Peas and marbles...

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Lucky13, May 29, 2008.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    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 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.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------
     
  2. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Great story lucky! :D
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I read this before and have the same reaction now as then. Wheres the kleenex? Damn.
     
  4. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Chris check your email
     
  5. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Tell me about it....got something in my eye and my throat...
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Darn cat dander....*sniff* Yep, seen this one several times before, and it always makes those little hairs on the back of my neck start dancin.

    :salute:
     
  7. Screaming Eagle

    Screaming Eagle Active Member

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    agree with wilbur, very touching.
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Nice story.
     
  9. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Top story lucky!:D
     
  10. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Think I got something in my eyes...... Must be the dust in this place.
    Very touching....

    Charles
     
  11. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Nice story Lucky.
     
  12. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing ,Jan - we do forget how blessed we are, don't we..
     
  13. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Very touching indeed.
     
  14. DOUGRD

    DOUGRD Member

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    Every so often, as we live our lives amid the hustle and bustle of trying to get ahead and all the materialism B.S. we see every day, along comes a photo or story that reminds us of what is really important in this world. This is just such a story. A great reminder. Thanks for posting it Lucky.
     
  15. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Well said, Doug.
     
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