A birthday party, the general store, and taxes | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 1/20/23

Are the holiday parties over yet? Are you doing anything about your New Year’s resolutions? Are you done preparing your taxes yet? 

I think the parties are now over, so we now struggle …

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A birthday party, the general store, and taxes | Life in Ludlow

Posted

Are the holiday parties over yet? Are you doing anything about your New Year’s resolutions? Are you done preparing your taxes yet? 

I think the parties are now over, so we now struggle to answer yes to the resolution and tax questions. 

Last weekend was Fran Bodman Gross’ birthday, so there was a party, maybe the last one for a while. Almost 20 showed up with desserts, appetizers, and a festive spirit. BJ made another one of her tasty carrot cakes some of which is thankfully left over and in our refrigerator. 

Steve Gross divided the group into two teams and tried to engineer a scavenger hunt of sorts. As it turned out, the directions were not as crisp as they might have been and both teams found everything on the list. 

Interestingly, Tish Satre’s purse held about 85 percent of the items on the list. My team found phone pictures of about 85 percent of the items so we claimed we found them. 

The event ended up having some focus on Fran’s birthday but also included Cheryl Wheeler’s and mine, only to discover new neighbor Earl Hendricks also had a birthday, and you should know that Harold Brunstad is having a birthday today! What a bunch of Capricorns. 

I visited the “General Store” at the Community United Methodist Church last Saturday and got a tour. While carrying a small bag of donations into the church I was met in the parking lot by a man who appeared to be a recipient of some of the items in the store and he expressed sincere appreciation for the donations. 

When I went in the front door, I was met by Pastor Scott Rosecrans and Jean Holtz whose card says “General Store.” There were two ladies busily sorting donated items in one half of a large room which served as the church’s sanctuary in past years. The other half of the room held household items like dishes and blankets. There were sleeping bags, a tent, fire starters, and so on. I ran into my friend Stephanie Buehler working hard there.  

Another large room held gently used and new clothing for women and men, plus some clothing for smaller children. There were shoes and a huge set of boots. I suspect my friend Steve Gross could have donated them since he has a unique size 15 foot. 

Finally, there was a room with donated food. The items included canned and boxed items generally easy to prepare. There was a small shelf with loaves of bread baked by a local woman. Scott told me that the bread is always gone by the end of the day. While I was there a couple brought in a newly purchased tent and a box of canned goods. 

The store is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for folks to shop and donate. The folks who work the store tell me they are sensitive to the needs of other community organizations such as OlyCAP, the food banks, and Habitat for Humanity, and will try to help them. The store seems well stocked with clothing but Scott gave me a card with a list of some things the store always needs like smaller packages of food items. As you might suspect, the store is also more than willing to accept your financial donation, be it small or large. 

In 2021, the store had about 325 customers and doubled that in 2022. This is a growing service clearly helping the community and is supported by the community. In addition – I checked – the boots were not Steve Gross’. 

It is that time of year. However, again this year, for many folks it couldn’t be much easier because the American Association of Retired People, known as AARP, and those friendly folks from the Internal Revenue Service are sponsoring the “TAX-AIDE” program. The program is a nation-wide free service for low-and-middle-income tax payers of all ages and is available this year Jan. 30 through April 18. The program is available locally in three different locations. ALL LOCATIONS REQUIRE APPOINTMENTS! 

One location is at the Port Townsend Community Center with appointments available for Tuesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can make an appointment by calling 360-390-5250. 

A second location is at the Quilcene Community Center on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can make an appointment in Quilcene by calling 360-301-5835. If you have used the service in Quilcene in the past, be aware this is a new phone number. 

The third location is at the Tri-Area Community Center in Chimacum. That location is available for appointments on Mondays, from noon to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You need to schedule your appointment by calling 360-565-5068. 

This program has been extensively used by locals in the past and is expected to be heavily used again this year. As a result, making your appointment as soon as possible is well-advised.

The party’s over; time to make a donation and do your taxes.

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week. 

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident who discovered the all-caps key at a recent computer class. Contact Ned at ned@ptleader.com.)

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