Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. May 2014
How can it be May already? The arrival of our vehicle license renewal form brought me up short. This is momentous for us. We moved here last year in May and now must consider ourselves not “newbies” anymore. Having lived in a lower state for 47 years, there have been some interesting things to learn about our last home State.
Driving in this state has been educational. The difference of having a WA plate on your car vs. a CA plate is astonishing. We had been warned that we might be looked at with some suspicion and some disdain by long-time Washingtonians. Well that became apparent in our first weeks here at Panorama. We got lost a lot and made unusual turns when where we intended to go was not the way we were headed. This often elicited some waving of arms and snorts, and abrupt passing by cars behind us, if not outright honking.
Then we discovered the wonderful licensing desk at Albertson’s food store on Pacific Avenue. Directed there by friends, we purchased licenses for both our loved cars (not ready to get rid of either the Jeep or the Del Sol yet). What a concept, to be handed your new license plates after paying your money!!!!! We often waited six weeks to get plates back in California. The switch out in the parking lot was quick and turned out to be a godsend. Now, when we are lost and make a weird correction, we are just nodded to and waved through. Folks are surely thinking “those poor souls are still getting lost, but we know how that is.” What a wonderful lease on life on the road those new plates made.
We still shudder at the mph that trucks move on the interstates here. Both our vehicles are considered “little” and we don’t speed. Is anyone comfortable with how fast the trucks go around here on the Interstate? We noticed it first on our forays up here to tour with Rachel Dobry, our Retirement Advisor. We just never could keep up and feel safe about it. We have found wonderful back byways to get to S. Tacoma to avoid that issue.
Another thing that is so very progressive, besides the wonderful turnabouts, is the yellow flashing turn arrows. These are unheard of in California. But boy, do they allow traffic to move here. When first confronted by one coming out of Fred Meyer’s near us, there was yet more honking until I realized that it was okay to turn when traffic cleared. We think we have a handle on driving in this state now.
There is another thing that astounded us. The DMV here is not a half day process! Greeters move you to appropriate lines, information gets input, moneys are paid, pictures are taken and out the door you go. It really did surprise us.
We are still “new’ to longtime Panorama residents, but we are making our way and finding what we need. We continue to use the smallest storage place near here, and yes, we are working on emptying it. But you know how much good stuff you just can’t get rid of!! Neighbors near us have also shared their unused garage space for our little leaky Honda del Sol. We have been warmly welcomed.
We have actually been able to help new arrivals, friends and neighbors, with pesky questions. Most answers can be found in the very helpful Residents Handbook and Directory. We read this cover to cover when we arrived and it is a wonderful resource for the “newbie.” Meeting new people and having finite memory units available in our brains, we have also depended on the pages with residents and their pictures to place folks we should remember. Everyone is helpful and gracious when you ask for information. This is an amazing community.