Barely forty-eight hours after arriving in North Idaho we headed to the DMV. Along the way “people”, you know, those voices never again pinpointed but still screaming, advised us to swiftly ditch our California license plates as soon as possible. When we woke that Monday morning, our mission was clear: Exfoliate California.
Post Box 1117
Driving off the ranch the remoteness of our location shocked me. Half an hour later we arrived in the quaint downtown district. Waiting for our home to close meant no physical address to claim as our own and opening a postal box.
The grand two story brick post office with creamy trim, heavy wood doors and antique faces on the boxes added intrigue to our life. Within a short time P.O. Box 1117 became our temporary home. I still wonder, over the years what correspondence traveled through that tunnel? With a mailing address in hand we headed to obtain a driver’s license; perhaps overly optimistic.
A New DMV
Unlike the Costco size DMV in our former California community where English and Spanish vie for equality, we found the DMV, nearly the size of a shopping mall kiosk, tucked discretely inside the walls of the sheriff’s office.
One woman operated the entire office simultaneously taking information, giving vision screenings and monitoring tests. Believe it or not, she kept busy as people consistently crossed the threshold for her help.
What surprised me more were the two computers which shared a table. They lacked any form of “privacy” let alone dividers. Citizens shared the short three-foot counter. Conversations became opportunities for everyone to interact, and people DID! This certainly wasn’t California!
The woman informed us that without a physical mailing address evidenced by a utility bill, rental agreement or similar proof, she could not issue an Idaho driver’s license. We could however register our vehicles. We walked to the neighboring courthouse and down a half-flight of stairs.
Again, another small room with a cheerful woman was postured ready to help. Our jaws dropped at the registration rates and her question, “Did you want to pay for one year or two?”.
Small things like paying two years at once is a big way to simplify life. Since I’m an expert at complicating all things, this option fit well.
“I Need to Leave”
Pressed to return to California, my husband kept nudging me, “I need to leave.” We filled our tummies and headed to our final necessary stop of the day, our new school. Excited and nervous we drove to the school. Things are rarely as we remember, sometimes that good, sometimes not.