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Thursday, November 15, 2012

1,000 Marbles

"The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind. He sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a 1,000 marbles".
I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. "Well Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, "Let me tell you something, Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."
And that's when he began to explain his theory of "1,000 marbles".
'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part."
"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I had only about a thousand of them left to enjoy." 
"So, I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I've taken one marble out and thrown it away."
"I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now, let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday, then I have been given a little extra time.
"It was nice to meet you, Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 75 year Old Man, this is D9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss.
"Come on, honey, I'm taking you and the kids out to breakfast."
"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.
"Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."


"For what is your life? 
It is even a vapor that appears for a little time
 and then vanishes away."


Blessings ~ time ~ awareness ~ wisdom ~ priorities ~ Saturday ~ Sunday ~ Monday ~ Tuesday ~ Wednesday ~ Thursday ~ Friday ~

19 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Sandra:
What a fascinating story although it takes a certain courage to watch those marbles reducing every Saturday!!

This Saturday we are in Venice meeting up with a friend who will, later, come to stay with us in Budapest before flying back to the United States. As a result we will be 'off air' for a while but will catch up on our return.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What an interesting perspective!

LindaSue said...

Though outwardly we are wasting away - inwardly we are being renewed day by day - those marbles are a wonderful example/lesson. Nobody gets as much time as they think they need/want but we all have NOW. Learning to separate important from urgent - ah that is the key young Grasshopper
thanks Sandra - when I saw the picture I feared you were saying you'd lost your marbles -glad to know it was a finding not a losing

Farm Girl said...

I have a jar of old marbles on my hutch because I love marbles. Now I am never going to look at it any other way. What a wonderful story.
Profound. You are a radio ham? My husband was one and his grandfather was one until he passed away. That is so cool.
Thanks for sharing that. I will think about it all day. I am going to tell my kids this at Thanksgiving because my son does work 70+ hours a week and his boys are growing up so fast.

Lynne said...

Great "food for thought" Sandra!
Happy Thanksgiving . . .

Bob said...

That guy needs to be careful - throwing all those marbles away, he could slip on one and break his neck!

alissa apel said...

Treasure each and every moment!

http://theapels.blogspot.com/2012/11/arrowheads.html

Mary Ann said...

Wow, thought provoking!

Deanna said...

Howdy from Kansas. I think marbles are beautiful....something about their colors and the round shape.

God bless and may you have a blessed Thanksgiving day. You are a jewel!

Hope I get to eat a piece of pumpkin pie for sure.
d

Holly Field Designs said...

What a wonderful story!!

Buttons said...

Oh this story touched my heart I truly do believe we should all get a jar of marbles. Beautiful. B

Bonnie K said...

Thank you so much for that story! It gave me chills. You did a great job telling it. I appreciate the reminder to enjoy life.

Amber said...

That was a beautiful illustration.

Gumbo Lily said...

Thank you. That's a word-picture story that will be remembered.

The Jones Family said...

What a really great post...every moment is one to cherish. Great illustration. Thanks for this post!

Maple Lane said...

Thank you for this, Sandra. A reminder of how precious each minute we have with loved ones is.
Sending my love to you this holiday week.

Nancy Claeys said...

Love this post, Sandra. Something about crossing over into our 50s that makes us realize how short life really is. xo

vicki said...

Welcome home girlfriend-- I hope your trip was wonderful--- nothing better than sand between your toes!

This is such an incredible story-- what a wonderful way to look at life-- we should all take note and live in such a way--
Vicki

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Dear Jane and Lance - we're on exactly the same wavelength...I also thought it was brave to watch the marbles go down...one by one by one.

Lisa - a bit interesting, a bit frightening, watching those marbles go down...one by one by one.

Hi Linda Sue - I have lost my marbles, they're in the jar!

Farm Girl - no, not a ham radio operated; I found the story and it spoke to my heart, thought it might speak to others as well.

Lynne - it is food for thought!

Bob - I don't think I could throw the marbles away; put them in another jar, perhaps...

Alissa - you're SO right!

Mary Ann - it sure made me think.

Deanna - the marble story made me pause and ponder. Happy T Day!

Holly Field - a good story that makes you think.

Buttons - I've a jar of marbles, not 1000, but enough to remind me.

Bonnie - It was copied; if you click on the link, it will take you to the book. It gave me chills as well.

Amber - it was beautiful, wasn't it?

Gumbo Lily - it does make one ponder and reflect...

Jones family - every moment...cherish!

Mildred - whatever time we have, it's never enough...said with my human eyes and voice.

Nancy - I'm getting ready to cross over into my 60's; I don't even have 1,000 marbles!

Vicki - great, restorative, restful vacation... Hope you have more than 1,000 marbles in your jar!

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