So, somewhat reluctantly, I created a CraigsList ad in January, just to see what would turn up.
Within a day, the emails started trickling in. Some were serious lookers, others were hoping I was desperate to sell since I'd listed it in mid-winter (Sorry, Charlie!).
It was just a few weeks before I got a message from someone serious about purchasing her. We traded emails back and forth. I checked him out on Google; he did the same with me to establish our bona fides. Still, when they wanted to come look at her, I did the prudent thing and set up a meeting at a public place.
Then came the day we were to meet. I drove up to where the van is parked, got there an hour early, only to find it still cushioned by better than a foot of snow. I started shoveling, and then decided there comes a time to trust. Besides, if I pulled her out of her spot, she wasn't going back in. parking on the street is NOT an option up there. So, I called them en-route and had them meet me at the house. If they didn't like her, I wasn't going to move her.
They got there just as I was finishing the shoveling. (a good task on a warm winter afternoon.) They started looking at the exterior. I must say, I was quite the salesperson. I started with the standard spiel about the excellent shape she is in (which is true), but somewhere in there, my ambivalence got the better of me. "There's a ding here where she got bit by a curb. This back bumper goes in just a bit; someone did that before I got her. I think the back marine battery might be going bad. Did you notice here, where the paint is coming off a bit?"
He ignored me, asked me to start the engine, which hadn't been started in a month. I crossed my fingers, turned the key - and the engine roared to life just as it's done every time I got in. She passed the initial inspection, so we took her for a drive. She passed that inspection, so we went inside, did the necessary dickering over price, money and title traded hands.
She's gone to a good home. Mike and Kathy have more free time than I do; they will take her on the road way more than I can. (I wouldn't be surprised to find they've already taken her out for a week. somewhere south, if I were them...) He knows cars; will take good care of her mechanical needs. In the short time we talked, the care between Mike and Kathy was clear - they will fill her with their laughter and the joy they bring to life.
Bittersweet, but it was time.
Someday, Good willing, I will be on the road again. Until then, I have a storehouse of wonderful memories to delve into whenever I need a smile. Can't ask for more than that.