Lisa Nave was distraught. She had screwed up, badly.
It happened at a garage sale. Lisa, a Barlow resident, is newly married to Joshua Van Dyke. They’re actually celebrating their first anniversary this month. They are kind of your standard newlyweds, and the way Lisa talks about Joshua is super cute. Several times, she says what a “good man” he is, the “kind of guy that will give you the shirt off his back.”
Anyway, the new, blended family decided to put on a garage sale — not only because every Canby resident is legally required to hold a garage sale at least once a year — but also to downsize and simplify as they start their new lives together, and give their kids a chance to get involved and work together.
Joshua decided to sell some of his old CDs. For my younger readers: “CDs” are small circles of plastic ancient peoples once used to record and play music. Lisa goes into great detail here, but what you need to know is that the CDs were in a big binder that also held Joshua’s prized movie collection.
Here’s the most important part: The CDS were for sale, the movies were not. The collection included not just some of Joshua’s favorites, but old classics, war movies and documentaries that would be difficult, if not impossible, to replace.
Joshua had put a little note on the binder explaining what was for sale and what wasn’t, but honestly, who reads that stuff at a garage sale? If I wanted to read something, I’d have gone to the library, amirite?
Lisa didn’t see the sign. She sold the binder to a guy who wanted to buy the entire collection, for 20 bucks.
It was one of those things that could happen to anyone: one tiny, little miscommunication or misunderstanding leads to the next, which leads to the next, and before long they’ve coalesced into one huge mistake.
For Lisa, it was pretty devastating.
“My heart just dropped,” she said. “I’ll never forget the look of shock and disappointment in his face. Never want to see it again. Honestly, the feeling that I had basically given away something precious and wronged the one I love was one of the most horrible guilt feelings I’ve ever had. Overwhelming and with no way to make it right.”
To his credit, it sounds like her husband handled the disappointment like a champ.
“Joshua went to church and sent consoling text messages about God’s grace and forgiveness,” Lisa recalled. “Later said he’s thankful for the opportunity for us to show grace to each other. But I knew it was hard blow to him and felt like a total toad for hurting such a good man!”
She was desperate to fix her mistake. Problem was, she knew so little about the buyer. She didn’t know his name. She didn’t know where he lived or worked. His description (white, medium build, approximately in his 30s or 40s) was not super helpful. She remembers thinking, “Is there any way in the world to find a stranger you only met once?”
She decided to try asking for help on the Canby Now Facebook group, which included the only unique tidbit she remembered: the offhand remark that he planned to spend his Saturday afternoon canning pickles.
That’s…not a lot to go on. At least, it wouldn’t be in most communities. But this is Canby, after all.
“Dan Walker from Mark Road Farm is canning pickles today,” someone replied, almost immediately.
Indeed, Dan Walker was canning pickles that day. In fact, he had been on his way to Costco to get supplies, when the sign for Lisa’s garage sale on Anderson Road caught his eye.
Dan Walker was the mystery buyer.
The two were able to connect through Facebook, and Dan assured Lisa that he would be happy to return the movies he’d accidentally been sold. She was at his door 20 minutes later.
Afterward, Dan went back to Facebook and found Lisa’s post, which had continued to collect likes and comments as the story evolved, from the initial, panicked search for the mystery man to Dan’s confirmation that he was the guy and planned to return the collection.
The whole experience, including the kind words and support from the community, really warmed his heart, he said.
Lisa was grateful for the experience as well.
“The community came together and I realized what a blessing it is to be part of a small town where this type of miracle is even possible,” she said. “Downtown LA, or any other big city — never! The comments and responses have helped me to see the bigger picture that because this happened, our community has actually been strengthened and encouraged.”
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