View Full Version : Marbles

04-18-2008, 10:24 AM
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'



Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'

'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr.


'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


'Is that

right? Let me see it' said Miller.

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue

an d I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner


'Not zackley

but almost.'


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.


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 f or 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


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

t he 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.


this to the people you'll never forget. I just Did...

If you don't send it to anyone, it means you are in way too much of

a hurry to even notice the ordinary miracles when they occur



04-18-2008, 05:47 PM
:thumbsup: :box: :box: :box:

:box: :box: :box: :box: :thumbsup:

01-28-2009, 02:40 AM
:thumbsup: :box: :box: :box: :box: :box: :box: :box: :thumbsup::goodpost:

Did bring one to my eye also, so beautiful to those brooding upon the great

deep. :wave: