In the beginning…
there was Vanessa

“Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.” — Linda Breen Pierce

We weren’t sure about her at first. She’s been around the block more than a few times. She isn’t easy to turn on. She’s not even pretty. But she’s an experienced, worldly old bird who’s been loved many times over. So, in the spirit of open-mindedness (and our low, low budget), we bought her — a fixer-upper of a van — for $108.

She was for sale on Kijiji for $2000. There weren’t very many pictures of her online. My friend Court always said that the online postings without pictures often end up being the gems. We couldn’t say no.

Jon and I made our way to Danforth and Broadview to scope it out. A couple of other-worldly people — of the eccentric, hippy kind — were waiting to show it to us when we arrived. A youthful, long-haired yogi lady was taking a nap in the back and a dread-locked energetic guy (Liam) was standing next to her as we approached.

They laid it all out for us — she was their road-tripping home for drives to and from Seattle and Vancouver during a stint of working and studying between cities. Their last trip in the van was a full-blown epic, complete with an electrical fire and a snowstorm that left them totally stranded right before a friend’s wedding in Calgary. Liam said it would need about $2500 in repairs based on an estimate from a mechanic friend.

Jon and I hummed and hawed. They were asking $2000 for a vehicle that didn’t start so we opted not to buy it.
Then this happened:

Jon got off the phone, looked at me and said “they want to sell it to us for $108, what do you think?”

“Wait. What? Why $108?”, I asked.

“I don’t know, Liam said it was a spiritual number. Something about mantras — he told me to ask you about it.”

I was perplexed.

“OK…..let’s do it.”

We’re delighted. It is happening! We have a van! And we got it for (almost) free. Time to fix and decorate.