Nick of Time


Thank you, U.S. Department of State!

At the 11th hour, my new passport arrived.

I can’t even begin to relate the amount of relief associated with this turn of fortune.

Spouse reminded me that the State Department has a history of coming through in the clutch: a decade ago, he received a hand-delivered visa to India three hours prior to his flight departing to Delhi.

I also didn’t yet share another weird twist to this story: in my panic to get my passport, I made an emergency appointment for Friday morning at the closest U.S. Passport Agency, which is about 100 miles from our house.

When I spoke to an agent at the National Passport Information Center, he suggested making the appointment as a back-up.

So I did.

Rumor has it that the agency *can* give you an immediate passport, if circumstances dictate this course of action.

But there’s no guarantee that they will.

When you make the appointment, there’s an automated phone tree that helps you select the time and date.

They also give a list of items to bring with you.

One of them is – no surprise – a passport photo.

When I had my passport Glamour Shots recently taken at Walgreen’s, I received two identical (lousy) passport photos.

But I only needed one to send in with my application.

I knew I had the other one, but I misplaced it.


I went to bed on Tuesday and woke up mid-way through the night with the thought that I needed to find that second photo, just in case.

Here’s the crazy part, and I do not have a rational explanation: when I woke up Wednesday morning, the extra passport photo was sitting on our counter, smack-dab in the middle of our kitchen island.

For the record: I don’t sleepwalk.

Why was it there?

I simply cannot explain this. The most likely explanation is that one of the kids was digging through junk drawers in our kitchen and found it.

Except: I went to bed later than they did, and I don’t recall seeing the photo on the counter.

Spouse suggested that our cleaners may have found the photo on the floor and placed it on the counter.

Except: We were all home all night, after the cleaners were there in the day, and no one saw that photo.

In the end, I didn’t need Photo #2 after all, but still. How weird is that?

One more thing: the State Department’s Passport Application website completely crumped yesterday, and instead of a status update, all you could see was this:


I am so grateful to have a valid U.S. Passport in my possession.








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