Tax deadline delay

Rick Ryckeley

With the tax deadline just around the corner, guess it’s time to start working on them. With the thought of all the fun stuff The Wife and I can buy with a possible windfall refund, I sat at the kitchen table early Friday morning to get started. Noticing the big pile of papers, The Wife asked, “Working on income taxes all day?”

Without a pause, I confidently declared, “That’s the goal.” But first I had to walk her out to the car and kiss her goodbye. As she pulled out of the driveway, I noticed the trashcan was tipped over. Once again, a nightly creature had enjoyed a midnight snack on our leftovers, leaving a mess to clean up and the reminder it was trash day.

After cleaning up outside, I made a grand tour of the inside, gathering all trash as I went, then noticed the garage was also a mess and needed a good cleaning. An hour later with the garage all cleaned, the outside trashcans were finally wheeled up to the street. Now back inside to those taxes. But it would soon be apparent to me that it would be more difficult than ever to complete the taxing ordeal this year.

All tax documents had to be sorted and stacked into the correct piles. This took over an hour. Not because of the stacking and piling, but because a misplaced water bill was among all the papers. Since it was due that day, I left all the papers lying on the table, grabbed the car keys and headed off to City Hall.

All the hard work of the morning had made me hungry so after paying the bill, I took my mid-morning snack break. After a quick visit to that chicken place that’s not opened on Sundays, I returned home and back downstairs to the table full of papers. Now it was time to get serious, and I needed a calculator.

My calculator search took another hour but was fruitless. Finally, I broke down and sent a text to The Wife asking if she knew its whereabouts. She reminded me that it was broken and I had thrown it away.

“Why don’t you just use the one on your phone?” The Wife, she is so smart. Now armed with phone in hand, I began to attack that pile of tax papers. It must’ve been a sign from above because at that moment, clouds parted allowing the sun to stream through the windows and shine on the hardwood floors. The midday sun gave the room great light, but it also shined a light on a dirty problem. For almost half an hour, I tried to ignore all the dust and dirt, but I just couldn’t concentrate. The floors, they just had to be cleaned.

Cleaning wood floors is a four-step process around our house. First, sweep with a large, wide, soft bristle broom. Second, use a dust mop to get the last bit of dust. Third, vacuum the floor just to make sure no dirt has been missed during steps one and two. Fourth, clean the wood floor with a hardwood cleaner … that we were out of. An emergency trip to the grocery store had to be made.

While at the grocery store, shopping for dinner was only logical. The Wife would love coming home to a special steak dinner. Once back home, the steak had to be salted and peppered and the floors cleaned, then it was back to those stacks of papers and taxes once again.

That’s when a story idea came to mind. For the next two hours, I sat at my desk working on a story … a story about taxes. At my desk is where The Wife found me when she returned home from work. She asked, “How did it go today?”

“Great,” I replied standing and kissing her. Walking to the refrigerator, I retrieved steaks and started dinner. “Got steaks for dinner, my love. And you won’t believe all that I got done today!”

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog:]