Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Of Passports and Peacock Feathers

I have been wanting some peacock feathers to play with and integrate into jewelry somehow.  I keep thinking how lovely it would be if I had my own peacock, so I could just collect the feathers as they molt, but I simply haven't managed to convince my husband that a peacock is vital to my continued happiness--and since it really isn't, I'm not pushing the issue.  But a very wonderful Facebook friend sent me a package of peacock feathers in the mail.  So now I have all the feathers that my heart could desire--for a while anyway.

In the same mail that brought my peacock feathers I also received my passport...And here is the rest of the story that I didn't tell before...I was born in Canada.  My father is a US citizen and my mother was Canadian.  We moved to the US when I was three.  When I was fourteen, we moved back to Canada and I went to eighth grade and all of high school in Canada.  After that I returned to the US for college and never left.

When I was getting ready to go to college we went through all the rigamarole of establishing proof of US citizenship and I got my first US passport.  I only needed it to enter the US and it wasn't really a very big deal.  Especially after I had gotten my Social Security card and my driver's license.  Well, then 9/11 occurred and all of a sudden a passport was a very big deal.

In the meantime, since I travelled so little, I had let my passport lapse.  I had made one trip to Canada in 1998 and then neglected to put my passport somewhere safe.  So here I was running around with not just my ID, but everyone else's stashed in a pocket in my purse.  Never again!  Some time after this Canada trip, my entire purse was stolen.  We went through all the hassle of getting the social security cards, birth certificates and driver's licenses replaced, but the passport replacement was a little pricy for the time, so I didn't worry too much about getting a new one. 

Then it became mandatory to show a birth certificate when you renewed your license and I was pretty sure that my Canadian birth certificate just wasn't going to be the thing.  My driver's license is good for a few more years yet, but I didn't want to get stuck with not being able to renew it because I didn't have appropriate ID.

Not wanting to do anything too quickly, I didn't really do anything about this situation.  I am a highly qualified procrastinator...And then after eight years, I get a phone call  from a gentleman who had found my purse hidden between his garage and his fence--a mere block from where it had been stolen.  All the ID was--although very damaged--still intact.

I finally decided this spring that I had procrastinated enough and I started the process of reapplying for my passport.  The whole thing that concerned me was all the rumors I was hearing about proving citizenship etc. for getting a new one.  Finally, I decided that we had already established citizenship and I had two former passports to prove that this had been done, so I went about the whole process with an attitude of expectation.

About two weeks after the application had been sent in, I received a letter from the State Dept.  My heart just sank...I was fairly sure that it had to do with proving citizenship and that something more was going to be required before I was going to be able to have my passport.

Imagine my relief when I discovered that my citizenship was NOT being questioned at all.  The question that was asked was HOW had my passport come to be in such a sorry state?  Well, I was able to answer that question with the greatest of ease and proceeded to do so.  I now have my shiny, new passport and it is NOT in my purse!


  1. Oh my gosh! What a story and PAIN in the neck!
    My hubby just had his renewed and went first to a place that only expedites them and they wanted like $500-$600 to do it. Thankfully at the post office it didn't cost that much!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. I love your blog! I'm glad we only have to deal with passport beaureaucracy every ten years...