Spend Your Marbles Wisely

 

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. 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 whoever 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. 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 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 of 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 signoff 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. And the one thing we can all
use is a little more 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

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. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while
we're out?
I need to buy some marbles."

author unknown

 
 
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Midi "Velvet and Diamonds" is used with permission
and is copyright 2001
Bruce DeBoer
 

 

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