The Good Karma Chair

This chair came with the lake house we bought in 2000—and when we sold that house in 2004, the chair accompanied us to Maplewood, NJ. It’s not an especially pretty chair, but it’s a comfortable one, and the arm rests are wide enough to hold more than a few glasses. This chair has seen many good movies, like October Sky and Atonement and The Lunchbox. This chair has held many people, old ones, newborns, and every size in between. This chair has watched a lot of CNN and heard its share of viola, trumpet, piano, and french horn practicing, as well as plenty of conversations . . . This chair knows what it takes to keep a family together.

But this year, the time came to part ways, because we needed room for a keyboard, and I wanted to find our chair a happy new home. I posted in a swap room on facebook that this good karma chair could be yours for one dollar. I posted about how well loved this chair was. Somebody messaged me right away saying she wanted it. I gave her my address. She wrote back “got a truck /OTW.” I asked my daughter what that meant. She said “on the way.”

It was Wednesday, July 6, at 9 p.m., the middle of one of the bleakest weeks in American history with the shootings in Dallas, but what happened with my chair was a teeny ray of light that night. We took the chair out of the garage and I sat down, in the dark, on the sidewalk in front of my house, waiting for this person I’d never met. I wondered if I had made a bad choice, giving out my address to somebody on facebook. I thought I might have. She PMed me, six minutes away. I waited.

She didn’t show up, and I wondered if it was a joke. I PMed her: “Where R U?”

She wrote back; she had gotten our house number wrong, so I corrected her. Next I saw two giant round headlights beaming their way up the street. I was nervous. The truck stopped in front of my house. I got out of the chair and went to the driver’s side, hoping my instinct to trust was right. And I looked in the car window at this beautiful lady with the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen.

We loaded the chair in the truck. Turned out she works in a Senior Center in a city closeby, and she wanted the chair for the people who live there. She said, “it’s a beauty.” And she handed me a wadded up one dollar bill. I started laughing, and then we hugged . . .

Just two strangers who got together over a chair.

Holly McGhee