Steve Nauman

It’s true that words, phrases and ways we do business are constantly changing over the years….. but

I’m glad that I’ve been able to make “choices” as I travel on this journey we call life! Now of course, early in life our parents, almost nonstop it seems at times really help with “teaching” us about making good choices. Hopefully you had parents who helped you with that…..I know I sure did!

One thing my father taught me during the years I worked with him in his store, was that “you can learn something from anyone, even if it’s what you choose not to be like.” I was constantly exposed to stories of fights and almost steady bad language, yet he taught me to focus on and retain only the good, and not the bad from those daily experiences.

“Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.” Proverbs 3:31 NIV

There was one time though when “going along” with my father’s advice (actually a direct order) made me mad…..for a few minutes!

When I was 17-almost 18, I had saved enough money for a car! I remember telling my father that I might take a few minutes longer for lunch, but I wouldn’t be gone long. He asked where I had to go, and I just said I had something I had to take care of. (The look on his face said that he knew I was “up to something” I had seen a beautiful, red Dodge Charger SE for sale, only four years old and I had enough money to buy it. The man said I could try it out (everyone knew everyone there) so I drove back to the store, and there was my father carrying a box from the warehouse (aka feed store) to the store.

As I pulled up with the “sweet, sweet” rumble of the “big block” under that beautiful long red hood, my father looked at my smiling face and said “what’s that?” Maybe this is where I lost him, but with an almost sarcastic response I said: “It’s a car!” He just said: “Take it back” I tried to argue about the good deal……he just interrupted, “Take it back”!

Then he went on to explain that the car has enough power to go right to the race track just the way it sits. He said: “I know you think you can handle that power, but you can’t. So take it back.” And he turned away and kept walking…..

As I drove that car back to the owner, I was so mad-at first, but I suddenly started having thoughts of 2 different car wrecks in the area, just in the past year and two guys about my age lost their lives-both driving cars with big engines. By the time I was back at the store, I was actually glad my father had helped me make the right choice!

There is a song called “Choices” written by Billy Yates and Mike Curtis. The song was made popular by George Jones. Here’s a few lines…..

“there were voices that told me right from wrong
if I had listened, no I wouldn’t be here today
living and dying with the choices I made.”

Maybe one other thing that helped me a little through the years, is a Bible verse that my parents had on the wall in their house while I was growing up and I’ve never forgotten it. It was taken from Joshua 24:15 NLT

….then choose today whom you will serve….. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Good choice!

Till Next Time…..

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Steve Nauman

These wonderful posts are written by my good friend Steve Nauman. He lives on a farm in northern Indiana with his wife, Ruth.

He owned and operated a machine shop until 2020. These stories come from the people and experiences that made lasting impressions upon him as he grew up in his father's general store in Upstate NY and later in his own business.