Sunday, March 27, 2011

How I Spent My Saturday

This time of year is always tough - client demands, deadlines, and the volume of tax season. It happens every year, and I've been doing this for a while now so it's not so much of a surprise anymore. Being the last week of March, which is always the busiest week of the year, I sent the kids off to the in-laws for the weekend so that I could catch up on work and spend some time with them next week during spring break. I have been doing volunteer tax returns with the town for a few years now, and decided this year to visit the seniors' lodges in town so that they didn't have to trek down to the library, risking their limbs on the snow and ice (is it EVER going to melt???), and I could complete their tax returns in the comfort of their own buildings. First stop - Goldring Manor, where I arrived at 1000, just in time to see the Canadian ladies curling team beat China and win a place in the gold medal game. There were a few waiting for me when I arrived, and they were all patient, and Ed, being the gentleman from another era, let the ladies go first even though he had been one of the first to arrive. They were all appreciative, thankful, and I received a box of chocolate dinner mints from one of them. One lady commented that she just couldn't go down the stairs at the usual place she has her taxes done, and was so grateful that I came for a visit. Next stop - Discovery Place, where the seniors I met we primarily over 80 (and almost 90), and sat with me, chatting about life and the weather, happy to sit for a few minutes to get their taxes over and done with! After some minor technical difficulties, I was rolling, and sadly ended my time by telling the last gentleman that he owed tax. "What do you mean," he cried. "I don't make any money!" I walked away with a resolve to find him some extra tax credits if it was that last thing I did! Last stop - The Mustard Seed, dodging monster-sized potholes along the way, Saturday night, with the Oilers playing the Flames and the inner city folks gathered together to see if the Oil could spoil Calgary's hopes of making the playoffs (they didn't - surprise, surprise). I ran down the list, punching in government benefit slips, printing pages, and providing instructions. I think I might have convinced Gary to file the tax returns he has missed for the last 11 years. He had been homeless for a long time before recently getting his own place. It would be worth it even if he could just get three years of GST credits back. At first, he was reluctant, but just as I left, he came over to chat about it further....when I see him on Tuesday, I'll make sure I bug him. And the quote of the night, of course from Sheldon, who wandered over to say goodbye as I was leaving, and I asked if he filed taxes to get GST, and his response: "Who cares about GST? I don't need any money!" and off he went, back to his table to cheer on his beloved Flames. I'll keep working on him. It was a frantic and busy Saturday, rushing in and out of the house, trying to do bits of work in between visits, but I went to bed thinking about becoming a nurse....and working at The Mustard Seed....and helping whoever needs it - healthy or sick, rich or poor. It was so worth it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Conversation

Me: Sheldon, do you want to take some food home?

Sheldon: HOME? I don't have a home.

Me: Where do you go when you leave here?

Sheldon: I've been staying at a friend's place, but before that, the Hope.

Me: Well, at least it's getting warmer.

Sheldon: I hate it when it gets warmer.

Me: Why?

Sheldon: Because then I can't walk on the river.

Me: Why do you walk on the river?

Sheldon: I don't know.

Me: Well, it's spring, don't walk on the river.

Sheldon: Why?

Me: Because the ice would break and that would be the end of Sheldon.

Sheldon: Why would that be a bad thing?