I spent the last two mornings in tax training, in preparation for being a VITA/AARP/TCE volunteer tax preparer. Even though I prepared tax returns for 20 years and volunteered in this program last year, the law changes, the software changes, and refresher training every year is necessary. In my case, the clientele changed enormously in the last couple years. Back at my accounting firm I was doing returns for people who [generally] had way more money than was necessarily good for them. Now I do tax returns for people who subsist on less money than I thought possible. Many are filing to get a rent or homestead credit. Some have enough income to require a return but end up owing no tax (big smiles there). And some are very nearly middle class but their income is low enough to qualify for our free service.
The training is 22 miles away and I had to be there at 9am. Now, in my mind, 9am is a time when I should be stretching and yawning and reaching for my iPad to read the news. It is most definitely not a time when I should be in a class 22 miles away from my bed, having driven through a near-blizzard to get there. It had started snowing the night before the first class and didn’t quit until today. Our driveway, that uphill monster, has still not been plowed (try to get someone to plow when everyone and his 43 cousins wants their driveway plowed, too), and the highway conditions vary between “snow covered” and “slippery”. After I get out of our driveway there is about half a mile of unpaved township road (not plowed yet at 8am either day) and three miles of paved township road (ditto yesterday, better today). Oh, and before I could even attempt to drive I had to brush 3-4″ of snow off the car (yesterday; ditto today, plus scraping ice off the windows).
I am happy to report that I drove those 88+ miles yesterday and today safely and without incident.
Smokey, not so much.
He had an appointment for a stress test* at a hospital 40 miles away. He said he drove most of the way in 4WD, but when the pavement was black edge to edge, no snow nor visible ice, he shifted to 2WD.
And immediately did a 180˚ spin into the ditch.
There was traffic oncoming and behind him, but happily, he did not get hit. A cell phone call and a $139.95 tow later, he was back on the road to his appointment.
And that’s why I call him Mr. Lucky.