Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Craigslist Adventure

It was a Dark and NOT so Stormy Night
I had quite the Craigslist Adventure last Friday night.
It began Thursday night when after searching for weeks, I found a piece
of furniture on Craigslist that I thought would make the perfect potting bench.
Cause you know I've been obsessed with having my own potting bench.
I envisioned myself using it for an outside buffet and garden bench.
So...I quickly emailed the seller who was offering a buffet and hutch for $75.
Would he take $50 and could I pick up tomorrow after work?

Then I went to bed.
Of course I was running late for work the next day and didn't check my email beforehand.
Then, I had to work an extra shift and then ended up going to dinner with a friend.
I totally forgot about my Craigslist find.

I got home about 10 and checked my email and I had several emails from the Craigslist guy, at first saying...
They could not take $50 and then saying they decided they could.
Would I call as soon as I received this email and arrange pick up?

So I called and said,
"Yes, I'd love it for $50. Could I come tomorrow?"
"Well", said Chester (the Craigslist guy) "I've got it in storage at Tuttle."
I say, "Oh...I know where Tuttle is...I could come in the morning."
(For those of you not in Oklahoma. Tuttle is a small town south of Oklahoma City. 
Drive time about 40 minutes away)
Chester says, "Well, actually we are here right now. It's at my parents house. We have 
somewhere we need to be tomorrow. I was hoping you could have come this evening."

I find myself saying, "Well, I could come now...if it's not too late."
(I didn't want someone else to snap it up)

"No", says Chester (hmmmm all of a sudden Chester seems like an ominous name for a seller.)
"Right now is just fine."
I have to say he sounds perfectly normal on the phone;
like a young professional. (But have you ever seen American Psycho?)

So....I tell Chester that I'll start out right away and should be there in about 40 minutes.
It's now like 10:15pm.
As I start driving down the highway...I think....hmmmm most women would take someone 
with them to buy a piece of furniture from a stranger off Craigslist.
Most women would not head out alone to drive to the country at 10:15 pm.
But...I am not most women. 

I did call a friend's Mom (Peggy)...the only person I could think of that would actually be awake
and told her that if I didn't call her within an hour to send the police to this address in Tuttle.
And that the guy's name was Chester.

Peggy...thought this was the worst idea I ever had and begged me to turn back.
But I was half way there by then.

I was just going to take my chances. 
I'd been told to drive to Tuttle and turn at a big church...

I took Chester's phone number in case I got lost.
But I thought, it shouldn't be too hard to find.
I was to drive through Newcastle to Tuttle and turn left at 
Snowhill Church...after that....I was to turn when I saw an old abandoned trailer...
to drive down the drive past the trailer and around back to a house
where the furniture I wanted was behind that in a barn.

Yes, I decided to continue on.
I found the church but could not find where to turn so I called Chester.

He said he'd meet me at the corner gas station.
Sure enough...a few minutes go by and here is Chester in a pickup to the side of me
waving for me to follow.
He looked like a nice fellow but then so did Ted Bundy.
I followed him into a driveway surrounded by tall grasses.
I am really questioning my sanity at this point.
Yes, there was the old house trailer as he'd described.
A chill went up my neck.
But I still had visions of this in my head.
or this
I was in it now. I was not going to let being in a precarious situation cause
me to miss out on the potting bench of my dreams.
I continued on...following him till I saw the home of his parents.
Chester had gotten out of his truck and was waving for me to come on.
Yes, it looked like that.... but with tall grass all around and junk cars too.
Another figure came out of the house carrying a flashlight.
I could hear large dogs barking in the background.
Chester motioned for me to drive past his truck and around to the back of the house.
By then, I stopped my SUV and asked if I was going the right way.
Chester said..."Yes, it's just back here in the barn...follow me."
The other figure was a woman. 
Chester said..."This is my wife ______." 
I totally forgot the name as soon as I heard it.
He said..."I thought you might be more comfortable if I had my wife out here too."
"I thought you might find this kind of scary."
"I had her put the two great danes in the house."
(strangely, I would have found the great danes the least frightening of the whole ordeal)

At this point I was laughing hysterically as I am known to do when frightened.
"Scary?" I said..."What could be scary about this?"
So we got to the barn and there is my prize.
They show it to me by flashlight.
I say..."Yep, I'll take it." 
Truth...I just wanted to get out of there.
At that point, they called the brother out of the house to help load it and I was off on my way.
He was a big guy in overalls. This only added to my discomfort.
I have never been happier driving away from something.
As I drove back through the long drive way...Chester called my phone.
"You forgot the doors for the hutch." 
"I'll be right up to you with them."
I didn't care about the doors. I wasn't planning on putting them back on.
I hated sitting there waiting for him to walk up with them. 
I was almost free and I feared just like in the horror movies...
that is when the killer would do me in...just when I had thought I'd gotten away.

But he handed me the doors and I was off on my way again.

I was back home by midnight with my treasure.

Now the only problem is that its still in the back of my SUV.
It's too heavy for me to move it by myself. 
I broke my cardinal rule of not buying any furniture that I can't move by myself.

Still I know it has great potential if I can only get it out of my car.

Don't you think it was worth risking my life?
This was my first Craigslist purchase. I would totally do it again.
But next time....I'm really going to insist on it being during daylight hours.

To be quite honest, the couple I bought this from could not have been nicer.
And they looked attractive and very normal.
She was hesitant to sell it because it had been her grandmother's but they didn't have room for it
any more.

I always meet the nicest people when out and about and they were no exception.
Still it was rather spooky.


Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Nita Sweetie...
Oh my gosh I am so LOL as I have read through this fantastic post. I can see you driving along this road and you inside mind telling you to turn around. Your pics are great and this was such a great story. I loved it.

I have to agree she is phenomenal and I can't wait to see her finished. You are going to have SO much fun working with this one and what a deal at 50.00 bucks. WOW...I too am afraid I would have driven out there for 50 bucks.

But don't do this again without taking a friend. Remember the Craigslist killer? Scary...

Huggers to you my friend. A beautiful find truly she is. Love, Sherry

Debby said...

I hate to be the first to comment.....I'm glad it turned out well. I'm glad you were alive to post this. Geez, girl, be careful.

Debra @ Common Ground said...

I never say omg...but this time I have to say it. Nita...omg...that was just too scary!!!! Great piece of furniture, but omg...
xoxo be careful from now on!!

Elisa said...

Oh Wow you crazy girl! This is so something that I would do - but shouldn't! I'm so glad you are ok! Please be careful! I can't wait to see what you do with it!
home sweet nest

Elisa said...

Oh Wow you crazy girl! This is so something that I would do - but shouldn't! I'm so glad you are ok! Please be careful! I can't wait to see what you do with it!
home sweet nest

Korrie Bastian said...

You scared ME! Glad you took a friend along, and glad you found something great!

Emily said...

Girl, are you crazy?! Not that I'm one to lecture you - I met my husband online when I was young and stupid, and for our first date I let him come pick me up at my apartment (where I lived alone!) and didn't tell anyone where I was going (or who I was with!). Thankfully it ended well, but I'm still amazed I was so lucky. My mom still doesn't know how we really met (she'd kill me if she really knew). I'm glad you're safe, and I can't wait to see the hutch after you get it out of your car!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Dying laughing over this story Nita!! I so want you to write a book~the Adventures of Nita~OMG how crazy you were to do this alone!!! And I would have died if I had to drive into the woods and fields and go behind to an old barn...holy crap you are something else!!

Betsy Speert said...

Are you going to paint it???
Are you going to take the doors off???
Are you out of your frikin' mind????
If Amy and I were there, we would help you unload it.
What a great story, you had me completely hooked, I didn't want to jump to the end to see the picture, as that would have ruined the suspense!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Please promise to never, ever do that agaon!!! ... Now I'm excited to see how your potting bench turns out!

Katie @ Wildwood Creek said...

Can't wait to see how you transform this piece to your dream potting bench! I'm so glad your story ended well; however, please don't do this again! Only go during daylight hours and/or take a friend.

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh, loved the part where you were laughing hysterically because you were so scared. I agree with Amy, you should write a book. I would buy it for sure!! I sent you an email one time telling you that:) So glad that you finally found your new potting bench!

Sharon in Chicago said...

Oh, Nita! You are a brave soul (and a wee bit touched in the head) to go off Craigslisting in the middle of the night! Makes me almost hope the person with the CL table I want doesn't email back. (Some are so rude -- don't even have the courtesy to take down their lusting or to email you that it's sold; oops, meant listing but given the earlier comment about online dating, thought you'd enjoy the laugh!)

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Your cardinal rule is not to buy anything you can't move yourself? Your cardinal rule should be not to buy anything in the middle of the night from a guy named Chester you found on Craigslist! Seriously, I can picture myself doing the same thing. In fact, I could feel what you must have been feeling driving away when you thought you were free and then you forgot the doors! That's just what I was thinking. That's when they kill you in those movies! Too funny.

You reminded me of a time my girlfriend and I were hauling a pony home from Oklahoma to New Jersey and we were so tired we had to find some overnight stabling so we could sleep. We called my husband at home and he found someone on the Internet. They were supposed to be right off 40. He set it up for us and gave us the directions. We drove and drove and drove (it was about fifteen miles off 40!), deeper and deeper and deeper into the woods. The pavement turned to dirt. We passed cornfields and my girlfriend made the mistake of mentioning she is still scared of that movie, "Children of the Corn," and so I thought I'd be funny and took that as my cue to say I saw something in the cornfield. More woods. Road so narrow we can't turn around. Finally, we got stuck on a rickety bridge with the horse trailer and a loose mule on the dirt road who wanted to attack us when we passed him and therefore we were afraid to get out and check and see if we were going to, in fact, topple over the side of the bridge. The overnight stabling guy had to come down and get us on a four-wheeler. It was so dark, we couldn't even tell what he looked like. We had no choice but to follow him, leading the pony behind us. He took us deeper into the woods where... we wound up staying at the most lovely bed-and-breakfast called Butterfly Hollow. We stayed in a restored log cabin/farmhouse with a fire in the fireplace, floor-to-ceiling bookcases, fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden, the smell of bacon and home baked bread in the morning, flowers on all the surfaces.... It was wonderful. If you are ever passing through Tennessee.... I should blog about this. Anyway, thanks for reminding me of how sometimes dark scary roads and guys in overalls can lead you to fabulous finds.

Olive Cooper said...

Nita, you slayed my junk loving soul with this on the edge of my seat, biting my nails account. Now you know I have a license to carry a weapon and so does Joe-we would be packing. Not that we are red necks-did not say that. You can turn that into a potting bench. It is so strange what being on the road alone at night does to your mind. Now when you are done with the piece you can look at it and say I survived my worst thoughts and got this beauty. hugs, olive

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

I was freaking out while I hung on every word! I might even have a nightmare tonight! I am a total scardy cat. Please be careful next time! :) Can't wait to see what you do with your treasure!

skooter8 said...

Omg, I would have been peeing my pants driving down that driveway. You are the one who got me hooked into watching american horror story. Clearly we enjoy the same creepy shows and they all would have been running through my head! I think you were very lucky and there are loads of weirdos on craigslist. Please take someone with you next time (and maybe some mace)I can't wait to see what you do with your new treasure. (oh and I have a new show recommendation for's called Bedlam and I found it on Netflix) :)

janzi said...

Oh my Giddy Aunt, what a tale, and so worrying, because for every good person there are several that are not.. That was such a risk, which I am glad turned out ok, but it might not have done... never go anywhere without saying where you are going and who you are seeing and definately not in the middle of the night!! After all that we shall be waiting with bated breath to see how the bench turns out for your potting shed.. good luck.. the angels were watching over you for sure!! J

Stacey said...

Now don't you do that again!

Great furniture though. Can't wait to see what you do with it. Let me know if I need to run over from Edmond with my sons. :)

Cynthia Myers said...

I've done some risky stupid things myself. Once when my cat was lost and I had an ad in the paper about him, I drove to a house at night and walked into an under the house garage with 2 men and a woman who were sitting outside drinking beer, to see the cat they had found in the woods. I had told a friend the address and said if I didn't call back in 45 minutes I was probably stuffed into a car trunk somewhere! After I left I went to call her on my cell but couldn't see in the car so tossed the phone back into my purse. I didn't realize I had dialed her and she could just hear muffled sounds. Thank god I pulled over right after that because she was just about to call the police....that being said, I now realize how lucky I was. Do NOT EVER do that again. Seriously!
I know the frustration of being single and not having someone to help right when you need them got your little furry kids at home that need their Momma.
To say nothing of all us out here that worry and care about you!
great story and I know you will make something beautiful out of that hutch...but I'm still torn between wanting to hug you in relief or slap you silly.
xoxo - Cindi

Fabiana ~ Ciao! Newport Beach said...

Great story! I'm glad it didn't have a Stephen King type twist to it. I know you will make it look fab!


Anonymous said...

Ohhh Nita, you had me in stitches. This sounds exactly like something I would do. But what's a single girl to do when she desperately needs a potting bench, right? Jana in Texas

Traci said...

Nita that is so pee your pants scary! I was trying hard not to laugh out I am sitting in my hubby's hospital room. Maybe I am a little rummy since I have been up for 26 hours but this cracked me up. A really well written story.
Ps hubby is ok.

sheri said...

WOW, that was a creepy story! I have goosebumps!!! Glad they were nice people and you are still in one piece! Can't wait to see you work your magic on the furniture.

Sonia said...

You are one brave lady! I would never be that brave to go to Tuttle at night for something on Craiglist. You did get a great deal...I was nervous just reading your post! I think you should at least take someone with you in daylight hours! Glad all turned out okay!
Miss Bloomers

Linda said...

Good God Girl what were you thinking.......
Who cares about saving a few $$$$
when you could have been in great danger.
Glad things turned out ok this time.
Next time go in the day and with company.
Can't wait to see how this piece transforms.

Augies Vintage Finds said...

This post was my one real laugh of the day! Oh my! Thanks for sharing that story with your followers. I have done some crazy things to get a great deal too.

Your adventures are so much fun to read!

Continued success,
Deb @

cindi said...

What an adventure. I was scared for you reading while reading it, but also I knew that since you were blogging about it, it must have been ok. Can't wait to see what you do to your potting bench.

Love your blog - it is inspiring and the pictures are my visual dessert!


cindi said...

What an adventure. I was scared for you reading while reading it, but also I knew that since you were blogging about it, it must have been ok. Can't wait to see what you do to your potting bench.

Love your blog - it is inspiring and the pictures are my visual dessert!


Annette T. said...

OMG, that was an amazing story. you had me on the edge of my chair! But please NEVER do that again. I don't think you will, as it probably scared the daylights out of you. I know you'll love it when it's finished. What a story you'll have to share w/it!

Jann said...

Nita Nita could have been..."film at 11 !!! You silly time take a friend...Peggy with mace...LOL..or at least a Weenie.....but it is fabulous!!!!! and what a find!!!! Congrats dear one..can't wait to see the finished project...:o)
Idaho Hugs....

Tammy @BeatriceBanks said...

You are nuts girlfriend! I don't know who is crazier you or the people who would ask a stranger to come over at 10 p.m. I'm glad your story has a happy ending. You're a great storyteller!

Mary Palumbo Collings said...

Hahaha.... don't you watch America's Most wanted , Without a Trace , and other such shows on TV??? You are very brave ... glad you safely got what you wanted!

TiKiMOOSE said...

You had me on the edge of my seat!!
Glad everything worked out okay.
But what a situation! I once went to look at and buy a dishwasher from Craig's list. The woman's husband was at work at the time and I could tell she was a little nervous. I brought my wife along...but that doesn't really settle anyone's nerves. Me, my wife, and my old VW Vanagon could have very well been the Manson family pulling up into her driveway.... Strange how the hutch has no back. But a great piece, can't wait to see how you mod mix it for your garden.
Still a great story...sounds like the makings of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie or the SYFY network.

marejohn said...

OMg!!! The story was scary enough and on top of it I am watching SVU!!! YIKES! Glad you're safe and your new "potting table" is FAB~!

Vickie H. said...

GIRL! I am glad you got this piece but I think it was dangerous as HELL!!! WHEW! I was VERY relieved as I read the end of your tale! Love the piece and think it will make you a very fine potting bench! Can't WAIT to see the finished product!

freckled laundry said...

Nita! That was crazy! Honestly, I felt like I just read the script to a horror film for the last 10 minutes and I cannot even tell you how relieved I was that you made it out alive. I would have driven off without those dang doors, leaving nothing but the dust from my tires behind or had a shank or something at the ready. Oh my great goodness. Pardon my French but you have nads, girl. That pic of the house with the lights on looks like it out to have the silhouette of an elderly woman in a rocker. I'm sure your new piece will be well worth it.

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