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The Ultimate Sacrifice

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



Mom was always working, scrimping, and saving.

She ran a bath shop back when Frasier’s was also a hardware and appliance store. It was tucked back in the corner… kinda like a little Bed, Bath, and Beyond. But her corner shop was called The Bath Boutique. And she had just about everything your bathroom would ever need: Fieldcrest towels, assorted soaps, soap trays, fancy toilet seats, vanities, and all kinds of stuff.

At that time, Frasier’s also carried refrigerators, ranges, wood stoves, fireplaces, toilets, faucets, everything… including the kitchen sink.

This was before any of those big box stores.


It was called Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating. There was no cooling back then.

And in 1973, my mom worked every single hour of every day and saved every single penny so that she could buy two single speed Schwinn Typhoon bicycles for me and my brother Dan for Christmas.

Mine was maroon. His was green. And we rode those bikes for years and years.

We loved those Schwinns. We were excited to get ‘em. I was ten years old at the time and I wanted to ride my bike right away. But it was Christmastime in the Northwoods… so I wasn’t going anywhere until it thawed out a bit.

She bought our bikes a little big, so that we would grow into them. In December, I struggled to reach the peddles. But thanks to a growth spurt, I could ride it pretty good come spring.


Those bikes were heavy-duty, with the old metal fenders. I remember a house on Woodland Drive with a family that had five daughters. At ten, I didn’t really like girls, but these girls piqued my interest. I guess I found them too interesting, because one day – as I was riding my bike by their house – I was so busy watching those girls, I ran smack dab into the rear-end of a parked car. My front fender was crinkled up like an accordion. I guess it was worth it, though, because it made those girls notice me.

I felt a little bad about messing up my bike, because mom had spent a lot of money to buy it. There were nine of us kids, and a day’s wages weren’t like they are now, so mom had to make a lot of big sacrifices.

But she was so excited to give those bikes to me and my brother, Dan. In fact, she’s still excited. To this day, forty-some-odd years later, she’s always asking if I remember that old bike. She’ll ask, “Do you still have it? It was expensive.”

It was. I mean, 47 dollars doesn’t sound like much now. But back then in the olden days, that was some serious moolah.

As I grew older and had kids of my own, I began to understand that sacrifice.


But nothing I could ever do can compare to the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. His birth, his life, and his death are the three greatest Christmas gifts the world has ever known.

Merry Christmas, neighbor.

P.S. – If you get a bike for Christmas, I hope you can ride it soon. Just keep an eye out for parked cars on Woodland Drive. They’ll get ya…


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