February 1st, 2018


Ol' Scrooge would be proud

I have an appointment with the Social Security people tomorrow to file for benefits, to begin in a couple of months. I'm aiming at 64 years, 6 months, which will give me 90% of full benefits now. I start to "lose" money around age 81. Which, if I'm snug and debt-free in my holler by then, won't matter much, I figure, and I could sure use the money now.

Well, among other things I have to bring to complete the application, is our marriage license. The last time I had it out was for our 40th Anniversary bash three years ago. I knew it would be with our wedding pictures. But beyond that, I hadn't a clue. It wasn't in any really easy and obvious place.

Now, I don't throw much of anything out, but my filing system is kind of like Scrooge McDuck's. Faced with the task of finding a receipt to prove a sixty-year-old claim, Scrooge confidently said he knew just where it was. He said the file number should be around 6U-90E. He and Donald entered a gigantic office building which was all one empty room, with a stack of papers like a giant haymow in it. 6U-90E meant, approximately 6 feet up from the floor and 90 feet in from the east wall. And after a fair amount of digging, there it was.

I figured my missing document would be in one of the various boxes I had stacked up in my study. I prayed earnestly that it wasn't in one of the boxes in the closet, because I sure didn't want to tear that apart, but there were two stacks leaning against a wall in the corner. Twelve or thirteen boxes later, I opened one full of pictures and mementos and saw our wedding album. I reached in, and there, right on top, was our 43-year-old marriage license.

Easier than I feared. But I knew it had to be there. I'm just glad I found it tonight, so I wouldn't be frantically tearing into things in the morning before my appointment. One of the things I need to do next winter, when construction is over for a while out in the holler, is to go through all these boxes and boxes of stuff and try to organize and condense, so I don't wind up just moving all the same junk out to the holler and leave it to my children to figure out when I die.