Friday, July 26, 2013

I ♥ ...

I ♥ Craigslist Connections.

I honestly don't know why I get so immediately invested in certain craigslist purchases.  Why I take it to the lengths of lipstick and crisp pants like I did for Millie's chair. Something draws me in that I can't explain. And nothing will get in my way of driving out of town farther than I should to purchase it.

This small credenza had that pull. Sending some fierce magnetism all the way from Casa Grande.

Yes, I drove to Casa Grande, 45 minutes one-way to get this $35 credenza.

The house for pick-up gave me every warning signal to end the deal and run.  It sat on the edge of the desert at the end of a two mile dirt road. And I call it a road because there were tire tracks to follow, not because there was any physical divide between road, lawn or desert. Just dirt and land and heat and openness.  The eight beat-up cars around the back of the house, I assumed were driven in by those that wanted in on the craigslist gang bang I was about to walk into.

No one around to hear me scream, the perfect location to bury a body and I was clearly out numbered.

My only armor as I approached the back door was my cell phone pre-dialed to Anthony with my thumb on the send button and my car keys poking out between the clenched fist of my other hand.

And I was indeed outnumbered. By a retired couple and their two Shih Tzu puppies and the sweet smell of baking.

Sorry about our mess. We're getting ready to move.

Where are you moving to? I asked.

Oh, back to my hometown. New Ulm, Minnesota the man said with pride.

I was giddy about our Minnesota bond. No kidding! I grew up in Luverne, MN. Do you know where that is?

You bet! My brother's roommate from college was from Luverne. We used to go there all the time.

I was going to live another day. 

They showed me the credenza while sharing the story of how it actually came from his mom's house in New Ulm and they moved it after she died. And his few years in the service and how they met in Chicago, where she is from.  And how they ended up in Arizona because of work. And how they were just up in Scottsdale to go to Portillo's and it was delicious.

And worth the price of gas.
And reminded them of all the fun they used to have in Chicago.
And, I really hate New Ulm the woman threw in from left field.

I cry ever time we visit she added.

What? New Ulm is beautiful. Why do you hate it? I sincerely wanted to know.

Its the people. They don't accept me. Or any outsiders. They are all stuck-ups!

Her husband backed her up. She's right. We'll go out to eat and no one will even say 'hello' to her.

That's horrible. But you're a hometown boy so you should be in! And with an equal part of 'sticking up for his wife' and 'wanting to goad a bit' I asked. Why are you insisting on moving to New Ulm if it makes your wife so unhappy?

The more he spoke, the less locked-in this New Ulm move appeared to be. I told her she should check out Luverne instead, but she really wants to get back to Chicago closer to family. 

I just want you both to be happy. It just came out, but I really think I meant it.

They showed me the other items they had listed online. How much for the bedside table dresser? I asked as I was taking the shelf out of the credenza.

We have it listed for $35.

Would you take $60 for the two pieces instead? I'd earned a deal.

They looked at each other and made a joint decision, something I now hope they'd do before moving. Sure.

You know, its funny, the woman added in we've had 3 people lined up to come see that dresser and they've never shown up.

Yeah, probably because your location looks like the set of an Arizona desert gang assult. Or your neighbors down the road killed them. You choose. I said inside my head.

As the man helped me carry the credenza out to my car we passed the fresh apple pie on a cooling rack that I had smelled when they first opened the door.

How much for the pie? I was only half joking.

Oh, it just came out of the oven so its too hot to send home with you now, but I have a cherry cheesecake in the freezer that I sell at the church for $30?

And I felt it. Deep. I was exactly where I needed to be at that exact moment in time. Why? I'll likely never know. But I loved it.

Another craigslist connection.

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