Love them. Hate them. They are a pain in the derrière yet I am so grateful to have one. Today was was of those ambivalent days. I was grateful to drive my vehicle around, but the only reason I was driving it around was because of my vehicle’s needs, which are many. It needs gas all the time. It needs oil. It gets dirty and I have to wash it. If its tires aren’t all nice and puffy it slows down and wastes the gasoline I gave it. If someone leaves a light on it refuses to start the next day. Not only is the van needy, the government wants the vehicle to have a special license and it requires me to have all this paperwork in order to have the special license. Seriously…the vehicle is handy and all, but really demanding.

I’ve put off getting my plates and drivers license switched. Why? Because I could. No other reason, though I have had a few other things going on since I’ve been here. My goal was to get the plate and license switched earlier this week. Monday is the deadline. Today ended up being the day to do it. Matt stayed home with at one cherub while I traveled to the state examiner’s office to accomplish the tasks. I called the office this morning to make sure I was bringing all the right paperwork and then I set off. I turn onto 280, which is the main road by our house. If you’ve been in the GR area, it is like 28th street on a LOT of steroids. As soon as I turn I realize my van sounds funky. Like something is wrong with the tire. Really really wrong with the tire. Being the brilliant woman I am, I think I probably should look at the tire before getting on the expressway. I pull into the first drive I can and take a look. The tire is there. It’s flat. Not puffy at all. As previously mentioned, my vehicle demands puffy tires. This is definitely an issue.

Rewind a couple days. Matt orders a part for his car in order for it to work. (Both of our vehicles are quite demanding.) The part has not come, therefore his car does not work. It’s one of those moments when you fully realize you have moved to a new place. I had no one to call for help. Holidays, birthdays, illness, and times of car trouble bring into sharp focus you’re out of your usual element. The friends and family who used to be around aren’t and you are alone. Thankfully God is in every element.

I pulled into the first drive I could. After I inspected the tire I looked around to see where I was and where I should try to go. Can you guess what parking lot I was in? One for a tire store. A tire store. I ended up in the driveway for a tire store. I don’t know about you, but I found this quite handy. Like I said, even if you’re in a new place, God probably has you covered.

It took forever and I had J with me. Nothing like an unplanned visit to a tire store with a baby. Not my ideal morning. (But considering what it could have been, it was lovely.) I wasn’t too happy with the place, mainly because they seemed really slow. They finally finished and I needed to pay my bill. Can you guess how much it was? Free. This happens to be my favorite price! My opinion of the place suddenly went up!

Finally J and I are on our way to the State Examiner’s office. The mission: an Alabama license plate and driver’s license. As said, I had called ahead to make sure I had all the paperwork I needed. When I arrive I find out I did have all the paperwork I needed. Yay! What I didn’t have was Matt. Since he is also listed on the title he had to be present. Grrr. The place is at least 20 minutes away and Matt is working from home (with a toddler), waiting for me to get back so he can go into the office. This isn’t going as smoothly as we’d hoped. However, I’m able to get my driver’s license, though this isn’t the part that expires on Monday. Of course there’s a wait…with a baby whose morning (and nap schedule) has been completely screwed up. I will say, it could have been much worse. I could have had a toddler with me as well, a blowout diaper, etc. etc. etc.

I come home and pick up Matt and K and we go to the licensing office. Matt tells me we don’t have to go back to the State Examiner’s office for the plates. Yay! The licensing office is close to our apartment. The line isn’t too long either.

So now it’s official. I live in Alabama. With an Alabama plate and drivers license. The worst part is I don’t have a Michigan plate to invoke mercy in traffic when I don’t know where I’m going. The best part is I no longer have the picture on my driver’s license from when I was eight months pregnant with K.

All in all it was a crazy long day. Yet what needed to be accomplished happened and I got to experience grace along the way.

I would like to think my vehicle would be satisfied for a while. We’ll see. I certainly used up a lot of gasoline today….

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