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WITandWISDOM(tm) - May 22, 2002
"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."
Source: Mr. Mom's Mailing List, http://mrmom.amaonline.com/
Subjects: Goals, Ideologies
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
During the waning years of the depression in a small south eastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Brother Miller's roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.
One particular day Brother 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 Brother Miller and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"Hello, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Just admiring them peas, sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Getting' stronger all of the time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Just admiring them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?"
"No, Sir. Got nothing' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I've got is my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it."
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"
"Not exactly .....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."
"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 Utah 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 I learned that Brother Miller had died.
They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our 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...very professional looking.
They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed, 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 mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. "Those three young men, that 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, magnificently shiny, red marbles.
"Three Marbles" by W. E. Petersen
Ensign magazine October, 1975
Submitted by Marilyn Graham
Subjects: Marbles, Barter, Benevolence, Poor
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
THAT FIRST KISS
At the end of their first date, a young man takes his favorite girl home. Emboldened by the night, he decides to try for that important first kiss.
With an air of confidence, he leans with his hand against the wall and, smiling, he says to her, "Darling, how 'bout a goodnight kiss?"
Horrified, she replies, "Are you mad? My parents will see us!"
"Oh come on! Who's gonna see us at this hour?"
"No, please. Can you imagine if we get caught?"
"Oh come on, there's nobody around, they're all sleeping!"
"No way. It's just too risky!"
"Oh please, please, I like you so much!!"
"No, no, and no. I like you too, but I just can't!"
"Oh yes you can. Please?"
"NO, no. I just can't."
Out of the blue, the porch light goes on, and the girl's sister shows up in her pajamas, hair disheveled.
In a sleepy voice the sister says: "Dad says to go ahead and give him a kiss. Or I can do it. Or if need be, he'll come down himself and do it.
But for crying out loud tell him to take his hand off the intercom button!"
Submitted by Marilyn Graham
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me. - Dave Barry
Source: EMAZING, http://www.emazing.com/
Part 3 of 4 [May 8, 15, 22, 29]
High-test Gas Is Best for Your Car
Many people believe that putting high-test (also called high-octane, premium, or ethyl) gasoline into their cars makes them run better, smoother, and more powerfully. In fact, high-test gas can be bad for your car. Although the term high-octane gas implies that more energy is available, it actually produces no more energy than regular. Higher octane in fuel raises its burning temperature and requires higher compression pressures to burn efficiently. Only about 5 percent of vehicles sold have high-compression engines that require premium gas. Using it in a normal engine results in incomplete combustion, less power, carbon-fouling of the cylinder and, most important, wasted money. High-test gas is more profitable, though, and that's why you seldom - If ever - see ads for regular gas.
Source: Modern Maturity, ISSN 0026-8046, January-February 2001, http://www.modernmaturity.org/