The Ties That Bind

I’ll put my New Jersey non-resident tax return in the mail today. It will be the last time I have to file in two states. My allegiance, and my taxes, will be tendered here—in Oregon only. It is my final legal tie, no longer a property owner or employee in that most densely populated place in the United States that I had called home for almost thirty years.

A girlfriend of my son’s once said, “How sad that you’ve lived so much of your life away from the place you love.” I had been telling her of our hopes to retire out West, where I was raised. I quickly corrected her. “No, I love my life here! I’m not living for that ‘when.’ I’m always living for the now.”

After all, I bore and raised my son at the Jersey Shore, training myself not to say “coast,” and was lucky in every way to find my new family there; my husband’s family became mine, and I one of theirs. “Our” mother Judy spent the last years of her life living with us, something I only now am coming to fully appreciate, a blessing that amplifies as I age.

I thrived personally and professionally, so very fortunate, grateful in every way.

There is a bittersweet feeling as I slide this document in its envelope, strange as that is to say about anything tax-related, as I go—always forward, never back.

5 thoughts on “The Ties That Bind”

  1. I like how you framed your reflection around the act of mailing your taxes. It’s an annual act one might not even think about. Yet, it is a strong symbol for you today. Thanks for sharing your well-crafted reflection.

  2. “I’m always living for the now.” Just how it should me. So many people live in the past or in the future they envision that they forget to enjoy what they have at the moment. If we live in and enjoy the present we will have no regrets about where life takes us.

  3. You know both coasts – so different, and each great in its own way, with unique memories and experiences. I’m an East Coast girl (grew up near Virginia Beach), but would love to visit Oregon sometime. I’ve been enjoying your descriptions of Oregon in your posts.

    1. Thanks for reading. Oregon is in my heart, but my heart is in Jersey, too. As Stanley Kunitz says: “Oh, I have made myself a tribe/out of my true affections,/and my tribe is scattered.” (Sorry, I’m in a poetry frame of mind today.)

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