Friday, September 01, 2006

Branded and broke

It's taken two days of running here and there, but I'm now auto-insured, registered, tagged, licensed and inspected. My sweet Ruby has shed her Pennsylvania license plate for a pair of shiny new Massachusetts tags.

I am now paying $200 more per year to drive in a semi-rural area. Maybe I can blame it on the moose and bear. Cripes. I guess if you hit one of those, you've got a helluva lot of collision damage to pay for. When I express my surprise at the higher rates, the insurance agent shakes her head and sneeringly replies "Welcome to Taxachusetts."

I pick up the local paper while waiting for the car to be inspected. I read of 70-year-old widows who are sculling on the local lakes and 73-year-old bachelors who are doing community service and leading yoga classes. I'm feeling intimidated as I haven't even unpacked all my moving boxes. The auto shop has barbershop chairs installed in their waiting room. Quirky but comfortable. If you want something even more nostalgic, there's an old-fashioned dentist chair complete with drill. Is this going to be a painful experience? Luckily, their bill for inspection is the cheapest outlay of the day. I'm good to go.

Driving around without my former inspection stickers glued to the left side of the car window is a bit disorienting. The Massachusetts sticker goes on the right side of the car. Yes, it's a small change but it still makes me feel like something has, indeed, shifted. I've been coming up here for five years to visit and now suddenly I and my car are a part of the local landscape. I remind Ruby to be on good behavior and not cause any traffic jams nor embarrass me with a moving violation.

I'm tired and a bit low on cash but look for the positive. The mountains loom around me. I drive up through a state reservation, the car climbing the twisting roads higher and higher. I'm feeling quite alone and then pass a mountain biker who is tackling what, to me in the car, seems to be the Mt. Everest of mountain biking. Bikers and scullers. Somewhere in between, I hope to find my calling.

Postscript: I phoned the sheriff to ask for the location of the motor-vehicle registry and he's actually called me back twice since then. He's a golfer. I won't need the bowling ball.


geogirl said...

Moving to a new state can be a bit disorienting. In Virginia you have to get your car inspected every year and post these ugly yellow stickers on the windshield. In maryland you only get your car inspected like...once, maybe, when you sell it or something. So now I drive around feeling naked without my windshield sticker and scared to death that someone with falty breaks will crash into me.

Simon said...

This vehicle inspection thing is foreign to me.

Does it run? Four tires? Goes generally forward? Put 'er on the road then!!

Contrary said...

Um, yeah, I kind of squealed when I read that last part about the sheriff. I then told Pookie. He didn't squeal.

Boys are so weird.

kirsty said...

crumbs, hitting a moose or a bear sounds hideous! The worst we have to watch for is kangaroos, although they are plentiful and erratic. We also saw a wild pig a few nights ago.

signed "Still Ignoring Iguanas", Down Under.

ps thanks for the lovely comment on "Jamies Post". I liked reading about Paul and his achievements. I laughed at your sweet words about our family because my mother (who reads your blog!) has said the same thing about you guys on several occasions! We often remark to one another about how similar our families seem to be.

s@bd said...

Yes, but is the sheriff single?

Sonny Boy said...

Hey Mum #2, you've said the magic words - "mountain" and "bike"!!! :-)

Now then, if I could just find my passport...

The Mater said...

LOL, yes Sonny Boy there are several major trails waiting for you and Louie whenever you decide to grace our shores. Thanks for dropping by at the blog :>)

Simon, the states require auto inspections and emissions checks on a regular basis here. Surprised to hear the Canada does not do the same.

Geo, I'm getting used to the new look to the windshield and I think Ruby is handling herself well.

Contrary and s@bd, you have me laughing even more. The sheriff is a confirmed bachelor and a bit older than me. He's very pleasant but I think he's also quite happy with his current state of affairs. I've given him a couple opportunities to ask me out and he hasn't taken the hint. "Boys are SO weird." Still, it's always good to have law enforcement on my side :>)

The Mater said...

Kirsty, I too feel like we are kindred spirits - both families. Really enjoy your blog and so happy to know that your hubby and momma are also fans of mine!

monica said...

I love Massachusetts. I left my heart there. Throw some love in the air for me. Are you anywhere near the 'witches' place'?

The Mater said...

Hey monica, not near Eastwick if that's the spot but there is a paranormal convention being held in our town this weekend and who knows who may be attending :>)