This Week's Story

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Dad likes to think I could be like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, or Tesla.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

My present was a stone. part one

“Happy birthday, Andy! I have a present for you.”

Dad handed me a grey stone. Was it a stone from our driveway?

“What do you want me to do with this?”

“Whatever you choose to do with it.”

I kept my face without expression and said, “Thank you.”

I walked outdoors. Would there be a new car, or at least an old car, parked outside? It would be THE gift for my sixteenth birthday! There was no car there for me, just piles of stones.

My dad is not stingy, but he is a little weird. He thinks that the United States federal government made a bad mistake when it changed child labor laws for agriculture. Any kid under twelve who works for money from an employer must have his or her parent’s consent or at least one parent must work at the same work site.

Dad believes that the people who made the laws do not understand how good it is for local kids to have local jobs in agriculture. They are not abused factory workers living in the 1800’s or migrant workers living in poor housing and missing school.

Dad often tells me, “Andy, you don’t know how to work or earn money. Your skills are limited to operating computer games.” I think Dad probably could have taught me some of the skills he knows, but he is busy and gets impatient when he tries to teach me.

Dad started working and making money when he was nine. His folks were hard workers in a rural area. During the summer he worked for local farmers.

His first job was picking strawberries for three weeks in June. Then he picked raspberries. Some years he picked pole beans. In high school, he bucked hay bales. That meant stacking hay bales by hand. Each bale weighed anywhere from 50 to 150 pounds; usually each was about 70 pounds.

With the money he earned from his first season of picking strawberries, he bought school clothes. When he was fifteen he bought his first car and did repairs on it. He saved money for college. I sure do not match his record. I struggle to get out bed in the morning on the week-ends or during vacations.

From the time that I was old enough to get paid for agricultural work, I knew that I had better things to do than work in fields. My decision probably has something to do with the birthday present Dad gave me today.

Dad likes to think that I could be like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison or Tesla. I could be curious, exploring possibilities, self-motivated to work, and developing skills. I could be on the road to becoming a Navy Seal or a master mechanic for cars that need no driver. What are the chances that could happen?

I think that I will go to a school in Phoenix, Arizona for training with computers. Maybe I will be a computer designer. I’ll offer my services to Microsoft.

What about this rock Dad gave me? What does he expect me to do with it?

This is Barbara Steiner with fictitious characters dealing with issues that frustrate many families today in the United States. I will be returning with what happened to Dad’s rock.

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