But sometimes you get what you need
Last summer, I fell in love with a nearby property overlooking the Ohio River that was up for auction. A tiny house on a 1/4 acre lot with an oak tree at its side, which probably sprouted the same time they built the house 100 years before.
There’s an open room on the main level with a metal circular staircase through the ceiling leading to an open room under the rafters upstairs. Both floors have banks of windows in the rear wall that invite the outdoors in. The view of the river is spectacular.
It was perfect for a writer’s annex and artist studio—a space for creatives to gather. Something I had wanted for some time.
I drafted a business plan with visions of easels, comfy chairs, writing workshops, and paint parties.
My husband and I ran the numbers and agreed on the maximum we would spend on the property. We felt it was a fair market price.
We arrived at noon to the outdoor sale and registered; I was bidder number 44. The household contents—a lifetime collection of antiques and ephemera—were first to be sold. We stood with the crowd in the brutal heat as the auctioneer warbled over each item.
When he held up a miniature violin and started the bid at $4, I raised my card. The music of a violin has always resonated deep down and it thrilled me to win the decorative object at $8.
A few hours later, it was time. The mob gathered closer to the auctioneer as he described the real estate and conditions of sale. The temperature had soared to near 100°F and it was difficult to breathe the oven-like air.
When he finally shouted the opening bid, it was $5K below our limit, my hand shot up, but within seconds, the amount surpassed our threshold. The auction kept going. I didn’t get a second chance. It was over. The property sold for twice the amount we had set.
We got in our car and drove away. The cold air from the dashboard vents my only consolation.
Back in my home studio, I open the violin case. It is in worse shape than I thought; the tailpiece is loose, the strings unusable, and the bow warped. But, in my imagination, I hear it play a song. The music brings tears and soothes. The notes, gentle whispers of the possibilities still to come.
This is the 50th (and final) story in the Objects as Waypoints Writing Project series.
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