Nothing is certain except birthdays and taxes | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Apr 07, 2016

My step-father Andy Sanders was fond of saying on birthdays, “It’s just another day.” He was outnumbered by others in the family who thought birthdays most certainly are NOT “just another day,” but I’ve noticed that many men have a similar opinion.

Men don’t seem particularly concerned about the passing of another year. Women, although they seldom seem inclined to talk about how old they are, appear to enjoy their birthday celebrations.

My mother was a world champion celebrator-of-birthdays, while my father wouldn’t have noticed his birthdays if his family hadn’t made a fuss over him every October 1.

My brother Warren had a birthday last week. Predictably, he said it was no big deal. However, because his birthday was on Easter Sunday, we enjoyed a day on Whidbey Island at the home of our cousin Jennie and her husband Bob.

It was a lovely family day with some of my favorite people – and one of my favorite dogs. His name is Archie, and he’s mostly long-haired dachshund. He’s very sweet.

Those are not important details, but I haven’t mentioned a Dog of Edmonds for a while, so I’m mentioning Archie, who actually is a Dog of Birch Bay.

Back to my brother’s birthday, though. For his birthday gift, I invited him on a road trip to Astoria, Ore., where I made arrangements for two nights lodging at a pleasant inn where our view deck fronted a picturesque Columbia River boat harbor.

The two-night package, a bargain purchase that included a $50 credit toward dinner at a popular restaurant – which we’d happily return to in a heartbeat – was a computer “find” on Groupon, where I’ve purchased several vacation bargains.

Astoria is a great destination for a budget-friendly trip to the Oregon coast from Edmonds. There is plenty to see and do, and it’s an easy drive to ocean beaches. Cannon Beach is my brother’s favorite Oregon beach town, so I wanted to take him there, but even off season it’s crowded and expensive – and parking is an issue.

We drove there one day for lunch and meandered along the coast enjoying sunshine and ocean views.

In Astoria, where the pace is slower, we explored old neighborhoods on the hillside above town, spent hours in the superb Maritime Museum, took some photos, rode the old trolley that shares the riverfront trail with runners, walkers and bike-riders and drove out to the beach to visit the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale. Our time went by quickly. We enjoyed the trip and want to visit Astoria.

Home again in Edmonds, I kept my Saturday appointment with the AARP tax preparation volunteers at the Edmonds library. They’ve been hard at work for weeks doing free tax preparation, by appointment, saving lots of money for lots of people, who otherwise could be paying hundreds to have their taxes prepared.

They still have appointments available through April 17. Call or stop by the reference desk at the library to schedule an appointment if you still haven’t done your taxes.


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