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Gill often finds it confusing as to which country is her ‘residence’ country. Ha! If she thinks she’s confused, she should be in MY shoes! I’m the one who sorts out and fends off officialdom with regard to her banking, tax and  license issues and it’s getting me down. I have a hard enough time keeping one step ahead of the authorities with regard to my own issues without her crises. She has and continues to use my address as her permanent one. And why not? She’s moved flats three times in the last two years in the UK and three times in Scotland before that. What government official wants to play Colombo to track her down that way? They don’t get paid enough. Come to think of it, neither do I!

Before she came home for her holiday, I/we received an ominous, large brown envelope in the mail. It was addressed to her , so naturally, I opened it. Before anyone calls the Feds to report me for tampering with mail, allow me to explain that, before she left for the UK, Gill gave me Power of Attorney. Ha! More fool she. But, since I am the one who usually has to pay something owing, fill out a form that was due three weeks ago, or find an accountant/lawyer to get her out of a tricky situation, I figure it’s a moot point. So does she. So if we don’t care, why should the Feds?

I don’t quite understand how a simple brown envelope can strike fear and terror into a person, but government envelopes have a way of doing that. There’s a sense of foreboding, a feeling that you’ve been caught doing something wrong. Even if you haven’t. Which, for the record, we haven’t.

I won’t bore you with details of the contents of the envelope, but suffice it to say the government was questioning Gill’s residency for a certain benefit she has been receiving. I assumed she was still eligible (no news is good news), so called the accountant to ‘fix’ anything that needed fixing.

“Has Gill had any income here for the past year?” was the first thing he asked.

“Oh, yes!” I declared. I didn’t mention that it was only $72.34. Details only clutter up the landscape.

“Well, is she planning on remaining in the UK permanently?”

“Over my dead body!” I explained. But of course I only want the best for her. If she’s happy in England, so be it. It doesn’t matter that I am in my sunset years, alone in my house, ready to break an osteoporotic hip at any moment.

“I understand your vehemence but the government might need a tad more in the way of documentation…”

“Well, she’s told me she’ll come back,” I argued. “She still has her room here…a room filled with her junk and tchotches, I might point out. Oh, and all her furniture and kitchen stuff is still cluttering up my garage and basement.”

“Oh, that’s good!” he noted, buoyed by this information. “That might work to establish residency. The furniture, anyway. Not so much the tchotches. I’ll get to work and see what I can do.” He was going to get back to me. I’m still waiting.

The next issue (left until her Christmas visit when she’s feeling stronger) will be her driver’s license. Sadly, she will be on her own for that one. I don’t know how to forge photos — yet. She muttered something about getting a British license, but I can’t see that happening. Never mind that she doesn’t know which country she belongs too; she doesn’t know which side of the road is which. She’d be just as apt to drive on the left here and the right there, so confusing would she find it. And it is not reassuring to me (or to my insurance company) that I must remind her, before she gets behind the wheel of my car, which side we’re featuring today.