Actually we were in the slow lane.
Headed back on the freeway from our small storage unit with a few boxes we need to go through before we leave. Last minute parsings of paperwork and miscellaneous documents for anything that could conceivably be of help down the road on the other side of the world.
Caedmon noticed first – the big red pick-up truck pacing us in the next lane, passenger window down and a young woman gesticulating at our van and telling us to roll our window down. Unusually, I wasn’t driving, Gena was. She rolled her window down and the girl asked us how much we were asking for our van.
Ah, yes. The For Sale signs I had affixed to the van just a few days earlier, nearly identical to the ones plastered on my Sequoia. Caught off guard I flashed her a quick response and they urged us to exit the freeway. A few minutes later we were parked in the lot of an ancient Waffle House. After some discussion about the van’s age (2004) and condition (it needs some work, but is otherwise very reliable), we agreed on a price and a place to meet two hours hence to conclude the deal.
After some frantic Googling (it’s been a long time since I’ve sold a vehicle to a private party!), we exchanged money for title and the vehicle synonymous with our kids’ childhood was gone. We’ve had that van for 13 years, since we bought it used in 2009. It took us across the country and back on a 17,000 mile road trip between my two parish Calls. It recently took us to and from the Northwest. It had a serious coating of sand throughout the interior from over a decade of family trips to the beach, and over that a newer layer of pine needles from the glorious pines up in Washington State.
I’m the first to admit I hate mini-vans, a position I have remained unchanged on since my teen years. I never liked the van but my wife and kids loved it. It admirably maintained Toyota’s admirable reliability record, and was certainly a blessing as it ran with very little trouble for nearly another decade after we paid it off.
And loved or not, selling it was a task to complete before leaving the country. Selling it is another answer to yet another prayer, even if I’m still a bit in shock about how quickly it went. Though we’re sad to see it go (well, the rest of the family!), we’re grateful it’s done and hopefully a blessing to the young single mom who bought it.