52 Weeks – #15 Taxes

My memory is seriously failing me. Last week, I realized I had “misremembered” the origin of the punch-needle rugs my mother made in the mid-1960s. This week, I was all set to write my post on the topic of “taxes.” It would be an easy write –  I had all of my tax returns since 1971 when I took a part-time job at Morton’s Pharmacy in Hamden, CT. I went to the first file cabinet and opened the drawers.  2017… 2016… 2000…  I headed down to the basement where I kept older documents. 1990… 1985… 1984… what??? I’m missing an entire decade of documents? How can that be? I don’t throw anything out!! Impossible – I must have just misplaced the files. I saw in my mind a thin file marked “Important Documents.” 
Yes! I vaguely remembered a “cleansing” some time ago when I did get rid of a lot of ephemera. I must have placed the old returns in that file.
My antique file cabinet.
Hope the IRS doesn’t audit me! 
What a great opportunity– I could kill two birds with one stone – While looking for the missing folder I would clear out excess paper from the old tax files and then reorganize my multiple file drawers into one. After several days of shredding (eight shredders-full!), I had a beautifully organized file drawer but no “Important Correspondence” folder. (See picture left: I’d show you how organized the drawer is, but that’s as far as it opens now unless I really give a good strong yank which I’m too tired to do tonight!)
I can’t tell the tale I wanted to, but I do have two tax return stories to share. (Full disclosure: this is the way I remember it – so, at this point, who knows what the truth really is!!) 
Blood, (but no) Sweat and Tears:
I was perhaps a tad too zealous sealing the envelope one year and somehow gave myself a papercut. Yup! Bled on the back of the envelope containing my tax return. Pretty appropriate I’d say!
My First Return:
I don’t remember how old I was, but I must have been at least 18. It was my first return. I filled out the paper about my earnings. I consulted the chart to see what my income tax was. I owed $5.00. Having no idea of how to actually go about paying the tax, and for some reason, too proud (Stubborn? Stupid?) to ask for help, I figured I had to write a check and send it in. So, I did. And the check bounced. Turns out, I didn’t even have to send a check – that $5.00 was what would be deducted from the amount I would be refunded.
Oh, how I wish I could find that file!!!’
Note: The last two weeks are a good example of why I participate in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog challenge. Especially this year when I am concentrating on telling the stories of my generation. Each week, I am able to reach deep into the dark (and certainly cobwebby) recesses of my mind and clarify my memory of specific events. While the truth may be less entertaining than the memory, it IS the truth. After reading Amy Johnson Crow’s recent post on “The Historians versus the Genealogists. Really?”, I feel even more strongly that sharing our stories is important. As Amy stated: “Genealogy now is about making connections to the past — all of it. When we make those connections, we not only understand our families better, we understand history better. We also come to know our current world better. Genealogists, like historians, look at the past and say, “This matters.” 

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