Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How many marbles do you have left?

I received this in my mail today. And I thought "how timely?"

Enjoy, I did!

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 garage 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. Let me tell you about it:

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 whom-ever he was talking with something about 'a thousand 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. It's too bad you missed your daughter's
'dance recital' he continued.'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep
my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a
'thousand 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 I 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 only had 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 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside
a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.'
'Every Saturday since then, I have 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 that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been
given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more

'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. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ,
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.
'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids 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. And hey, can we stop at a toy store
while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friends.

And so, as one smart bear once said...'If you live to be a
hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live
without you.' - Winnie the Pooh.

Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that
matter... don't mind...