Remember the certified letter I stayed home waiting for? Well, it never did show up on Thursday. Didn’t come on Friday or Saturday, either. Monday? Holiday. Tuesday? Nope. Today? Ha. Never mind that I signed up for a redelivery and received acknowledgement that it would arrive September 3rd. So, I finally dragged myself to the post office, where I fortunately did not have to stand in a long line. Actually, I was in and out of there in about three minutes, which has to be some kind of record.
And, yeah. They had my certified letter. I’d insert an eye roll emoji here if I knew how.
As suspected, the certified letter contained the title and registration paperwork I needed for my Hyundai, so I ambled on over to the treasurer’s office next (my favorite form of walking—a nice, leisurely, stop-and-smell-the-roses pace), where my luck did not hold because the line stretched all the way to the door. 30 minutes later I was at the front of the queue and got everything squared away. I was not expecting to pay $961, though!! When the clerk gave me the total, I actually thought I’d misunderstood her. It was crowded and noisy in there, after all. But I asked her to repeat the amount and, sure as shit, I’d heard her correctly. Adding insult to injury? The “convenience” of paying by credit card added another $24, bringing my total to a whopping $985. What was I supposed to use, a check?! I’m pretty sure I have a checkbook buried in a drawer at home somewhere, but it’s certainly not something I carry around with me. What is this, 1988? Maybe I should mosey on over to the video store next and rent Beetlejuice on VHS. I write maybe two checks a year, and have been using the same stack of checks since 2016. The address isn’t just out of state, it’s like four residences old. In any case, that heart attack-inducing total was the result of a little thing called a motor vehicle excise tax, which in South Dakota amounts to 4% of the purchase price of a new vehicle.
I probably should have read the fine print, huh? All I knew was, when we registered our existing vehicles in South Dakota, it cost next to nothin’. Because you aren’t given the option of declining to pay the MVET (“sorry guys, money’s a little tight so I’m a-gonna have to take a hard pass on that”), I had no choice but to fork it over. I went ahead and ordered my personalized license plates while I was at it, because when you’re stuck paying close to a grand, what’s another $25, right?
Remind me to hang onto this car for a long, long time.
The storm that blew through Monday night lived up to its hype. After dropping over an inch of rain during the day, we woke up Tuesday morning to a chilly 32º and this:
Rapid City set records for earliest freeze, earliest snowfall, and most precipitation for the date. Granted, it amounted to less than an inch and was all melted by afternoon, and it’ll be back in the 80s next week, but still. We’ve had our heat on and it’s been weird bundling up to go outside. I even got to try out the heated seats in my Kona (looove). Some places in the Black Hills received over a foot of snow! Needless to say, after the low this morning dropped into the 20s, I’m pretty sure our garden is done.
I love the way the seasons appear to be duking it out here. The tree says it’s autumn but the ground screams winter. Meanwhile, the good ol’ calendar is like, “Hold up. It’s still summer.”
Honestly, I think seasons are no more than a suggestion here in South Dakota. What will be, will be, regardless of the date.