Morning in the Free State by Bryan Stevenson
NOTE: The opinions and commentary expressed in this essay are those of the author and are an exercise of free speech. They do not necessarily represent the views of Free State Project Inc., its Directors, its Officers, or its Participants.
Morning in the Free State
Ten minutes later I head out for my morning workout. I pass my Ruger Security 6, 357 Magnum hanging in its holster by the door as I head out. I jog down the mostly typical suburban street, but I notice again some of the distinctions that make this place home. The lots are larger and more spread out than most, and the houses vary in style and size, with yardwork and other accoutrements proclaiming the personality of the occupants. Within minutes I have reached my destination.
The community fitness center is the result of a collaborative effort among 22 of the neighborhood's families. We bought a centrally located lot and proceded to build a small gym to house fitness equipment, everything from free weights to aerobic machines. The cost was extremely affordable and we were able to get it built in under one month thanks to the fact that there are no property taxes, and no city permits or building inspections are required, although we did hire Solomon's Builders to inspect it, just to be safe. The building received their Gold Seal, which is only given to about 2% of all the buildings they inspect! We now have over 50 families participating and we have been able to add a racquetball court, two tennis courts, and we are planning for future expansion.
I jog back home the long way, reflecting on the conversation in the gym. In between the strain of bench pressing and inverted crunches, a few of us got into a debate about the best elementary education options in the area. Some supported homeschooling, others religious schools, while others preferred the new curriculum-based school which catered course work for each student based on their strengths and interests. All three of my children were in the catered school, and my youngest was already working on basic internet technologies at the age of six, while my oldest, who is twelve, was getting ready to display some of his work at the art exhibit.
I arrive at my house, out of breath, and still thinking about my kids and the success they have had pursuing their dreams, even at such a young age. My wife sees me through the front window and signs that she loves me and asks what I'd like for breakfast. I sign back that I was planning to make some of my famous honey-wheat waffles. I have to do something around the house, afterall, my wife is superwoman. Not only does she manage the three children, and the house, but she also works part-time at the school teaching ASL (American Sign Language) as a foreign language, and she volunteers at the church with their "basic skills" classes, teaching reading and writing to new students who were recently attending public schools in another state.
The morning passes quickly. I make breakfast, and the family eats together in the dining room. We talk about the recent visit from Doctor Wong, which is always exciting for the kids (that guy has a real gift).
We were able, as a state, to opt out of all the federal health care requirements, so it was a simple matter for our community to sign a contract with Doctor Wong. He visits each family every six months to make sure everyone is healthy and happy. Granted, every community and neighborhood is different, but with all of the young families here, it makes sense for us to pool our resources, and anyone is free to opt-out if they choose to.
I get the kids dressed after breakfast, encourage them to work hard during the day, and assure them that we'll have a huge watergun fight when they get home. I walk them out to the school van and strap them all into the seats which are custom made for their size. The driver, who is licensed by Jehu's Driving School, waves as he drives off at 35 mph. My wife gets a much better kiss as she heads off to the church for her volunteer work. She double checks her purse making sure all the necessities of life are available, makeup, cash, credit card, ample supply of cotton balls (I still have no idea what those are for, and I'm afraid to ask), her employer issued id card, and of course the 9mm Beretta she carries with her everywhere (yes, it's a large purse).
I stand outside of my garage, waving to my wife. A small cloud passes in front of the sun. The American flag on my front porch catches my eye as it sways slightly in the breeze. I smile as I realize that one of those 50 stars now truly stands for liberty and freedom.
Well, the daily grind awaits, enough daydreaming. Thank God that my home
office doesn't have to meet OSHA requirements. I can't be bothered to run
those cables under the house, and who screws in all the mounting screws on a
computer rack? In any case, today is beautiful. I think I'll just sit out
back by the heated pool with my wireless laptop and a nice cold protein shake.
Ok, now that I'm settled in, let's get to work.