But it’s hard to play defense against a player you’ve never encountered. Turns out that the x I was trying so desperately to solve in the equation was something utterly out of my control: another person and his secrets. I grew up in a household where one person managed and controlled all the money, and that one person was not even the one making the money. Some stuff becomes hardwired in your brain, even if you know it’s not absolutely correct. This was one of those things.

I simply don’t care about bean counting. In fact, Quinn and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program at our church when he was in high school. Dave’s a bean counter; I knew pretty quickly it wasn’t going to resonate with me despite some good ideas. That and he’s one of those conservative religious guys who says things like, “Guys, you know your wife’s gonna shop, right?” [barf!]

In all the months of COVID, Dr Marry and I have eaten out very little. But one day this week, he came home early, and it was a beautiful, sunshiney fall day. I asked him if he would walk to my office to check mail with me. It’s a perfect 1-mile walk, and on a day like that, it’s a dream to traipse under the golden canopies of trees and crunch through the dry leaves under foot.