Thank you all for continuing to be a part of Advanced Tax Solutions!  We truly appreciate your support and friendship over the years!  We are very busy, but we never forget our gratitude for your continued business. I know there are a few of you reading this that have been clients for over 20 years!  It’s been a great run and I look forward to the next twenty.  It’s all because of you and we can’t say thank you enough!

As I write this I’m in the heat of the tax season battle.  To get you this in March, I need to write it in February, get it to the printers, and then to my mom to sort, print labels and prepare for bulk mailing.  My mom is a long time helper in the business.  She is our bulk mail center!  She provides all the bulk mail sorting and keeps track of and manages the mailing list of over 120,000 letters annually!  I’ve really never given appropriate thanks and introduction to my mom (Sue) for the roles she plays in the business.  Yes, this is a family run business by all accounts.  Even my brother (Sylvan) lends a hand and helps my mom get the newsletter out when my mom gets too buried.   You also know that the staff here is pretty much kin, and everyone who works here kind of adopts each other as family.

We have a new addition to the staff this year.  We added a new administrative staff-person this year, Catherine.  I think you will like Catherine and we are pleased to have her helping out this tax season and hope she will be here for many happy returns!  Many of you probably remember Angie, she is back for a short time helping us get caught up during this busy time and also helping to train Catherine.  Great to have them both here during this hectic time of year!

I’m sure you can understand my time pressures right now, so I am going to make this month’s story about my Appalachian Trail Journey in the summer of 1998 a short one.

When I walked off the plane in AtlantaGeorgia, and was dropped off by a friend at the Trailhead at Springer MountainGeorgia, I was full of excitement and the enthusiasm I experienced was powerful!  But when I woke up that first morning to face the enormous task of walking more than 2000 miles alone with a backpack, well I felt kind of sick, and suddenly very lonely!  To top it off, I woke up that first morning and found my first tick!  Yes, I woke up with a tick stuck right on my rump!  I’m not talking the suburbs either, I’m talking downtown Chicago (you know, the windy city).   What a discouraging moment! It’s not like there are many people out there to help you with a “situation,” but even if there were, the location of the tick would dispel even the kindest of volunteers! I have always detested ticks, and do so even more now.  I found well over a hundred crawling on me at one time or another while hiking the Trail, but only about 12 actually found their way under my skin to feed (that I know of anyway).  By the end of the trip, I was less wimpy about it and just pulled them off without much ado.  But that first morning was quite a shock to be welcomed to my new environment by a detestable tick!

Well, I have to get to the numbers again.  It has been a great tax season.  Over the years, many of my clients have grown to be my friends!  I truly appreciate your business and your thoughtfulness during this busy season!  You’re the best!