IMPRESSIONS: Life is good – even after the IRS leaves note

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By Johnny Teglas

Did you notice your calendar Sunday? That’s what it said —10/10/10.
If you add an extra “n” at the end of the third TEN (or delete the “e”) you get an abbreviation for our great state.
How about that?
I received a fax at the office early last Friday reminding us about the once-in-a-century coincidence in date. The writer suggested marking the extraordinary occasion by doing 10 good deeds, writing a special poem, joining friends and families for an impromptu parade or celebration, designing some unique art or just by featuring Tennessee is some special photographs.
It definitely got me to thinking about the date. Especially when buzzing past the Tennessee Welcome Center on Interstate 81.
The “Welcome to Tennessee” sign just felt that much more inviting. Moments after passing it, a fellow with a heavier foot than I zoomed by me in the left lane. He wasn’t driving at warp speed, just faster than this old slow poke. As he signaled and slipped in front of me, I had a bird’s eye view of one of his many bumper stickers.
“Life is good,” one proclaimed.
Having spent a portion of the tenth day of the tenth month of the 2010 year in Virginia, I had to agree.
Life was good in my world. I’d spent a pleasant weekend with my wife and son at the Big University in Blacksburg. The Virginia Tech Hokies notched their fourth consecutive victory.
Afterward, we strategically delayed our drive off campus and timed it perfectly, arriving at our favorite Mexican restaurant well after the post-game crowd had dispersed.
Following our fiesta, we feasted on a peaceful evening of college football watching. In between snaps, touchdowns, field goals and commercials, we shared warm and fuzzy conversation.
Indeed, life was good.
The only thing that could have made the weekend better would have been some magic pixie dust that would have prevented the Vols from turning the ball over.
Dang it, those giveaways led to them literally giving away the game to Georgia. Glum looks from colleagues at the office on Sunday confirmed my thoughts on the matter.
Of course, I had to try to brighten their spirits with two comments. “
Hey, Alabama lost, too. And USC lost their second straight game.”
Both elicited a chuckle or two.
Despite the little bump in the road down in Athens, life was — and is — good.
After leaving the office and pointing the truck down Third Street, I reveled in the gorgeous afternoon God had given us. So light was my heart that I even waved a fellow across lanes at Third and Cumberland.
I’m glad I did.
You see, the gentleman in the little white car from Blount County had several stickers on his rear glass. None of them said “Life is Good.”
However, the largest one proclaimed the operator was  “VT Alumni.”
The old ticker skipped a beat. When I pulled up behind him at the corner of Race, I stuck my head out the window and gave him one of the loudest and proudest “GO HOKIE” yells I could summon. His head snapped around. Then he stared back at me through his rear view mirror. I was just far enough away from him that I think he saw my VT Alumni license plate.
A big old smile replaced his quizzical look, and he pumped his left arm several times as we proceeded up toward Morrison Hill.
Yes, life is and was good.
Even when I checked my weekend mail, my happy spirit couldn’t be squelched. Whenever I open the mailbox and see something from the Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service, I pause.
This one said “Important Tax Information Enclosed. Do Not Throw Away!”
YIKES! I nervously peeled it open.
Then I started breathing again. Odds are (if you are a tax-paying citizen) that you received one, too. It was Notice 1400: Tax Package Information for Individuals.
According to our friends at the IRS, due to the continued growth of electronic tax filing and to help reduce costs, they will no longer mail paper tax packages that typically arrive in January.
Over the past 20 years the IRS has processed nearly one billion electronic tax returns. Those of us who prefer to file a paper form still will have that option. We can access forms and instructions at IRS.gov and download what we need. We can also drop by the local Taxpayer Assistance Center. We can go to the post office or library (if they participate in the federal tax products program).
Or, we can get with the rest of the free world and choose the electronic option.
Until I make up my mind, I’ll just cling to the “life is good” thought.
After all, come January (when all of my Christmas credit card bills are coming due) I now know I WON’T have to look forward to finding that booklet in my mailbox.