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This is the time of year that I dread. Not only because of the cold temperatures or the confinement indoors but because it is also tax season. For some people it may be a time they look forward to as they can file for a refund from the government. However, even if at times, I do get a refund, I still do not anticipate the paperwork involved before filing. Each year my husband and I try to be more organized about our tax papers. We try to keep track of deductions throughout the year and be aware of things that might benefit us at tax time. We file away reports, receipts and statements.
The month of February has at least one very important holiday and that is, in my mind, Valentines Day. I have always enjoyed the day, not just because it often means flowers, balloons or chocolate but also because it is a time to say 'I Love You' in unique ways. In elementary school, I recall looking forward to the day because it meant another class party. We would have a contest for the best decorated Valentine Box and shop for the perfect package of Valentines.
We are quickly approaching the mid-way point of winter. While for some it may seem like the time is passing quickly, for others it probably feels like the minutes, hours and days are crawling along. In the past, I have written about the many "at home" types of things that we try to get done in winter.
Living in a small town is great --- most of the time. There are things that take place in small towns that residents of larger cities can not even imagine. Then again, there is a lot of small town 'knowledge' that some would rather do without. I like living in a small town despite some of the disadvantages. There are many "signs" that you live in a small town in the things you do and know, the things you do not do or know, and in the simple things we do each day. I would like to share a list of "signs" that you might indicate life in a small town. You might be from a small town if ... 1.
One would think that an adult is much smarter than a young child but sometimes the reality of plain old common sense hits you. Children can see things in such a simple way, while adults quite often just over-analyze. I was reminded of this fact last weekend during a visit to my son's home. As usual, we spent a great deal of time not only visiting with our son and his wife but also playing with our nearly 4-year-old grandson. The first night we were there, he was so busy showing me all his new toys that he received at Christmas.
There are a lot of fun outdoor winter activities, but, to tell you the truth, I really don't enjoy any of them. I used to love to spend time outdoors in the winter but it seems that lately the cold just seems to penetrate to the bone. There is also the fact that I struggle to simply walk at times, much less work those arms and legs with all the extra weight of boots and heavy clothing. In my younger days, we often enjoyed the warmer winter days by going sledding down a hill in my parent's backyard. This meant trudging through the snow, pulling a sled and breaking a trail.
January is a month that many people dread for a variety of reasons. It marks the beginning of three long, cold months of winter. A time of hibernating indoors and waiting for the first signs of spring. Personally, January and February are my least favorite months of the year. However, I have learned to find some good points about these cold, dreary months. January is the beginning of tax season, a time to accumulate 12 months of records into an organized account of income and expenditures.
When we turn the calendar over in just a few days we will officially be in 2008, a year that divides by four. That is how I remember that it is a presidential election year. Not that we need a reminder. It seems that for the last two years we have been hearing about the upcoming presidential elections. A president no more than takes office and we are already planning for the year when he will be succeeded.
The Christmas season is one of the happiest yet busiest times of the year. People all over the world observe the holiday with religious ceremonies, family gatherings, gift exchanges, caroling, feasting and many other good-will type activities. Somehow we never seem to get tired of hearing the old and favorite Christmas stories or of singing the Christmas carols.
The signs of Christmas are everywhere. We can hear it in the music and loving wishes, we can see it in the decorations, we can smell it in the delicious Christmas goodies and meals. We can feel it in the air and warmth of friendship during the season. It is pretty hard to avoid feeling something different during this time of year. For most of us that feeling is of joy, wonder and love. We are lucky to be able to spend it with our loved ones, enjoy good health and the ability to travel to the events we wish to attend.