|We can see clearly now, the rain is gone..|
Today, however, all is right in the world. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, we're smiling again and, most importantly, we have a plan.
We decided to suck it up and pay the tax. This decision alone took an incredible amount of pressure off of us. Trying to figure out a way to extend our exemption was making us totally crazy; the uncertainty of it all, the fear of "tax evasion" and the fact that we learned our tax doubles the minute it is late had us in a pretty desperate spot. Once we made the decision to FedEx a check to the state, everything else began to fall into place. It's only money, after all. It can be replaced. It's not ideal... not at all. But it was certainly better than the alternatives: jail or a 100% fine. Everything in life is a gamble, but these were risks we were not willing to take.
Once we surrendered to the tax man, Scott and I got back into our groove as teammates and started making things happen. We let go of the rigger who screwed up our stays'l track installation and hired a new guy to help Scott do it properly (more on this later). I rented a room for a week so that Scott could work on the boat around the clock and not just around Isla's naps. I made arrangements for a professional pest control guy to come and put the final nail in the coffin that is our minor roach issue, and our boat's interior will begin re-installation on Monday. On Tuesday our modified swim ladder will be mounted and a marine refrigeration company is coming to help us service our AC and refrigerator (and to teach us a few things about maintenance/upkeep). The proverbial fire has been lit under our butts and despite the fact that we can now stay in Florida as long as we want, we want to be gone faster than ever.
It's amazing the difference a day (and a little perspective) can make. How quickly the pieces can fall back into place when you take a step back and make a decision. Thank you to all of you who wrote us with ideas, suggestions and words of encouragement but the truth is, our own actions (or lack thereof) got us into this mess and we have no one to blame but ourselves for the fact that we cut a hefty check to Uncle Sam. We learned some valuable lessons over the past few days and our boat - and family - is better for it.