dreams come true
and most of my visions as I requested.
I can make it
look good, but he’s into operations and can make it run. I love browsing through magazines and even
marine catalogs to find ways to improve our houseboat and keep Tom’s honey-do
list filled. He is impressed when I use nautical terms and actually have a
useful suggestion, rather than just the color of the bedding and placement of the
furniture. Yep, it’s not just a guy thing.
Of course with
renovating, there is that dreaded word “budget.” Some projects are known as
money pits, some fixer-uppers and some smart investments. Everyone needs to
make his environment his own and his surroundings pleasing to his taste. We can
all go to boat shows and visualize owning that $350, 000 luxury yacht, but
reality hits you between the eyes when you walk into your own small nest and
sit on your saggy, sloppy and not so sumptuous sofa.
comes first: the new engine or new furnishings? The bow thruster or appliances?
Some water enthusiasts do not care if their houseboat even has a motor or not.
I have seen some motor boxes—due to neglect—make a great plant container box. Many people become nauseated or do not like
the gentle motion of great waves crashing into their salon as that foolish
threesome on PWCs speed past you to see what color eyes you have bulging out
your head. Some folks just want to live on their boat, enjoy the beautiful
sunrises and sunsets of the days and be inspired by the atmosphere, sights, sounds
and smells of the water. Yes smells. Tom swears that wonderful aroma
brings him back to days of his childhood. Everyone has his own desires and
wishes and mine is the best of both worlds. I live on my boat on weekends and
take it out for those great barbecues on the front deck with a cool beverage,
my hubby, relaxing music in the background, the sun setting on the trees and no
cell phone service. A refrigerator filled with food, a head and my own bed in
the back helps. That is relaxing, rejuvenating and so restful drifting up and
down the lake, but if you stop do not forget to anchor. It’s not very romantic and actually quite
embarrassing to become beached and stuck in the clay or deep mud and having to call
on the radio for a tow. Especially when everyone who has their radio on can
hear your desperate call. Plus it’s
really not very romantic when you’re sharing your nice meal with the captain of
the tow boat. Sorry, that will not make
his services cheaper either!
I guess you
know that answer to the question about priorities—furniture or motors,
appliances or bow thrusters. If you know my husband then you know the answer.
My budget is only a fourth compared to what he spent on the guts and operating
necessities, so that was my strategy. I renovated and restored at my own pace. I
would walk through those manly home improvement stores that are now tame and
catering to the female market and get ideas from my much loved cable shows. As
the boat improved, so did I. My outdated
project that looked like it came from the projects, now was getting a much
needed facelift and is ready for project runway. Being a team is essential as
well as being patient. Whether you are waiting for payday to continue your plan
or the weather to improve, your day will come.
If you want
your environment to be calm and serene then visualize that with every choice
you make before you purchase. If you want it to be a manly men’s only club and
environment then visit your favorite bar and visualize the atmosphere with neon
beer signs up on the wall. It is your houseboat and your choice and this is our subscription to Houseboat magazine. Just remember men, it’s not just a guy thing.