May 30

It’s Time to Go Boating

Spring is here and a lot of people are preparing their boats making sure they are in good working order for the summer season or maybe their buying a new or used boat.  Did you know that everyone age 16 years and older who wants to drive a motorboat on New Hampshire waters, must have a Boating Education Certificate?  I found this out last year when a very good friend of mine said I could vacation at his lake house in New Hampshire for a week and use his 21 foot boat with a 75 horsepower motor.  I was very excited as well as my family to know that we would be able to do some tooling around the lake as well as  water skiing and tubing.  However, I did not have my New Hampshire Boater Safety license.  My next step was to find out how I could obtain this license as soon as possible as the vacation was in a few weeks.  The online course fee is $34.50 and you can charge it on a credit card.  There are 6 units to the online course that has some video in each part that must be watched in its entirety, usually less than 3 minutes long but I found that because there is a timer on each slide, you cannot skip ahead quickly in the information.  Anyhow, after each unit is completed you have to take an exam that you must pass with at least 70% answered correctly or it will not let you continue onto the next unit.  After you pass all 6 units there is a final exam that you must also pass with at least an 80% grade.  Now you may think you are done, but not yet!  You now have to schedule an in-house exam that I was able to take in Portsmouth.  The exam was about an hour long.  I received an 86% passing grade and the administrator provided me with a temporary license and in about 10 days, I received my permanent license.  The whole process of study and taking exams was about 12 to 15 hours.  Was it worth it?  You bet it was!  My family and I had a blast that week up on Merry Meeting Lake, enjoying all sorts of water sports.  Here is the website that you can find out how you can pass this course Hampshire.  Here’s wishing you a safe and happy boating season.

Geoffrey Merrill, Vice President

Tobey & Merrill Insurance


May 22

Memorial Day Remembered

As the daughter of a World War II and Korean Veteran, Memorial Day meant going to Church, the flag, wearing a poppy and having a BBQ.  As a child the significance of each of these wasn’t clear but as you grow, you begin to see their importance.  History indicates the decorating of soldiers’ graves with flowers and a flag is an ancient custom dating back to the 1860’s.  This would normally be followed by a religious service and what we now call a “pot luck” meal. 

Memorial Day, formerly known as “Decoration Day” was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan.  Memorial Day honors those who have died in military service; Veteran’s Day honors all who have served both living and dead.

Decoration Day became more commonly known as “Memorial Day” after World War II but wasn’t officially named so until 1967.  It’s said that May 30th was chosen as the optimal date for flowers to be in bloom.  In the 1970’s the Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed this to the last Monday in May.  Good idea or bad, I know my Dad raised and lowered the flag on both days!

Why poppies, well in 1915 Moina Michael, inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields” came up with the idea of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day, she wrote…. “We cherish too, the Poppy red, that grows on fields where valor led, it seems to signal to the skies, that blood of heroes never dies.”

My dad passed away a few years ago but I still remember the Memorial Day Parades he walked in as a member of the American Legion and VFW.  I continue to honor his memory by remembering all who died in service.

I encourage everyone to participate (in their own way) in the National Moment of Remembrance, 3pm on Monday, May 27th and on Thursday, May 30th.

Have a Safe & Happy Memorial Day weekend.


Operations Manager at Tobey & Merrill Insurance


Dec 11

Tobey & Merrill “Beginners Blog”, Ways to Communicate

It wasn’t so long ago that I thought the best way to communicate with a client was by phone or in face to face meetings, the fact that this is our first Tobey & Merrill blog, is a clear indication of how far we’ve come in understanding the way our clients like to communicate.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for the one on one meetings and as most of you know, I still spend the majority of my day on the phone with clients and insurance companies; it’s just I’ve accepted and embraced email, 24-Hr Access and Social Networking as “value added” methods of communication.  Bottom line, we are not replacing one method for another,,,, we’ve just adding to our offerings.  My enlightened employees have been doing it for years, the ability to quickly adapt to our clients needs is something they successfully do on a daily basis, I’m pleased to be on the evolution bandwagon with them.  You can still count on Tobey & Merrill for the one on one, personalized, professional service you’ve come to expect,, but now,,, it’s coming in many different forms.  In 2012 we joined Facebook & Linked-In and brought you our popular “T&M Lunch & Learn’s for Business Owners”.  Look for even more exciting “enhancements” in 2013.  We are listening to your comments, suggestions and feedback, please keep them coming.  Thank you.

Dean Merrill, President, Tobey & Merrill Insurance.