Thursday, November 19, 2009

Of licenses and library cards

This was the little voice on the phone yesterday, while I was working at the office after the kids got out of school, "Mo-om, canRachelandIgotothelibraryrightnowandgetlibrarycards?" Yes, that is the way Tyler talks. You really have to concentrate if you want to understand what she is saying. My answer to her was wait an hour and I will go with you to the library.

"MOO-OOM,wecangotothelibrary. We're not babies!" she tells me. I try to explain to her that the library won't give her a library card without a parent, but she is on a mission. Finally, I relent. You can go to the library, I tell her, but just to look at books. You won't be able to get a library card. And you have to take Olivia, too. You can't just leave her home alone.

"OfcoursewewouldbringOlivia," I can practically see her eyes rolling through the phone. Okay, I tell her. Hang out at the library for a little while and I will meet you there when I get off work to get your library cards.

For the past several months, I have avoided the library like the plague. The guilt that would wash over me just when I drove past the building was nearly enough to keep me away forever. Whenever I had a little extra money in my account (almost never), I would think, I am going to go down to that library and pay for those missing books. But inevitably I did not make the time to stop there, and inevitably, the money disappeared too fast.

But yesterday, when those girls showed up at the office just a few minutes after that phone call--"Theywouldn'tgiveusalibrarycardtheysaidyouhavetobethere"--I knew this was the time to settle my debts with the San Juan County Library. It was time to get my reading license back.

So, I walked into that library with those rowdy little girls--I used to take them to Story Hour all the time, but not after I lost those books--girls who didn't quite comprehend the whole you need to be quiet and calm in a library thing. Rachel had been there on a field trip recently. Olivia informed me she comes all the time with Amanda to Story Hour. Tyler was just excited to have access to all these books besides all the books she likes to bring home from the school library.

First, I went up to the librarian and explained my situation. He didn't quite get the whole story, because the truth is, I didn't lose those books, not really; it was just crazy circumstances. But he did tell me that since I had paid lots of fines for them already, for a processing fee, he could remove the offending books from my account. I was expecting to pay over $30, and instead it was only $6. Six bucks! I have been suffering all this time for six bucks! That is just insane.

Then, I filled out the paperwork for the girls' library cards. While they were being processed, the girls wandered the library, searching for a treasure to bring home. Olivia found hers right away, but Tyler asked the librarian how many books she could get. The silly man did not give her a limit. I did. I said three was enough. The librarian explained to each of the girls the importance of taking care of the books, and being responsible. He then reminded me that I was accountable for these books as well as the ones I check out with my own library card, kind of hinting about the previous lost book debaucle. And I nodded profusely. Oh yes, I take the stewardship of these books very seriously. I will do my best to keep track of them. To be able to check out books again is such a blessing.

What a relief to have that taken care of. I honestly wish I hadn't waited so long.

That and my driver's license which has been expired since July. I could have sent the paperwork in, which I filled out as soon as I received it, but at the time, I just didn't have 20 bucks for the processing fee. I know that is silly now, but I really didn't. I just couldn't afford it. So I didn't do it. And then Britt reminded me it would be more expensive to do it at the DMV here, and he said they would make me take another test.

I honestly didn't think the part about the test was true, but I still put off doing anything more with that. It was always in the back of my mind, knowing I needed to do something, but I just didn't have the time. Then, I found out the DMV is only open here in Blanding on Monday and Tuesday. No way could I make it there on Monday. Monday's are just too busy here at work. And on Tuesday's, I am working and getting ready for cub scouts. They are just not good days.

But this Tuesday, I got ready for the day with a driver's license picture in mind. At some point in that day, I decided, I was going to go down there.

And then I let the day slip away. Britt told me how nice he thought I looked that day, and I told him it was because I was thinking of going to renew my license, but it was almost too late now. He told me to go ahead and leave work early. I decided I would wait in line, and if it took too long, I would just leave, and wait until next week. So, I got there, along with everyone else in the county. And we waited and waited.

But it really wasn't that bad. And it only cost me $25, just five more than the mail-in fee. And my picture really isn't very good, but it is done. Now I will have a legal license, when it comes in the mail soon. And I even made it to pick up Olivia and go to cub scouts in time.

Crazy how these nagging things we need to do can weigh us down for so long. Then, when we finally get them done, they really weren't so bad, after all. What else can I let go of? This feels really good.


Tim and Nancy said...

Wow $6! Sorry for all that stress it put you through.

Francom Family said...

Nan, I am so happy you can legally read and drive now. I think the librarian gets tired just looking at me and my boys coming in, but he is always really nice to us. $6and all that stress and guilt, too funny:).

Kim said...

So, true confession. We checked out some DVDs from the library for our trip to Montana two summers ago. Somewhere along the way we lost one of the Muppet DVDS, and guess who hasn't been back to the library since? I really miss the library. I think you've inspired me to take a deep breath and walk through those doors. (Another wierd thing--I just got my driver's license renewed on Monday. My picture is outright hideous, but I'm legal).

Worthy Glover Sr. or Gail Glover said...

Believe it or not, they actually WANT to make it easy on you to check out books. Isn't it interesting how our well-developed sense of right and wrong punishes us more than the actual punishment would be. On the other topic, who is going to look at your driver's license picture anyway? When I had my last one taken, they were shocked that I did not want a retake, but figured, given the subject matter, the future use of the image, and the long-term storage of the card (After all, I am not going to frame it and put it on the wall!), why waste anyone's time trying to get a better picture with a camera that cannot take a good picture? Congratulations on making it over some important hurdles in your life. You are once again legal on the roads and at the library!

malandbrian said...

I'm glad you got that done with and you can go to the library again! I am just like that especially with phone calls, and it is so true that it never is a big deal. But yet I keep doing it...

Chrislynn said...

My NJ drivers license picture is so bad that a security guy at the Newark airport didn't believe that it was actually me. Up until my NJ license, I always had great photos, so it is possible.