Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What day is it?

How far have I fallen into oblivion in my wandering my way through each day?
I went to the post office today with 3 kids in tow.
After unloading them all, and toting a package in one arm and a baby in the other...
I noticed a snaking line of people inside the building. Hmm. Is it Monday? No... had that day already. What is with this place? So we made our way to the back of the line, where a portly/friendly fellow tried to talk to the girls. *snort* Keep trying buddy, you've been served. That's what I should call the blank stare my girls treat people too, when they are spoken too lately. Blank. Stare. He then commented to me on something about the wait, to which I replied, and I kid you not:

"What, is it tax day or something?"

To which he snorted, smiled and said "Yeah right!" as though I was either:
a.) really funny
b.) possibly from another {untaxed} planet

Yeah. The brilliance I felt was unstoppable. But in my bright-side way (yay me!), I figured out that I may as well wait, because by the time I loaded the kids back up and drove home, only to drive back again the next day, I may as well just stand there. And possibly think about something tax-worthy.
Then as I was catching up on my favorite blogs, I realized that that thought was not novel. There are a-plenty of people tossing out things they are happy to pay taxes for. Things that make up our days and are right in front of us, and that make this land a great place to live. I heard complaints today too, and comments from people declaring they knew better what to spend their money on. Well. Volunteering on my homeowners board, I have seen firsthand for over 3 years, what *extra things* people are willing to pay for when given a chance. And the answer is: very little. In fact, very few are even willing to be present for local decisions - let alone volunteer one hour a month to serve on the board, so that our community thrives.

The best comment of the day, hands-down: "I pay for taxes because I am not a selfish bastard that cares only about myself and my family to the exclusion of every other person in my country." Thanks to MOMocrats, and the collection of comments for that one.

So here's the short list of things I am thankful we pay taxes for.

-Libraries. Please sir, could I have some more? Soon we will get a new local library that is spacious and can provide my every bibliophile's wish. It makes my heart patter. I feel a kinship with good libraries, and we have been lacking around here. I spent a lot of my childhood and adolescence at the library, and it was a Good Thing.

-Good public schools and the handy school buses that make life smoother around here. (And by smoother, I mean these buses spare the good people of Alpharetta of the sight of me in my robe, carpooling Cole to school at dark-thirty. Ack.)
The smiling staff at our elementary school are a marvel to me. They take on my child each day, and they love and teach him well and make me feel like he is special to them. This fall three of my children will be at that school for 6 hours a day. I am happy that it is clean and cared for and provides a safe environment for their education. It is no small thing to send three cherished children to a place all day long, and know that they are safe while learning. There are plenty of complaints about school budgets, and I propose no solutions here today. Only gratitude that the schools even exist, and that so many people consider teaching a worthwhile and worthy career. Thank you, taxes.

I think I will stop right here, at the mention of libraries and schools. Those two alone stand on their own for me today, as tax-dollar recipients, and reasons to be thankful. My grandmother was a high school librarian for many, many years, and the school honored her after her retirement by naming the new Chocowinity High library after her. I grew up on discarded library books that she salvaged for me. She also brought home library computers back in the 80's, on which I thrilled at playing The Oregon Trail on a black screen with green letters. Fancy stuff, those early machines. :) My love of reading has been passed down from all sides, but my love of books and supernatural/spiritual books in particular, has come straight from her. I am thankful that taxes pay her current pension and healthcare, and every penny she needs to survive, because she gave a lot of years to a lot of kids.

I suppose this is in essence a shout-out to the good that comes from an organized system. A system that certainly is unwieldy and wonky in spots, but is better than the alternative. This post is also an alternative - an alternative option to the whining and complaining from the do-nothings. But then maybe I can be positive today because thanks to my sweet load of young-uns, tax season has been kind...

1 comment:

  1. Bethany~
    AMen sista! :)
    Andy and I were just talking about this on the way to the beach.
    People just have to b!ch and moan about stuff...but most of us don't when we get to send out children out to learn each day...and don't forget driving on that is a biggie! :)


Put it right here, babe!