Saturday, December 20, 2008

Red Marbles












RED MARBLES
 I was at the corner grocery store buying some early
 potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and
 feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of
 freshly picked green peas. 
 I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of
 fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new
 potatoes.  Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the
 conversation between Mr.. Miller (the store owner) and the
 ragged boy next to me. 
 
 'Hello Barry, how are you today?' 
 'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. 
They sure look good.' 
 'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?' 
 'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.' 
 'Good. Anything I can help you with?' 
 'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.' 
 'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller. 
'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'
 'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?' 
 'All I got's my prize marble here.' 
 'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller. 
 'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.' 
 'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue
 and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at
 home?' the store owner asked. 
 'Not zackley but almost..' 
 'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you
 and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'.
Mr. Miller told the boy. 
 'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.' 
 Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to
 help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other
 boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor
 circumstances. Jim just loves  to bargain with them for                                                                                                                                                                                   
peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. 
When they come back with their red marbles, and
 they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all
 and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green
 marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip
 to the store.' 
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this
 man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never
forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering
for marbles. 
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous
one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends
in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that
Mr. Miller had died. 
 They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my
friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon
arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the
relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of
comfort we could. 
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an
army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark
suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They
approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her
 husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her,
 kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on
 to the casket. 
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one,
each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand
over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the
mortuary awkwardly , wiping his eyes. 
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and
reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what
she had told me about her husband's bartering for
marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led
me to the casket. 
 'Those three young men who just left were the boys I
told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the
 things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim
 could not change his mind about color or size....they came
to pay their debt.' 
 'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this
world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would
consider himself the richest man in Idaho. ' 
 With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of
 her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three
 exquisitely shined red marbles. 
 
 The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by
our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath.. 
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot
of coffee you didn't make yourself...An unexpected phone
call from an old friend...Green stoplights on your way to
work...The fastest line at the grocery store...A good
sing-along song on the radio...Your keys found right where
you left them. 
Send this to the people you'll never forget. I just Did... 
 

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT
TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED
Arther unknown

3 comments:

Denise said...

Just got home from Wal-Mart and you know that can drain the spirit right out of you...... I sat down to read a couple of blogs and started with yours........... You have warmed my heart and brings me back to remembrance for what we celebrate..... I love that story and the wishes at the end......... I would like to copy paste part of it for my blog if that is ok....and the last part about what we scatter and not gather so touched my heart........

Have a blessed Christmas ! And a year of scattering !

Denise said...

Bless you for this sweetie.

~Bren~ said...

Thank You for sharing this story Donetta. The truth in it JUMPS from the page! Blessings to you.
Bren

Older women likewise teach the younger women...

• how to love their husbands
• how to love their children
• how to be self-controlled
• how to be pure
• how to be keepers at home
• how to be kind and submissive (not subservient) to their own husbands. (See Titus 2:3-5)

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By Maya Angelou

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living,'
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Words have power. Here are a few of my favorite sayings.

  • A warm cup of tea is like a cuddle with a friend.
  • The North American Indians have a more eloquent word for ‘friend’ than we do in English. In their language, the word for friend literally means, “the one who carries my sorrows on his back.”
  • Return with Honor
  • The sage anticipates things that are difficult while they are easy, and does things that would become great while they are small. All difficult things in the world are sure to arise from a previous state in which they were easy, and all great things from one in which they were small. Therefore the sage, while he never does what is great, is able on that account to accomplish the greatest things."
  • "HOME IS WHERE YOUR STORY BEGINS"
  • “Live so that when your children hear these words they think of you… Fairness Caring Integrity Honesty Love Trust.”
  • "O Lord help my words to be gracious and tender today, for tomarrow I may have to eat them."
  • "No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes"

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