Saturday, March 7, 2015

Goodbye, Bessie!

I knew when I got home last fall that it was time; probably past time.  My camper van, who I began to call Bessie sometime back, deserved more than to be parked 11 months out of the year.  She wanted to be on the road, seeing new places.

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.

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