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dan hufferd

I thought I might pass this on.

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3900 Saturdays

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 hereon 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.

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Great story and a sobering point about how we may be missing out on our lives. I say this as I am away from my family while working in Maryland. I can't just go upstairs to join them. We are the brink of several major changes in our lives and it is tough trying to figure out what is best for all of us. I will keep this story in mind as we get through these transitions.

Thanks Dan.

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I am just trying not to lose any of my marbles. Of course I wouldn't know if I did.

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On 4/24/2018 at 7:03 AM, Johnsfolly said:

Great story and a sobering point about how we may be missing out on our lives. I say this as I am away from my family while working in Maryland. I can't just go upstairs to join them. We are the brink of several major changes in our lives and it is tough trying to figure out what is best for all of us. I will keep this story in mind as we get through these transitions.

Thanks Dan.

A man's got to work. I guess it's about making the most of time that God has given us (how ever much that is) with each other. 

 

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Good story!! I often think of some of the people I grew up with - some have done quite well in life and some not so well, financially speaking. Some just never had much ambition and bounced from job to job. These guys all tend to be outdoorsman. A job is just a means to  support their hunting and fishing, and pay the living bills. A couple of them have probably never been more than 100 miles from home 20-30 times in their life. No need to - they have everything they need within 20-30 minutes of home. They look just like you would imagine a country boy outdoorsman would look.  I often think "So what!! They are happy!! And at the very end, we're all ending up the same way, and all the money in world isn't going to change that."

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Being in Real estate, I worked most Saturdays for 25 years. After retiring, you may think  like everyday is a Saturday but it isn't. Saturday has a feel to it and most of your working friends and family are also available. WAKE UP!! Not really a regret, as you have to earn a living, but looking back, I do realize how many things I missed. Ball games, camping trips, road trips or just working in the yard with your kids around. We all have to make a living, If you work Saturdays, try to get at least 1 per month off. Schedules can be rearranged. Using the above mentioned math, I'm down to around 300 and will make the most of each one. 

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On the other hand many or most are already taking 18 weeks per year off, and don't realize it.

It's a nice story, but it brings to mind the guy that got wealthy by only working half days every day. He had trouble deciding which 12 hours were best ...

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TJM, you're right about the days off. Not suggesting we should work less, maybe more,  just perhaps arrange a schedule to enjoy the short years your kids are growing up. I'm sure your 12 hour/half days guy piled all his "wealth" around him as his last marble rolled away. Wow! Way too heavy. Let's get back to fishing. Beaver Lake flooded again and water is muddied up again. 2nd spring in a row to flood just when everything was moving shallow. Hard to get at em' now. Be well.

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You can multiply your marbles by seizing every opportunity. The wife and I go fishing after work a few times a week during the crappie spawn.  I invite guys to go fishing after work all the time and even to bring their kids.  All I usually hear are excuses.

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