A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement 
with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand 
and the morning paper in the other. 

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. He was telling whoever 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. 
Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital." 

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 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 roundup 1000 marbles.


 
I took them home and put them inside 
of 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 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 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. 
75 year Old Man, this is 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. 

Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? 
I need to buy some marbles."

~author unknown~

Contributed by Natalie Diel


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Lulu Robertson, Web Designer

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