A while back David had expressed a desire to get a guitar. I told him that if he would agree to take lessons, I would buy one post haste. He finally did agree to take lessons, and today post haste happened.

Va dropped him off at my office, and when I was done working, we walked down to a music store on Main Street. The first guitar the salesman showed us was more than double my budget. So I asked if he had anything a little on the “lower end” side of the scale, and of course he did. He whipped out an acoustic six-string Fender.

David liked it, it was within my budget, and it came with all kinds of goodies for a beginner: strap, carry bag, extra set of strings, a cheapo tuner, and an instructional DVD. Then we carried it back to the office, collected Jonathan, and headed home.

I think he’s pretty pleased with it. We also picked up a promotional brochure for lessons, but I want to ask a friend of mine who teaches trumpet at the Concord Music Conservatory (if that’s the name – it’s been a while) if he can recommend a good teacher.

Or maybe we’ll just go with whomever the store recommends, I dunno.

After we ate dinner, Jonathan set out on his first solo drive. He’s taking a class in statistics for the summer term, and those classes meet in the evening. That was part of the impetus to get his license. I didn’t want to have to make extra trips to Concord or otherwise occupy myself in town while he was in class. So off he goes.

I figured that after his solo trip to Belgium, maybe I wouldn’t worry about a solo trip to Concord, but I was wrong. I do find myself worrying. After all, he didn’t drive himself to Belgium. Still, he’s a good kid, and I’m sure he won’t do anything foolish. That’s what I keep telling myself anyhow.

Today Jonathan got his driver’s license, yay! Va took him to the DMV this morning. They have a kiosk there for taking the written part of the test. It asks questions until is has either asked 40, or the examinee has correctly answered 32. Then a state trooper sat with him as he took a cruise through Concord.

He did pretty OK! He “needs improvement” in a couple of areas (checking mirrors when merging and parallel parking), but it wasn’t serious enough to prevent them from issuing him his license.

Shortly after he finished, I added him to our insurance policy. There goes most of his first paycheck, but at least he should be able to cover it with only one.

New Hampshire issues temporary licenses while they make the permanent one. The temp one is a pretty flimsy black and white job. Kinda like the temp tags they put on new cars, but small. He’ll get his real one in a couple of weeks.

This inspired David to ask me to take him out driving tonight. So I did. He did pretty OK too, but he has just barely started. He’s still not comfortable driving 30MPH on the little road we live on – even on the paved section. But that’s OK, he’s learning. We need to get out a bit more frequently though. I have already wasted about a year that I could have used for teaching him.

Yesterday I had to come home a little early so Va and I could go to the city building to renew our vehicle registration. I also needed to change my address (it was originally listed as a PO Box, because when we first moved to NH, we were housed in temporary quarters). On the way there, I began to wonder when my driver’s license expires, so I fished out my wallet and checked. 9/20/2009. Gah! Nine days ago!

I had been driving illegally for over a week!

So this morning after I illegally dropped Beth off at school, I went straight to the DMV. Well, not straight. I did stop at a Dunkin Donuts shop and get an egg and cheese croissant. At the DMV they had me fill out a form and pose for a deer-in-the-headlights photo. They offered to take another, but I think it’s traditional to have an awkward-looking photo on your driver’s license, so I let it stand.

Then they gave me a temporary license. The real one will be mailed sometime in the near future. I was outta there in half an hour.

I was a little surprised that they didn’t hassle me about letting my old license expire. A guy I know from Virginia accidentally let his license expire, and they made him retake the test. And he flunked it. He had been driving for over thirty years when that happened, but no matter. It expired, and he flunked the test, so then he had to get a learner’s permit. I think if that had happened to me, my kids would never have let me live it down.