Here’s what I think.


RED MARBLES 

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 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 (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 to 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 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, 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. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath….   

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn’t 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 found right where you left them.   

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Been busy the last few days so haven’t had a chance to post the usual tongue-in-cheek, although tagged with a party repeated by me from a non-partisan view, cynical, political hyperpole.  So I’ll lay a couple out today….

PARTISAN POLITICS

I can’t imagine why people doggedly vote along party lines.  I mean, after all, can any single authority be correct at all times?  It’s like always turning right, you’ll eventually attain your goal; but the trip could be long, arduous and expensive.

Our 535 voting members of the Legislature have manufactured of blame to go around; so no need to change your political party.  But, even considering strict partisan voting, we can fix our current state of affairs, together, and not change our politics at all.  

The next election, dyed-in-the-wool republicans, by all means vote republican.  On the other hand, steadfast democrats, vote the democratic ticket straight down the line.

But we, as a country, regardless of political allegiance, agree not to vote for any incumbent.

That would be a message; a message that speaks to all OUR newly ELECTED representatives; a message that says “WE, THE PEOPLE” are tired of the tail wagging the dog.

A few good politicians will lose their jobs; that is unfortunate; however our representatives are prepared to accept “collateral damage” resulting from THEIR actions, so should not object to that which is caused by “WE, THE PEOPLE”.

To ease your conscience, in this regard:

Remember, they (our 535 voting members of the Legislature) voted themselves generous retirement and insurance packages which are better than 95% of the American public enjoys. 

Consider that in the years 2010 and 2011 they (our 535 voting members of the Legislature) made sure there would be no cost of living increase for retired people, receiving Social Security pensions. 

While the economy demanded that pensioners give up their 3 or 4% cost of living allowance; they (our 535 voting members of the Legislature), republicans and democrats alike, voted themselves a salary increase.

At the end of the day, the fix is pretty simple: VOTE ALL INCUMBENTS OUT.

A MESSAGE TO OUR LEGISLATURE

 

You are ALL corrupt and self serving morons, to wit:

·                     The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broken.

·                     Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broken.

·                     Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broken.

·                     You allocate billions and billions of our dollars, annually,  to provide benefits for ILLEGAL immigrants, while the War on Poverty for legal United States citizens and residents started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right and it is broken. 

·                     Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

·                     Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and they are broke.

·                     The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

 

YOU HAVE FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.  And you want Americans to believe you can be trusted with a government-run health care system?

 

The issue is not about the need for good health care; IT’S ABOUT TRUSTING THE GOVERNMENT TO RUN IT!

I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.