Sunday, February 1, 2009

Red Marbles

Yes, I used an adorable puppy just so you would click on my post. I know, I am so bad and evil. Ah...I am okay with that.

Today was a gloomy day, I have a wicked headache, and it was so boring...I watched the Kardashians!! And...I was MOVED. Boy Kardashian is dating Cheetah Girl and she has to go to India and make that last movie, and he was sad. Aww, so sad....ANYWAY, since that is how boring my day was, I decided to share a story with you that I got in an email months ago. Many of you may have read it as it made the rounds, but it is such a sweet story. And makes you think, and is very appropriate for an early Sunday morning.


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 apprizing 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 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.

12 meaningful meanderings:

ramsam said...

That is a very sweet story. Any idea where it originates from?

The Boob Nazi said...

Is that YOUR puppy???? It's adorable!

Mary said...

such a cute puppy & a great story. Is it bad that I have no clue why the Kardashians are famous?? I know the mom married that old Olympian, but that's about it.

Natalie said...

That story gets me every time!

Debi (Dubs2007) said...

I was drawn to your blog from your comment at "my life on backorder" blog, I love that you are honest!! and sooo sneaky the picture of the puppy, lol... That is a really nice story, and I love that it is from Idaho!! Nice when it is a story about my state.

Mary Moore said...

What a great story. Tears are streaming.

By the way, I would have clicked on your post anyway, cute puppy or not! :o)

Mother Goose said...

i loved this poem and i like the lure of that adorable puppy! but most of all I have missed visiting your blog! thanks for not dumping me!

Youngblood4ever said...

Gee, thanks for making me misty-eyed. I thought that after writing my embarrassing moment story on my blog I would be a rock, no emotions- ever again. And here I am, spilling the emotions. Yes, I have heard that one before, and it still get me!

Lee said...

You know what? They told us this story up at church camp. Then they gave us all a red marble.
I still have it to this day in my purse.

So said...

Love that story.

Mina said...

That's a great story, Wendy. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

Wendyburd1 said...

sadly this is not my puppy, my guy is real cute though too!!

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