We have unpacked one 16 foot POD and two smaller 7 foot PODS, so our house isn’t completely bare on the inside.
It’s chaotic as we continue to unpack (and wait for new carpet in the bonus room/Pete’s new office), but that’s going to be the case for a while. Meanwhile, I’m getting to know my area and the people in it better, like my new best buddy Charlie Daniels. I ran into him as I was unhappily looking at the overpriced goat cheese at Krogers (a grocery store). A portly older man in denim overalls was checking out the $15/lb. blue cheese, but unlike the typical local, not engaging me in conversation. At first I thought, wow, what’s a rural type like him doing here, and then I thought this “country” person is politely holding off from telling me I should splurge on the Monrachet goat cheese, because he can afford it and I can’t. A week or so later, I saw a video of Charlie Daniels and realized that that old guy with the white beard was him, sans cowboy hat and fiddle.
Furthermore, I have one more thing I won’t have to miss from California. On Sunday, Peter drove to the mall in Green Hills (a southern neighborhood of Nashville, also where the Trader Joe’s is) to look at the Restoration Hardware and Nordstrom’s there. As it turns out, they were also selling See’s Candies! It’s only seasonal for now, but I looked online and found out there is a regular See’s Candies in Columbus, where my sister-in-law lives, and where we are going for Thanksgiving. So I really don’t have to go on without my hazelnut cremes as I feared.
I also certainly won’t miss the DMV. Peter still has to register his car here, but it’s only $68/year. Today we had cable installers come by and one of them asked me if it was really the case that California charges a percentage of the sales price as its annual registration fees. I confirmed it, and they were boggled, noting that it could be a huge amount for a luxury car. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that a luxury car also has an additional surtax in California. People in other states don’t know from taxes — or traffic. (Well, ok, maybe Massachusetts and New York…)
And meanwhile, getting Tennessee driver’s licenses was actually pleasant and interesting. We almost couldn’t find the Tennessee version of the DMV (called driver services) because it looked so much like a nice house. Inside, the process was fast and efficient — with some things California should certainly adopt for cost-saving methods. For one thing, we checked in and selected what we wanted to do (get a driver’s license) on a computer, which gave us a number. A few minutes later we were called up to the information clerk, who checked to make sure we had what we needed — which included a passport for proof of US citizenship. Since Peter and I both needed the HUD-1 (purchase of our house paper) for proof of address, the clerk set it up so we’d be seen back to back at the same window. After another wait, I met another clerk, who had me take the vision test on a device like one at an optometrist office, rather than looking at a board. She also took my picture and when I feared the first one wasn’t good, she let me take another. And then she took my California license and printed me a Tennessee driver’s license, which I’ll keep until I get a laminated one in the mail. It was so much faster and more pleasant than the moving from line to line I remember in California. I do wonder if California will get my old license back, and if so, what they will do with it.
An odd thing I’m getting used to is how early it gets dark here. Since we are on the easternmost edge of the central time zone, right now it gets dark before 5, and since there aren’t streetlights or other light pollution, it can get really dark. So it always feels later than it actually is. Plus that, we now get up at 5:30 am to see Scout off to school. We may as well be on East Coast time, the way we live now.
I went back to Kroger’s yesterday, and this time, Charlie Daniels wasn’t there, though there were several people with hair that defied gravity in ways neither hair spray nor gel can facilitate, making me think I should recognize them, too. I’ll have to tune into more music paparazzi channels, I guess.
(This was written in November 2016. I have now learned the humidity automatically inflates hair.)