Today is my 52nd birthday, it's my day off, and it also marks 2,418 days of sobriety.
I swear to Bob, the calendar is lying. There is no way in the world that I'm 52 years old. My eyes aren't getting any better, to be sure, but lots of people need glasses even when they are young.
Oh well. I received a check in the mail yesterday from Dad and Velma. I deposited some and bought a garden hose and 17mm socket with the rest. I've needed a hose since we moved here almost three years ago, and the socket is for my car's oil pan drain plug (I don't like using crescent wrenches on cars).
My car has been 100% legal for a week and a half now, thanks to the moral and financial support of my brother Karl. And, I suppose, some grudging thanks to the NC legislature and governor for making it easier for me to change over from Florida; as of May 2014, it is no longer necessary to take a road test when transferring your driver's license to North Carolina from another state.
The road test was one of the psychological roadblocks that made it difficult for me to get myself right with the state. It seemed like a Catch-22; you needed to take a driving test to get your license, but it has to be in a car registered in NC, but you needed to have a NC driver's license to register the car, but you had to take a driving test in an NC-registered car to get your license, but you needed an NC license to register the car, but ... my brain just shut down. Of course I know a number of people here who would let me use their car for the driving test, but then I'd have to ask somebody, and I really, really don't like to ask for help.
For two years I drove a car with an expired registration, scared behind the wheel every time I went out. For some reason the State of Florida never notified my insurance company that my registration had expired; they are supposed to yank your insurance in such cases, but they didn't.
And that's where the sobriety comes into the picture. One of the many things I learned on my way to sobriety was that you have to be willing to ask for help sometimes.
So, a few weeks ago when I called Karl about my sinkhole, he asked how everything else in my life was going - and I had to tell him about the car and license issue. He told me where to go and met me there; a place to get my car inspected followed by a visit to the registration office across the street.
We got lucky on the inspection. The mechanic was an honest man and told us that we didn't need an inspection since the car had not been previously registered in NC. Then we crossed the street and found a dark and nearly empty DMV office; their computers were down and they didn't know when they'd be back up. They did confirm that I needed a driver's license first, but of course the computers would have been down in that office too. I told Karl that I would get the license and notify him when I received the hard copy so we could get the car taken car of.
A couple of weeks later, I got my real North Carolina driver's license in the mail, and we met back at the DMV, where Karl covered the cost and they gave me a real license plate.
Now all I have to do is change over my car insurance and I'll be all good.
And so I am now free to move about the country, restrained
only by the cost of fuel and the need to work. So, basically, I'm still
here in Haywood County all day every day. And that's fine with me.
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