In a 24 hour period from Thursday to Friday, I drove over 150 miles around town, meeting prospective buyers to finally sell my car. Slightly nervous about meeting strangers, I chose public parking lots, close to busy roads.
Tom suggested I turn over the keys to any prospective buyers to test drive it on their own rather than join them, better to have a stolen car than to be kidnapped! I agreed.
Listed on Craigslist for free, CarSoup for $9.95 for one month and Auto Trader for $20 for one month, I was delighted to notice an increase in activity when I placed the last online ad on Auto Trader, resulting in a sale only a day later. Had I known Auto Trader reached such a wide audience, I would have listed it there in the first place. Who knew?
The last car I’d sold several years ago was the result of an ad in CarSoup. This time, I didn’t have much time to be overly creative or frugal. With our high level of motivation I was determined to get the car sold as quickly as possible, leaving one more crucial task out of the way.
Oddly, it sold to a dealer, Patrick O’Conner/owner/dealer of a finance company, First Source Financial. Patrick had a potential customer on hand. My instincts told me that his buyer may have required “special financing” allowing him to resell it at a higher price than he paid me, a price with which I was satisfied. Win, win for everyone.
Treated with kid gloves, not only did I feel at ease throughout the transaction working with Patrick but also with his delightful assistant Jennifer, who was kind enough to drive me the long way home after I’d dropped off the car at his dealership on Friday.
It was an odd sensation when Jennifer left me at home. Looking out the window, I realized that for the first time in my adult life, I didn’t have a car of my own. For a moment I felt trapped, even lost. Tom’s long work days left me at home certainly with plenty to occupy my time over the next 17 days when we move to our friend’s home as the estate sale begins.
Suddenly, everything is moving quickly. While grocery shopping early in the morning before turning over the car, I carefully calculated each item that I purchased to ensure that it was “just the right amount” to last through our remaining days. I started saying goodbye to the staff of many years at our local grocery store, knowing that I may only be back one or two more times. How odd.
I’ve lived in this general area of the western suburbs of Minneapolis for the past 40 years, seemingly far away yet only 30 minutes to downtown. For years we used the same bank, the same library, the same State Farm office, the same drugstore, the same Target store, and the same post office.
On Tuesday, I sadly said goodbye to the staff at the post office while dropping off a package. Over the years I’ve come to know and appreciate each one of them for their kindness, their great service and for remembering me each time I entered their door.
We won’t be able to say goodbye to everyone. The time is flying by so quickly that I am now left wondering how everything will get done in time, let alone having time to see everyone to say goodbye. Now, with no car, I am dependent upon friends and loved ones coming here to say goodbye. Some will come, others will not. I accept this.
That which seems so huge and meaningful to each one of us is often, but a blip to others, as we all get caught up the whirlwind of our daily lives seeking a sense of achievement, of fulfillment and of responsibility.
I have no expectations other than to embark upon this adventure with an open heart and eager mind, to learn, to grow, to experience and of course, to share.
Not only will we share this life changing experience with one another, but with all of our readers who may in some small way find their own sense of discovery in the never-ending details, the not so professional looking photos, from the heartfelt perspective of two determined retirees as they travel about the world.