Monday, January 25, 2010

Archiving 2009

Today was bill-paying day for the month of January at maison Elliott. I have trained my vendors, the utilities, the bank, and everyone else to expect their check by the end of the month. That way I'm not writing checks several times a month, but just the one time.

This month the bill-paying landed on a Monday, the ugliest day of the week. Making it a double-ugly day.

Grumbling and fretting, I worked my way through the bills and just now surfaced from under the envelopes, stubs, statements, filler and other crap that gets stuffed into the envelopes along with the bills, stamps, paper clips, and adding machine tape. I pulled off my sleeve garters and green eye shade and am taking a break.

Having once been audited by the IRS, I know the value of keeping bank statements, bills, and anything else some nosy Parker might want to read, so at the end of each calendar year I wait until the December bank statements come rolling in, then place the year's accumulated heap of dead trees into a banker box, label it with the year, and set it in the garage.

I have boxes going back to 1999. I know I don't need to keep anything longer than seven years, so if I run out of space I'll recycle some of the older boxes.

Into this 2009 box, I placed all the records of last year's ankle surgery. The prints from the x-rays, explanations of benefits from the insurance company, bills from the medical providers (still paying St. Chaz down, the one visit to the ER when the ankle blew in May took me more than halfway to meeting my deductible, they have graciously agreed to a payment plan), copies of prescriptions, invoices and receipts from the wheelchair rental shop, und so weiter, und so weiter -- they all went into the box.

I felt like I was closing a chapter in my life, a bad chapter, a really, really bad one written by a terrible, terrible writer, like, say, Dan Brown.

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