Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Add the Gravy from Line 3 & Pass the Corn

Dear John,
I've been snowed in today. I need to go back to work tomorrow so I can get some rest.
The snowstorm arrived right on schedule.  When I woke up I couldn't see out any of the windows - there was snow and ice on both the windows and the screens, on both sides of the house, and the back door was sleeted shut. I believe we got about 5 inches of snow, but it's hard to tell with all the blowing and drifting. Schools were closed in a three-county radius. We had the usual two big drifts across the driveway. Dana came and plowed me out, bless him. I appreciate them more than I can say.
Today was devoted to taxes. I printed forms and downloaded instruction books, dug out the last three years of federal taxes, and beat my head against the wall a fair amount. As predicted, I did better with paper than online tax services. Now that I have a handle on what's what, I'm going to try to enter it in an online service so my work gets checked. I'm feeling tired and short-tempered and proud of myself. I've learned all about Schedule A and Schedule C, about business profit and loss, and lots of other useful things.
I miss you at tax season. You loved doing taxes more than anything in this world. When you became a pastor, you spent months reading the details of how to file dual-status. I remember when the IRS said you'd made a mistake that year - you spent two hours on the phone getting transferred from one office to another, until you finally got somebody who knew as much about it as you did and said you were absolutely right. I was so proud of you that day.
I did our taxes in the old days, when all we had was two W2s and no mortgage or investments. We always itemized deductions - our medical expenses alone justified it. This year I'm dealing for the first time with 1099s and business expenses. And there's that mandatory disbursement from that retirement plan - I may end up calling the IRS about that  to be sure I put it in the right category. Mortgage interest is easy, and I put all the medical deductibles in Quicken when I set it up. The bottom line is that my deductibles are more than my adjusted income. So I'll do okay this year. That's the good part about paying a fortune for COBRA, isn't it?
Now I'm going to take my aching brain and put it to bed. I'll give it a couple of days to recover before I tackle the rest of this. It will be done, and you will be proud of me for another accomplishment, another step toward independence, another hurdle of life-without-you conquered. I'll probably just be relieved to have it over with. And I'll be happy to not have to pay anybody else to do it for me.
Again, if you can get that hall pass, tax season would be a perfect time for it. If you can't come help me with it, you can text me some pointers. If that's not possible either, you can always pray for  me, and I know that you do. I know that you always have. And now you can pray for me so much better than before. I'm glad for that. And know that I pray for you, too.
Eager to be with you,

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