In our house in New Zealand before we came back to the USA, we just sold our trailer which we used to use very frequently while renovating our house and landscaping the garden.
But after construction was complete, it became just another item sitting in our driveway that needs to be serviced but was never used.
We sold a few other items that we hardly use, and felt wonderful converting into cash, all those items that just took storage space and were never used.
Plus it was so nice to see how much pleasure it brought to those who bought them, and actually had a need for those items.
Recently I came to realize that my excellent van, which I used to use to do art shows across the USA, was just sitting in our driveway, unused and forgotten.
When I used to do art shows, this van was a wonderful tool.
I bought it new and customized it at the dealership to fit my art career needs.
After we established our residency in NZ, I stopped traveling to do art shows across the US.
The van which was still almost new with only 21,000 miles, sat in our driveway and was only used to carry our bicycles or our raft on rare occasions.
It was just too long and too large to drive around as a second car.
So I decided to put an ad in the newspaper to sell the van.
The advert started running on Thursday, and we sold the van three days later for a full asking price to a couple who LOVED it.
It happened in an interesting way…
I have asked for the van a very reasonable price of $9800
The first man who saw the van really liked it.
His name was Duane and he called two days later, and gave us an offer of $8900 – $900 less than the asking price.
Now… I am the kind of person who likes to close the deal.
I usually do not pay too much attention to the small details, which could sabotage the whole deal.
If the offer is within a reasonable range of my asking price, and I really want to sell, I usually accept the offer.
My husband Jules on the other hand, does not always share my way of thinking.
He believes that people like to negotiate and that I rob them of the joy of the game, if I simply accept their first offer.
Because the van was my art van, Jules agreed to go with my whims of accepting any reasonable offers.
When Duane called early in the morning, Jules picked up the phone.
He was still sleepy, since we usually start the day late and with tea and a morning meditation in bed.
When Duane offered $8900 for the van, instead of closing the deal, Jules told him that he will ask for my opinion and get back to him.
It was a reasonable answer, except that….
Somehow… Maybe because he could not hear well over Duane weak mobile phone’s signal, or maybe Duane accidentally gave him the wrong mobile number, or maybe it was just meant to be…. But Jules wrote down the wrong phone number.
After agreeing to accept his offer since he seemed to be such a lovely man, we called back the number which was definitely not the correct mobile number.
We did not have Duane’s last name or address, and so we had no way of reaching him.
I tried to dial his number with likely variations, but none of them were correct.
Jules told me that he was sure that Duane will call back since he was sincere and a really nice guy, but I knew he was wrong… Duane made an offer and the ball was in our court… He would just interpret our silence as a refusal to negotiate….
I was a bit upset about losing the deal, but I accepted it, because there was nothing I could do to track down Duane and so I simply let it be.
We packed our bicycles and went to cycle in Basalt, a lovely small town outside of Aspen.
It was a nice day and we cycled by the Roaring Fork river for a few hours.
We ate dinner in Basalt at a lobster shack which operates only in the summers and has casual tables outdoors under the aspen trees.
Before our food arrived, I checked our phone messages at home, and found a message from a man named Pete, who said that he was definitely going to buy my van.
Pete said that this was exactly the kind of van he looking for, but that it was very hard to find a used one with almost no mileage and one that is in such great shape.
The next day Pete and his woman drove over from Frisco, (a town next to Breckenridge, ) and we drove down to meet them part of the way, to show them the van.
Pete really liked my van, and was very happy to pay full price, admitting that this was a great price for such a fabulous van.
I gave Pete my old navigation system that I used to use with this van, and which kept me from getting lost all over the highways of America.
Over the hood of our car, we signed the bill of sale and signed over the title to Pete.
The one day delay in selling my van, earned me an extra $900 which was nice.
As Pete drove away with my (his) shiny van, I felt like an era had come to an end…
As an artist, I always owned some sort of van even before doing art shows, because I used to believe that as an artist, I should be able to transport large art to install in a gallery show or in collector’s homes.
In practical terms, this is of course NOT correct.
With FedEx and UPS coming right to my door, I could still ship large art and I always have the option of renting a cargo van for a day or two, should I need to hand-deliver large art to a gallery show.
Jules took me to breakfast in a nearby restaurant.
Over a stack of blueberries pancakes, he tried to asses if I were sad over selling the van, since almost all of the money from the sale, will go to repair our flood damaged driveway.
I was not sad.
I did not use the van for my art career for over five years, and so I was happy to let it go to a man who would use it and enjoy it.
You were a good friend to me… We spent many hours together you and I…. Driving along America’s highways and byways… I sang and I cried inside your protective cabin…..and you always waited for me for long stretches of time in busy parking lots and long term parking in many airports…
Thank you, and may the people who will own you down the road, be blessed with a million blessings….