When the pastor held up his parking ticket this morning I knew exactly where he was going. I don’t remember exactly what he was illustrating, but I’d seen the ticket before.
After I quit my first job this summer, and was unemployed for a while, I had a lot on my mind. I was running around and doing a lot of work around my house, but always thinking about other things. One hot, sticky July day I decided to go downtown to look for a gift for my nephew’s birthday. I ran into the 10,000 villages store for just a few minutes, and by the time I returned I realized I’d forgotten about the parking meters. I was cursing myself as I grabbed the yellow ticket envelope, thinking I really didn’t need to be spending 15 or 20 dollars on a parking ticket while I didn’t have a job. It turned out the ticket was only 5 dollars, a welcome surprise.
So when my new colleague and I ran overtime at the library, I told her not to worry too much, that the parking ticket was only 5 bucks. But, as she opened it up, it turned out it was free, and included a note that said something like this…Welcome to our city. Since you’re a visitor, we extend a cordial welcome, and we’re waiving the parking fee. We hope you enjoy your time here…and then on the back there’s a list of places to visit here.
And that was the same ticket the pastor had this morning, since he’s a recent transplant too. Only in Sioux Falls are we so nice that we encourage visitors to park illegally for a short amount of time. I guess I just changed my plates too quickly.