Aug 6, 2017

Letting go of my dream life/the Stratus part 2

- And by the way, tell your son I don’t want the car back.

Trouble 2 and Audrey were going to spend May in Seattle and the plan was they would drive my Dodge Stratus. That’s why I kept it all those years, so that anyone in my family temporarily staying in Seattle would have access to a car.

I had been in touch with David who co owned the Stratus with me and has been a very patient care taker, to make sure the car was available, and it was. Then, as Trouble 2 was flying in, David told me he didn’t want the Stratus back. The family was going to leave Seattle.

This was a bit chocking news. I wasn’t ready to give up my beloved Seattle car and on top of that I did not want to spoil Trouble 2’s vacation with mom-problems. Leaving Umeå for a while is getting space and not having to be on red alert for what ever can happen around a disabled mother. But here we were, acute car situation.

I tried to take care of as much as possible from here. Could we find someone who would need a car? No, all our people had enough cars, and also the Stratus seemed to have declined rapidly the last few years. Really sad realizing I had to give up this big part of my Seattle, I figured the easiest way to get rid of the car (yes, that’s where I was at now), was to sell it back at the Aurora strip where I bought it ten years ago. That didn’t work at all. They didn’t buy if I didn’t want to buy. Bummer.

The situation was acute since Trouble 2 only was there for a few weeks. How the heck could I solve this?! My stress levels were rising rapidly.

I got a tip from David about a company, CarMax, which evaluates cars. Trouble 2 drove all the way up to Lynnwood where the only office was, and yes, they would give 300 dollars for it!

The exclamation mark is for the yes, not for the money, they barely covered the new starter engine I had to buy to get it going. The important thing here was they would  accept the car on their lot! That evening I was able to breath out and sleep pretty sound.

Only to the day after finding out I was the only owner of the car! This was just the weirdest thing! Ten years ago we added David as owner as that’s what the insurance company Geico required. For all these years the car was ensured by Geico, but now it turned out David was never on the title, and neither they or we had noticed!

So, the sole owner is in Sweden, that shouldn’t be a huge problem though, couldn’t I just email some kind of proxy? I am generally perceiving myself as a pessimist, but I am more and more realizing I am often too optimistic.

Because I was wrong again. A Power of Attorney was required. And CarMax told med the form had to be certified at the American Embassy. Which is in Stockholm. That night I didn’t sleep. And my heart was raising. Against the clock as days were passing. Also, I know from experience how hard it is to get any kind of contact with the U.S embassy, sure they would appreciate a knock on the door for selling an old car! There had to be another way.

There was. The Public Notary. I found the one in Umeå, a lot of paper work was done and I relaxed for a moment. Only to learn that CarMax did not approve of a Swedish lawyer as Public Notary, it had to be someone with an American degree!  

Which is ridiculous! As there would be American lawyers in every city all over the world waiting around to sign papers for important transactions like a car affair for 300 $!

I can’t even describe these weeks. I was so wired up, in total frenzy with a jumping heart as I just had to get this done before Trouble 2 was flying out of Seattle! I mean he couldn’t dump the car at the roadside somewhere or drive it down Lake Union, although God knows every option was on my mind here!

So what did I do? I educated myself about the Convention of Public Notary drafted by the Hauge Convention October 5 1961, now signed by 114 countries. And then I educated CarMax, a nationwide American corporation. Which obviously didn’t have a clue!

Meanwhile they were chewing on this I sent the Power of Attorney - which was now on David as time was passing and Trouble 2 wouldn’t still be in Seattle at the arrival of the paper works. As the letter had to travel by snail mail.

It was a Tuesday Trouble 2 was leaving. CarMax Lynnwood had been expecting a response from Corporate for more than a week. I had nervously been checking in with them every day. 20 minutes before Trouble 2 pulled up at the CarMax office the response finally arrived. Yes, they would approve of David as my Power of Attorney and they would keep the car on their lot until the paper works arrived!

Hallelujah! I can’t even describe the relief in which my lights were out that night. Yes, in addition, as Umeå is 9 hours before Seattle the communication was mostly after my midnight.

But breathing out? No no. Although the Power of Attorney was a registered letter it took two weeks before it showed up in David’s mail box! It seemed to have been stuck in the customs.

My Dodge Stratus is now finally not mine anymore. And it makes sense it was as hard to get rid of as to get. There is one piece missing though. The transfer of the 300 $ to my Swedish bank account. An international transfer is a lot of numbers and letters to fill in at the right boxes . The money should have been here more than a month ago. 

And I can’t get a hold of David. I don’t think he has taken off with my fortune. He might just be in the middle of the move from Seattle. And if I never hear from him again I am thinking that money will serve as compensation for the grand job he has done keeping my dream alive for ten years.

So, how do I feel now, when the dream is dead? Well, one good thing came out of this car selling experience. It was such a nerve wrecking ordeal I am just extremely happy and grateful it is over. And accepting Seattle will never be a part of my life the way I dreamed of is a little bit easier. And. I can start feeling a sense of gratitude for the years I had. I thought they would be the prologue. But it turns out they were the story.

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