We have been needing one more chair for The Raft. The Raft is its own story which you may or may not know. I will not tell it here. It's completely nonessential to understanding this one.
We had one chair for it and needed another. I hoped for leather, because leather is the most forgiving and I expect a lot of forgiveness is going to be required down at The Raft.
But leather is expensive and so I set a forty mile radius on my Facebook Marketplace map and checked it occasionally for deals. There was no real time crunch. I could look indefinitely and pounce if I saw one.
Yesterday I found a chair. A leather recliner. It was pretty. Like new condition. Used very seldom. No pets. No smoking. They were asking $250 dollars. I looked up the chair brand name and tried to find a new one that matched it. It was at least a $1300 chair. Quite possibly over $2000.
One problem. It was not within the tidy 40 mile radius I had drawn on Facebook Marketplace map. It was in High Point, NC.
On a whim, I sent The Chief a link to it and a message.
"Is 3 hours and 49 minutes too long to travel for a chair?"
In a minute my phone rang. It was the Chief. He was actually entertaining the idea!
"It would cost $50 worth of gas to go get it. It looks like a good deal. Contact her if you want. You could bring Dustin's Jeep in and meet me at work and we'll leave from here."
The lady said it would suit to meet us at 6.
The Chief had an appointment to quickly schedule and keep.
I had a "Coffee and catch-up" appointment with a friend to reschedule.
In approximately forty minutes essential matters were in place, I smiled at the girl in the mirror, slipped on some shoes and headed out the door. By 2, I had located their job site, we climbed into his truck, entered the High Point, NC address into the GPS and were on our way.
Anyone who has bought things secondhand knows how often they do not quite measure up to your expectations when you experience them in person. We were no exception to that rule. We knew we were crazy. Neither of us cared.
Still, it didn't hurt to discuss it. Several hours in I said, "What are we going to do if we don't like it? Do we come home without it and take the $50 loss, or do we buy it no matter what just because we drove 8 hours for the stupid thing?" He looked at me with slight amusement on his face.
"I'll let you make that decision." I said.
This was just a filler statement. I was pretty sure he wasn't going to be making that decision alone.
By mid-afternoon I was very hungry. It is my habit to not eat until after 5PM. It is pretty common for the Chief to do the same. Some days this is easy. Some days it is hard. At 4, I asked innocently, "Are you hungry?" The Chief looked at me as if I had violated the rules of some unspoken contract. "I have been purposely not saying anything about food." he said.
We were both ravenous. "There's no way we can eat before we get there" he said. "We're already going to be a few minutes after 6."
That meant it would probably be 7 until we could eat. An eternity away.
At 5, the Chief broke the silence that had settled. "We are completely crazy."
Somehow, saying it made it more real.
I thought about the one review I had read on-line where a lady said it was a large chair. "I am 5'7" and I cannot put my feet on the floor when it is upright, though it is very comfortable when reclining."
I am 5'5.5".
"Oh well." I thought. "Maybe that was a different model. At least it's comfortable when you are reclining." But I also told myself quietly there was some reason the lady was selling a high dollar, like new leather recliner for $250. It was probably because no one wanted to sit in it.
We traveled steadily on for another hour, exited the interstate, rolled down the streets of High Point, and threaded our way through the lady's subdivision to her house.
The chair sat in her garage. The lady stood there, waving us in. She was nice and friendly. She apologized for the mess in her garage. Her daughter and son-in-law and their 3 children had just moved in with her, she said. Just for a year. He was transferred there temporarily and she had to get rid of some things. "Here's the chair." she said. "It's in good shape. It was a showroom model from my ex'es business, and I had it in a bedroom. It was never really used except for throwing pillows on it."
It looked very nice. I sat in it. My feet easily touched the floor. It felt good. It reclined smooth as butter.
I let the Chief try it. He liked it too.
It was almost unbelievable. I felt washed with happiness.
It did not take long to load the chair and pay the lady.
And then we left, threading our way out of the subdivision, rolling back through the streets of High Point, and merging once more with interstate traffic, this time headed south.
Twenty miles or so down the road we stopped at Arby's and got ourselves something to eat. I bowed my head and thanked God for things. Many things.
"I thanked God for my crazy husband." I said to the Chief when I lifted my head.
"I wouldn't have done it for anyone but you." he said.
Darkness descended and we traveled on, on, on into the night, toward the wigwam, with our chair. Our comfortable, pretty, worth-it chair.
Crazy, but triumphant.