Tax season is a big deal in our house, with an absent certified public accountant spouse from February to mid-April each year. Taxes are not anyone’s favorite topic. I grumble, too, but have been reminded of late to appreciate why I pay taxes.
Take law enforcement, for instance. Four weeks ago we were stopped by a Nevada Highway Patrolman at the bottom of Spooner Summit. Yes, we were above the speed limit, more than the “5 miles over” that he wrote us up for. We had no argument with him, but we also weren’t happy to see him. How annoying, we thought. Fast forward to two weeks ago. On a dark and very rainy night, I blew a tire while in no man’s land on the freeway between Carson and Reno. Alone and having no clue which exit was behind or in front of me, AAA would not send help without more explicit and exact location information. “I don’t know, it is dark and rainy, just send the truck from Carson towards Reno on 580. I will be the only car perilously on the side of the road with my emergency blinkers on,” I pleaded and protested. Neither pleading nor protesting was successful. I sat hopeless in the rainstorm searching my GPS for my location, moving now to praying that a Nevada Highway Patrolman would stop. A flashlight, badge and uniform knocking on my rain-splattered window was never more welcome. I invited him in from the rain, and he was able to articulate sufficiently to AAA. Soon my tire was changed and I was on my way.
Take the Affordable Care Act. For those of us fortunate enough to have insurance, we are bothered by the changes, the intrusion and even the interruption of our current plan. However, for my friend and colleague, Jennifer, the Affordable Care Act made if possible for her to have her torn ACL repaired finally. Single, a hard working, selfless leader who puts international service and growing a non-profit above having a reasonable living wage, she was thrilled to obtain insurance.
Take our court system. Susie and her family became a part of the dependency court almost two years ago. Her family was most certainly annoyed with this government intrusion into their lives. Her family was unable to reunite with her. After wondering and worrying for two years about where she would live, a relative placement was found for Susie, finally providing a permanent home that she can count on. The morning of the court decision, Susie came to court after a sleepless night, complaining of a stiff and hurting neck. In court, Susie was present to hear the placement order. Leaning over close, she whispered to her CASA, “Guess what?” Her CASA whispered back, “What?” In a small voice she answered, “My neck ache is gone.”
Grateful for a flashlight in the window on a rainy night, for a repaired ACL for a friend, and for a little girl that has found a forever home, this year I will gladly, well maybe not gladly, but certainly with less grumbling, write that check appreciating what I get in return.