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little things

I was out driving this morning, doing some errands. A car ahead of me was going about 30 in a 55 speed limit zone, and as usual I was annoyed.

Going so slow, I was forced to look around. I saw businesses working, signs that told me where I was. A man who recently bought property in our neighborhood was moving his house, a farmer was planting something or other, a woman who recently lost her husband was mowing the lawn, an old man (older even than I) was out walking. Someone was watering the grass, cars were turning into the local Chevy dealership, a little kid was worrying what I think was an insect on the sidewalk.

I have a meeting tonight to help decide the future of our little charter school, grades K-8, and probably there will be parents there, cheering on our Board of Directors and our teachers to do the right things for their children. My son-in-law and grandson will come by later to finish some work, building a pergola and deck that will extend our dining room into the outdoors.

George Carey died, and for those of you who did not know him, he was one of the few men who can still, in this cynical age, be called a true gentleman and scholar. And a true friend. I learned about his death on Facebook, in many ways the antithesis of home. He wrote for us on The Imaginative Conservative, which was a great compliment to what Winston Elliott and Brad Birzer and others have been trying to do.

My grandson wiped out on his go-cart the other day, flipped over twice, and didn’t miss a day of work. His cousin, who was a hero in the middle-east, was killed racing his four wheeler a couple of years ago. Eddie was lucky, and might not even have scars to remind him of the fun he was trying to have. Home is about dealing with family and death and raising a little hell. He backed the construction trailer down our driveway a little while ago. I told him he was my hero—I can’t even back up my John Deere with a small cart on the back.

We took the car to our son-in-law’s dealership to check on an unanticipated oil leak, which turned out to be nothing more than a technological blip, so incredibly mysterious to me, as are the many other things that make our lives—well, they say, easier.

As I walk around our eight acres, tucked in the middle of a pine forest and a slough that would make John Bunyan envious, I think about what I want to conserve. These little things.

Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore

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