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The telephone rang. I knew whether or not they could hear me was going to be a crapshoot. The coverage at my location was just a small hair above poor. But who knows? Those small engine shops’ phones might always sound like the other guy is cutting in and out.


“Yeah, hi, do you folks buy for parts?” I said.

“Mmm hmm,” the man responded. “What have you got?”

I explained the make and model of my little-engined device. He said they would take a look so I changed directions and headed their way.

Weston was asleep in his car seat, or at least incredibly adorable. I got the machine out first after I parked, then grabbed out his car seat. We went inside.

The attendant was engaged in a conversation about how chainsaw chains last much longer if properly maintained than salesman try to tell you they do. You can sharpen them a number of times. Don’t let them talk you into a new chain. Etc. How the sharpening was $18, $19 and change with the governor ripping you off. Then it was a conversation about the governor not replacing Deb Fischer with himself. And paying some guy $300,000 to speak over in Lincoln. And like that Bill Clinton making $500,000 just for a speech. Etcetera.

During the course of that conversation, a man came up to the shop door. The shop pets, two massive dogs, were casing out the patrons. One stood at the door where the man was entering. The other was sniffing Weston’s baby carrier. The attendant stepped around the counter to help me. We headed for the door.

“Get on back, now. Get on back,” the newcomer said as he squeezed in.

“Oh, light folks they don’t mind,” the attendant said to the patrons with a small chuckle. “It’s black folks they have a problem with.”

I did a double-take in my mind. What’s the easy conclusion to jump to in that situation? That the man is racist? Or his dogs are?

We stepped outside. He paid me for my machine that I didn’t want. I thanked him and left.

And that sums up the last few months. The whirlwind of the election. The changing of jobs. The incredible blessing of our son Weston and so many money Easter eggs the Lord has set for us. And so many racially charged feelings.

If nothing else comes up, we’re hoping to have all of our debt paid off by summer. But having our debt paid off doesn’t change the fact that I heard what I did at that shop. Or that I’ve heard what I have about kids saying/chanting things at local (Millard North, and others) and national high schools.

What being out of debt does change is Amazewife and I’s ability to teach our children. It gives us a chance to spend money on learning and teaching as a family what is most important in our nation and our community.

That stuff is heavy. It can get the heartrate going. So I’ll leave you with this:


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