Some of you probably already know how much I love my car. It's a reliable fifteen year-old Ford and it has driven me halfway across the country five times, which is like driving all the way across the country two and one quarter times. We've seen a lot together and have been to some great places. In difficult pastoral situations, my car is my sanctuary. Sometimes when I am in the hospital, practically bursting blood vessels in my face in an effort to keep from crying, my mantra is, "I just need to get to the car...I just need to get to the car..." And then when I get inside and close the doors, I cry as much as I want.
Well, the Washington tabs finally expired, so I bit the bullet and had the car registered here in Nebraska.
While it may sound silly, the transition has been a bit of an emotional ordeal for me. I liked the Washington plates. They were pretty, with a nice image of Mount Rainier emerging amid bold colors. I liked the old-school raised numbers, which made me imagine actual prisoners pounding on the plates with a level of skill instead of just a computer somewhere spitting them out. Most of all, I liked that they were from Washington, which is where I am from, and where my family still is. It was sad to pry those dented plates from their dirty spots on the front and back of my Ford.
But change happens, and now my car looks like it actually belongs here instead of shouting, "Hey! I'm just passing through." This makes sense, of course, because I'm not just passing through. I have a life for myself here in Nebraska and I guess it's about time that my car reflects that.
I am, however, thinking of framing one of the old Washington plates and giving it a prime spot on my office wall...