January License Plate Report

January is the best month in the license plate game. In a good January, I spot half the states, and that’s what I got in the first month of 2020: 25.

I like to think I would have hit 25 even if I hadn’t taken a swing through the hospital parking lot in mid-month. OMG, it was like shooting fish in a barrel: I spotted 10, the ones from Arkansas through Montana on the list at left. IOW: Arkansas, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey, California, South Carolina, Maine, Louisiana, and Montana. (Note: I have never tried to shoot fish in a barrel.)

New Jersey, California, and Maine are no big deal, of course, though Maine is often the last New England state to show up. But Arkansas, Louisiana, and Montana?? There have been years when Montana didn’t show up at all.

If it weren’t for the license plate game, I would not realize how many states are represented in the hospital staff, even in the dead of January. Which hasn’t been especially dead, or especially wintry, true, but one expects more travel nurses, doctors, and techies to be on the job in summer, when the Vineyard population quintuples (or something like that).

Fwiw, I’m not going for all one color this year. I’m thinking shades of red, but I’m also thinking that the pink I used for South Carolina and Maine doesn’t show up very well. I might have to touch them up before the February report.

The February tally is usually very small, around 3, which suggests that most of the vehicles here in February were also here in January. The most likely prospects are North Carolina and Georgia (Delaware is almost always the last East Coast state to show up), Ohio, Illinois, and maybe Washington state.

And of course, as always, if you see North Dakota, give me a shout. It may be another 25 years before it shows up again, but who knows?

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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