I went to the county courthouse today to pay my real estate taxes.
While I was at the counter, someone came to inquire about where to file divorce papers, and someone else came and looked lost, and so on. And it occurred to me that while for the people working there, the county courthouse is a place to work, and probably there are good days and bad days, otherwise, paying real estate taxes is probably the most pleasant reason for someone else to be there. It's not like paying taxes is my favorite, but I'm paying taxes because I'm lucky enough to own (well, with the bank) property. And I'm not getting a divorce, or making some less pleasant payment. (And let's face it, I like having roads to drive on, schools to educate local kids, and so forth. I'd gladly pay more in taxes for better schools and road maintenance.)
Paying taxes in my town is probably a lower key affair than in some places. I walked into the building, was called to the window counter by a worker almost immediately, gave her my paperwork, and so forth.
There was a really lovely photo up on the wall, and I mentioned how lovely it was, and the worker said yes, she really liked it, too. And then she mentioned that one of her grandkids, just graduating from college, had majored in photography, and took some great pictures, too. So I said I bet she was really proud, and she told me about some other grandkids, and I congratulated her, and she beamed.
And then my taxes were paid, and I left, and the counter was empty until someone else went to pay stuff. (There were two workers at the counter, and they pretty much invited people up to the counter as soon as they walked in, so it wasn't like our little conversation was holding up a long line.)
My annual visit to the county courthouse done, I went on my way to turn in grades. Paying my taxes sort of marks the end of fall semester every year.