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our fresh new ride

So we got a new van. The old one served us nobly for six years, and was still getting us places up until last week. As long as those places weren't too far away, that is; it was developing enough troubling issues that I didn't like to take it on the highway for any length of time, if I could help it. And it couldn't pass inspection. I actually started looking for a replacement in early March, but then of course something happened to make getting a used car off Craigslist a little more complicated. I guess things weren't any less complicated in July, but we're used to the complications now, so when I spotted a van that looked good—by which I mean it looked just like the old one we know and love—I snapped it right up. Maybe too fast; I probably could have done something to try and talk the price down a little. After all, we bought the new car six years later and it's only five years newer, so maybe I shouldn't have paid more for this one. On the other hand, the new one just a had a single owner who wasn't sketchy at all, unlike the last version which we bought in a parking lot in Waltham from a guy with a New Hampshire dealer's license.

Speaking of complications, it turns out to be very challenging to register a car these days. I had to get an appointment at the RMV; I did that in the last week of July and the soonest I could get in anywhere in Massachusetts was the 12th of August, in Plymouth. Actually, that was the only available day the morning that I looked: there are only ten RMV locations opened in the state, so spots are in high demand. Of course, even in a pandemic an appointment at the RMV doesn't mean you'll be seeing someone at the exact time on your ticket, but when I got up to the window at 2:52 for my 2:30 scheduled time I felt like I was doing pretty well. Even with two hours of driving round trip I think I got the thing done in less time than I would have had I lined up in Lowell the old-fashioned way. Plus, I got to try out the new van! Yes of course I drove it to register itself: the old one never would have made it!

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