While packing an order today, I came across the receipt for Mark’s Seagull Guitar he bought a few years ago. I mentioned this guitar the other day on my blog. As I looked at the receipt, memories of the day we got the guitar came alive!
Mark has been using computers and the internet forever! He worked for the Swedish-based company, ABB, for several years, using his innovative computer savvy to connect with his Swedish counterparts without ever leaving US turf. He loved setting up tele-conferences and dazzled his employers with the ability to communicate without actually flying to Sweden!
Mark used the internet just like a huge set of encyclopedias! If he wanted information, he dug online until he found what he was looking for like a bloodhound on a trail! And so it was, in November of 2002, we went on a “day trip” to Toronto, Canada, to look into buying a Seagull guitar! He found high ratings amongst guitarists and was convinced the trip would be well worth the time and effort.
The day began like any other day, but the weather forecast was calling for an accumulation of snow. I was feeling a little more than uneasy, as we had a rear-wheel drive Volvo at the time that was incapable of getting us home if there was any measurable snow on the road. Mark looked out the window and threw caution to the wind. We were going, forecast, or not!
We began our journey heading towards Buffalo. For my European and Australian readers, Buffalo, New York is the brunt of every sick joke about snow in our region. You might say that Buffalo is sometimes considered the “armpit” of New York, simply because it receives some pretty large amounts of snow from time to time. Since I grew up south of Buffalo, getting many of the same storms, I love snow and don’t think of it as a detriment at all. I even love winter!
As we got closer and closer to the city of Buffalo, the weather deteriorated quickly! The snow was falling horizontally, and it was beginning to build up on the sides of the highways. My nerves were getting a bit stressed and I kept asking Mark if he was sure we should continue on!
We passed through Buffalo and on through customs, entering Canada. After leaving New York, it seemed like the weather was getting somewhat better. We drove on and on, stopping along the way at a guitar store. I cannot remember where it was, but it was a good distance from our ultimate destination in Toronto. Mark spent what seemed like forever at the store, trying out many different guitars until he finally felt it was time to move on.
By the time we arrived in Toronto, (I think it was about 3 pm) Mark was in good spirits as he tried out even more guitars! I do understand passion….I lose track of time whenever I venture out with my camera….but Toronto is about five hours from our home! Mark must have tried over a dozen guitars that day, and he finally settled on a beautiful guitar made by Seagull, a Canadian company. Mark found a guitar with a blemish that sold for far below retail! As we looked, we were unable to find the blemish, until a salesman showed Mark a teeny spot under the bridge of the guitar! Add to his find the fact that the US dollar was worth about 20 or 25% more than the Canadian dollar, and Mark rolled out of the store feeling as though he had just robbed it!
We left the guitar store and began the long journey home at about seven o’clock. We passed through customs, presenting our receipt, with no problems at all.
As we got nearer to Buffalo, I felt myself gripping the door handle, expecting to move like a snail along snow-covered roads. Much to our surprise, Buffalo was completely snow-free! We found ourselves making such good time! There was no snow whatsoever as we made our way home. This was so great!
We arrived at the bottom of our hill….did I mention we live on a S-T-E-E-P hill? After traveling over one hundred miles with beautifully groomed roads, our road was covered in an inch or two of snow. Mark gunned the gas pedal and tried to zip up the hill, but the Volvo just sat with tires spinning, as though laughing at us! It was nearly midnight and we were all tired after our adventure. Mark finally decided after a couple attempts, to park the truck off the side of the road at the bottom of the hill.
The kids and I grabbed the new guitar and walked up the hill, giggling and hoping we wouldn’t get lost, as it was so dark out! It takes some time to climb the hill, as it is rather steep, but we hurried as much as possible, not wanting to leave Mark too long. We made it to the house, and the kids both headed off to bed.
I, on the other hand, fired up Mark’s ATV and ventured down the hill. Mark got out of the Volvo, transferring onto the ATV. I got on behind him and we rode into the dark night, up the hill, to the warmth and safety of our home!
Even now, as I tell about this adventure, I smile, as this is one of the adventures our kids are likely to never forget! We have had many fun times, but this particular adventure stands out on its own!
Here is a photo of the Seagull Guitar….
And the logo,on the neck…..
Mark went out today…the first time in over a week. He drove his mom to a doctor’s appointment. When finished, he drove his mom home, then headed to the Guitar Center….
where the little Martin Backpacker went back. That’s okay…I really expected it might, and there are no hard feelings! He did order a couple of different guitars to check out online, so when they arrive, he will see if they are acceptable. If not, they will also go back! In the meantime, King Angus anxiously awaited Mark’s return….
Yes, Angus makes like a parrot, perching himself on the back of the seats, surveying all activities not only in the truck, but also the parking lot!
Happily, Mark is on the mend, and we will hopefully, have a few more adventures soon!