Time For A Change

January 2007 began with my brother-in-law dying of leukemia. In March I took my soul-brother off the ventilator and held his hand as his spirit flew off to see what happens next. As the year continued, two work colleagues left this earth, along with a dear man who mentored me early in my career.

Later that spring, my oldest cat began throwing up blood, a symptom of the lymphoma that was supposed to have killed her six years ago, and she had to be put down. In August my cairn terrier’s diabetes became too brittle to be controlled by insulin injections, and Skylar joined Arrow on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

In October my surviving cat Willow developed uncontrolled vomiting, which resulted in exploratory surgery, followed by a month of keeping her alive at home by four-times-a-day forced nutrition through a feeding tube.

The first week in November, Willow went upstairs still connected to her feeding tube, and came back downstairs without it. She decided that enough was enough and used her time alone to pull it out. On the way home from the vet, a speeding car ran a red light and hit me broadside as I was making a left turn. By the time my sweet old ’93 Volvo wagon stopped spinning, headlight and tail light covers popped off and were strewn in the roadway, every piece of plastic on the inside of the car shattered, and the rear axle snapped in two. The legendary Volvo frame was so bent that once the fireman forced the rear hatch open, the entire car skewed so that neither side doors nor rear hatch could be closed again.

So 2007 ended with my car dying to save me and my cat – we both emerged shaken and bruised, but we walked away basically unharmed.

At the end of 2007, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles decided that those of us who had old, three-digit license plates had to be issued new four-digit license plates. I’d had the same plate for at least 20 years, and I wasn’t looking forward to having to memorize a new tag number. But when I opened the package with the new tag, I knew that I’d have no problem remembering it. This is what the DMV decided I needed that crazy year:


Turns out there was big public outrage about plates being issued with that particular combination of letters. The DMV ended that tag run and offered to replace the existing tags of anyone who was offended. But I loved my new license plate. It completely and thoroughly summed up surviving 2007.

But now, 2007 feels well behind me. Now, in 2013, it’s time for a change. I’ve thought about a personalized license plate for the last couple of years, but when tag renewal time rolled around, I talked myself out of the extra expense. Thanks to refinancing the mortgage, last month I had a little extra cash in my checking account, and I decided to take the plunge. The new tag arrived yesterday evening, and I braved the latest horde of mosquitoes to install it.

Here’s what my car will be sporting for the next few years:


My old tag reminded me of everyone I lost that long year, and all that I survived. My new tag makes me giggle. I like the change.


21 thoughts on “Time For A Change

  1. HRT2Harp. A fitting tag. I grew up in Polkville,NC, 13 miles west of Shelby. I came to your blog because you are so kind to visit me. I am terrible about getting around to all of the really fantastic people who post on WP. But, the moment I saw your background, I smiled. And when I read this post. Well, I’m hooked big time. Thank you for your kindness to me. I will be around. (This post should be FP’d.)


    1. I know Polkville-I grew up in Gaston County, just next door. I’m glad you will be visiting. And thanks for the FP kudos- I don’t think my posts will ever make it there, but it’s nice to hear that someone thinks they should!


  2. I love HRT2HARP! Lucky ones there. In Finland we have possibilities to have individual plates. For some money (expensive) man can buy some kind of abbreviation, but it is not the same than there. One simple example from here. When in work I was called Vili. I wanted it, but the VIL1 was already reserved.


    1. Thanks, Matti! I still giggle every time I see the back of my car. Here the special plate costs only $25 extra. Not so expensive for having so much fun with the new plate.


    1. I think I like making the choice for a new plate as much as getting it. The WTF plate, like everything else that year, came to me unasked for and totally out of my control. The new plate is my decision, and reflects the good things I’ve been blessed to be able to choose to have in my life. I’m having a good summer so far. I hope that you are too, and that cubicle land is less oppressive!


  3. I love you license plate (a definite improvement over the old one!). Life is full of change whether we are for it or not. I’ve decided how we handle those changes is a testament to our character. You, my friend, are a true example of grace. šŸ™‚


    1. I do hope that I have demonstrated enough character and don’t have any more tests of character like that year! I was certainly the recipient of grace in 2007, qnd I do appreciate being thought an example of same.


  4. It must have been a difficult choice to switch plates … WTF 7000 … L*O*L. But, that said, I admit to loving HRT2HARP as much as enjoy your blog posts, Janet!


    1. After I took it off my car, I really debated whether to keep the old plate as a momento of 2007. Then I realized that I had more than enough memories of that year, and didn’t need WTF7000 any longer, so it’s in the recycling bin awaiting pickup. Thanks for loving both the HRT2HARP plate and blog!


  5. Maybe WTF stood for Walk The Faith – whether that, for you, was God or another higher power. Sounds like you needed an awful lot of it that year. I think WTF was perfectly perfect. The new plate, though, now THAT suits you!!! Love it!

    Keep walking the faith and have a lovely weekend.



    1. I was definitely blessed and guided by grace that whole year. I am not sure I would have made it otherwise. I am pleased and relieved that the new plate fits my life as it is now!


  6. I just love your writings….and I just love you! Even your melancholy posts can make me smile! šŸ™‚ Just what I needed today!


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