Monday, February 23, 2015

Getting a drivers license is not for the poor or women!

I went to get my new driver's license in Delaware.
Along with the taking off of shoes for boarding a plane there is now
 federal standard for drivers license.
Most people are not affected by the changes.
They live in the same state all of their lives.
Or they choose not to change their license when they move (which is illegal).

I started my journey by looking at the website.
Easiest proof of my existence was my passport.
I have held three different types of passports in my life
Tourist, Official and Diplomatic.
All of them have expired.

What was needed was my actual birth certificate- not a photocopy.
Mine was in Kansas
and mailing it to Delaware did not seem safe.
So I called Arizona.
Yup, I could download the form (off to the library $2, no printer in Delaware),
Send it in with $35 and a stamped envelope.
The assumption that people even have checking accounts was pretty laughable.
One could pay a few dollars more and "charge it".
Three weeks later it appeared.

I showed up at the license place bright and early.
I had my $40 in hand- cash.
My number was pretty high,
but the shop is efficient and
the people are pleasant in Dover.

I had my current Kansas license, my social security card and my birth certificate.
I also had my proof that I had a house in Delaware.
Those were the things most obvious on the website.

Called up.
My heart was thumping.
Why is it that I am always nervous when encountering officials.

I handed over my "stuff".
"Where is your marriage license?"
Blink, blink.
"My marriage license? Why?"
"That is when you changed your name, correct?"
Well, I didn't have one.
"Don't forget. It cannot be a photocopy and cannot be a Church document.
It has to be the original.
if you have ever been divorced
you need to provide your marriage certificates
and divorce papers from each name change."
I know I was acting like a deer in headlights.
Mostly because IF I still had our marriage license
it was in Kanas,
not Delaware.

Back on the phone with Arizona (at least I got married in my "home state")
No one quite knew where the marriage licenses were "stored".
After five or six calls
I got the Superior court of my home county.
"Yes, we can get you a copy. It is on microfiche."
(Does anyone have that technology anymore?)
It will take two weeks for finding it and a week to process it.
That will be $45.

I have to say-
the people in Arizona bureaucracy
 are just as nice as the people in Delaware.

While on the phone with this nice woman
I explained why I needed it.
She said she had gotten a huge increase in requests.
Then she paused.
"Didn't that law just come into effect in January?"
Well, not in Washington State though….
She said they would have to look into hiring more people since she also handled divorce decrees.

Three more weeks, seventy five dollars and I finally had all of the paperwork.
Not one thing had my picture or finger print on it
identifying me as the person on the paperwork.
But, it was all "perfect".

The man behind the counter said,
"Yes, this new process is crazy"
"You should have seen the flustered lady yesterday
who could not get ahold of one of her divorce decrees".
He had told her to just go get a passport.
It was cheaper and took less time.


If you are a man, this process is simple.
You just need a birth certificate and a SS card.

But women----just get a passport first!
It is "only $100" and then the license is just $40.

Gosh, how do the poor do it?
and how many women have boarded planes
to do harm?
This is really a sexist policy!

Check out the regs for yourself.


January was spent in Delaware.
I learned a great deal about where we have chosen as our next home.

Our house is very close to The St Jones River.
In fact we have a small tributary in our back yard.
Fortunately our house is built up on a mound or we would be flooded.
The rain comes hard and fast near the seacoast.
And my husband was probably right and we should not have a basement.
It is what it is.

The river becomes quite wide about two miles from my house.
The Air Force has kayaks to rent. We may take the sport up again.
Three miles from my home is the Dickenson Plantation.
He would not sign the Declaration of Independence, but did sign the Constitution.
The house is a "working colonial far" in the summer.
Looks like a great place for some volunteer time.

The Air Mobility Museum has loads of aircraft.
The grands came one day and we played inside for hours.
It is an "old male warriors' club" though.
So if you are a woman and get in the simulator----you will crash.

The best is last.
For the first time in my life sea food is easily accessible and well prepared.
The only thing put in this seafood case are items caught locally.
Fresh seafood.
I am in heaven.

I spent seven weeks in our new house.
The feeling is overwhelming that we have made a good choice.
Even if our children move away, I think this is a much better choice for our old age.
I will join the blue haired ladies at the commissary on Tuesdays.
No problem!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Roe v Wade

Let the discussion continue.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Moving is both a joy and a challenge

 For ten years we have enjoyed Kansas .

There are spectacular parts of nature to be loved there.

Our windows were open to beauty.

A new bridge has come to our lives

Colors will be different

And views are different

Slowly boxes been unpacked
I have learned about fish markets, 
Orchards, plantations, marshes.
Today I registered at a church.
I've been here for a month.
The Church has many outreach programs that I have long admired.
Samaritan purse, prison ministry, Habitat, food panty, food kitchen.
I have spent the last three years on the sideline.
My husband, children and grandchildren are a source of future
Making my way back 
Back to service.
I am excited. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First impressions

I have never really spent any time in Delaware before last September.
The last time I was here, I was on a troop transport to Europe
To become a teacher of soldiers' children in Germany.
We landed for about four hours here.
That was thirty- five years ago!

Today I hopped onto a county tour
Free county tour!
First stop was a plantation house of a founding Father.
John Dickenson did not sign the Declaration of Independence because he felt all people should agree on the course of freedom.
He was a Quaker.
Once the Declaration was sign though
He joined the militia.

Next we visited an amazing little museum

The Air Mobility Museum houses a number of full sized aircraft.
You can get much more up front and personal with them than
At the Air and Space Museum .

We ate at
Delightful seafood. Now I know where to purchase fresh seafood.

Last we visited the new county hunter education center.
Delaware is a HUGE hunting state.
Who knew?

What I took away from the day was that Delaware is filled with nice people.
I met them everywhere.
Fun, happy, no airs, not trying to prove anything to anyone.

I really like Delaware!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

My grandfather

Today is my grandfather's birthday.
What a cool day to be born on!
If he was still here he would have been 114 years old.

Each piece

Putting together a new house
Is an adventure.
In the past I have simply put "things" in a "place".

This time it is different.
As I unpack boxes I have time
To look at each piece.
Do we need it?
What memories does the piece bring to the house?

 This is the man I married.
I met him after he had earned a bronze star in Vietnam.
He had returned home to people who threw things at him
As he got off the plane.
I was in seventh grade.

The next seven years he spent hiding out.
He grew his hair long- really long.
He took as many hours as possible in college
Since he loves to learn and
If I might say
Is a brilliant man.
He spent summers in Alaska
Surveying the wilderness.

He finally finished college,
The second time
The same year I did.
He returned to the Army.
He took up running, again.

I met him the day before he was in this picture.
I have the medal to prove it.
He had won the 10,000 meter
For the division in Germany.

So, for the first time in many years.
These two pictures will hang on the wall.
They make me smile.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Moving forward

One hundred years ago my grandmother made a trip
From Chicago to Phoenix,
Never to see her grandparents again.

About the same time my grandfather, her husband,
Made the trip on a train.
Although he was from Chicago,
he had been orphaned in Tenneessee.
He, too, would never see his grandparents again.

Thirty years later my father would move with his father
To LA and later to Phoenix
His mother had passed away
And they had moved to start over.
I am not sure Dad ever saw his grandparents again.

That is how Phoenix went from being a Native American desert
To the thriving metro of Caucasion and Hispanic residents.
People left their families and moved forward.
Some for health,
Others because they were sent,
And last came those for business and employment.

Those people established new schools, new churches, new ways of life.
My father constantly reminded me
how important it was to stay in Phoenix.
I am not sure he did that with any of my sibs.
He was determined I would stay.
He figured most of them would leave.

And yet I left.
I married into the Army.
We saw the world
Almost every year we would see the grandparents
Unlike the past,
We availed ourselves to the yearly vacation home.
Those ties are tight.

We left the Army and traveled "home".
Beautiful, but no longer a fit.

We moved back to our favorite fort.
Beautiful, employment, it even fit.
Happily we lived there
And made two trips a year to see our parents, sibs and later our children.

Now WE have grandchildren.
We decided we were not taking the path of our grandparents.
We want to be close to our grandchildren
Instead of staying away, we moved closer.

We looked around.
Still don't really know how we settled on a state we have never even entered.
Well. We did step foot here, in the military base on our way to Germany
Many many years ago.

So here we are, moving forward.