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Fwd: A Thousand Marbles

I received this from a friend and thought I would pass it on to all you on
the HOSTA robin who are discussing marbles.  We might all play a different
marble game.



A Thousand Marbles and much more ...
by Dean F. Arrington

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 kitchen 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 volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning 
talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the 
kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself. He 
was talking about "a thousand marbles" to someone named "Tom". 

I was intrigued and sat down 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 

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 

"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 my 
workshop next to the radio. 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 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 talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved 
ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show's moderator 
didn't have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot 
to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the 
gym. 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."

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