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's 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 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. 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 friend.
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.

I hope you have enjoyed this and have been as humbled as I, see you Saturday morning for coffee?

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