I woke Tuesday night with a start. I hadn’t renewed my driver license on my birthday a few days before. Oh, no! I knew what I’d be doing Wednesday morning! I woke at 5:15, thanks to my feline alarm, and went through my usual “first-thing-in-the-morning” routine before facing the inevitable. I pulled up the driver’s handbook on my computer, did a quick scan of the California rules and regulations and set off for the DMV.

As I pushed open the glass door leading into the small office I was overwhelmed with a standing-room-only crowd of patiently waiting, mainly Hispanic, patrons. I’d forgotten the new California law that allows undocumented residents to apply for a driver license.

There were more than 35 people ahead of me with 2 overworked clerks. Discouraged and upset, I left to run some errands. On my return I saw I’d advanced by one number. Didn’t look promising. I returned in the afternoon, and things were only slightly better. Grrrr!

The only solution seemed to be to arrive the next morning before the doors opened. Got there at 7:30. First one to arrive. I sat in my car to stay warm until others were gathering by the doors. (Great opportunity to pass out Happiness Cards, which I did.)

Doors opened promptly at 8:00. I was second in line and was called immediately by one of the 2 clerks. I made out the necessary form and presented that and my old license to her. She scanned my papers and with a puzzled look said, “Your license hasn’t expired. You have another year! With that, I learned once again how unnecessary all the strum and drang of the past 24 hours had been.