Barbara Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me.
I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature,
ragged but clean, hungrily appraising 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 and the
ragged boy next to me.“Hello Barry, how are you today?”
“H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya, jus' admirin' them peas
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 to take
some home?”“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.” “Here 'tis. She's a dandy.”“I can see that.
Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue andI sort of go for
red. Do you have a red one like this athome?”“Not zackley.
but almost.”“Tell you what. Take this sack ofpea’s home
with you andnext trip this way let me look at that red marble."
“Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.”Mrs. Miller, who had been standing
nearby, came over to help me.With a smile she 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, perhaps.
I left the stand 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.
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 viewing that evening and knowing my friends
wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the
mortuary we fell into line to meetthe 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 andsmiling 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 warmhand 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
mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her
eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me tothe casket.Those
three young men who just left were the boys I toldyou about!
they just told me how they appreciated the things Jim traded them.
Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind aboutcolor or
size....they came to pay their debt. We've never had a great
dealof 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 ofher
deceased husband, resting underneath were threeexquisitely
shined red marbles.Moral: We will not be remembered by our
words, but by our kind deeds.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath.Today, I wish you a day of
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't have to make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend. Green
stoplights on your way to work. The fastest line at the
grocery store. A good sing-along song on the radio. Your
keys right where you left them. They say it takes a
minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them,
a day to love them, but an entire life to forget them.
Again I didn’t write this, nor do I know who did, I just know
I’ve gotta stop posting them, I can’t afford the bloody tissues.
On a lighter note ,Hoss, posted a good story about atwo legged
pig today.Along similar lines; This guy was driving down the
H’way at 60 mph, suddenly a three legged chicken zoomed past
him, shortly after itturned off into a farm.He decided to enquire
about this fast three legged chicken.“Excuse me” he said, “I just
followed a three legged chicken into you farm,can you tell me
anything about it.”“Yeah,” the farmer said, we breed ‘em here,
y’see me ,the missus and the youngunall like a leg when we have
chicken.” “Oh,” said the guy, “what do they taste like?”“Dunno,”
said the farmer, “we’ve never been able to catch one.”