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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 appraising 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. Hmm mmm, 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.
Share this with the people you'll never
forget.
I just Did...

If you don't share it with anyone, it means
you are in way too much of a hurry to even
notice the ordinary miracles when they
occur.

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT
YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND
OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless d

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