|     home
Comptons Corner   |   Olive Joslin Bell   |   Stories   |   Evelyn Goughnour
A Red Marble
Thanks to Becky Henry for passing this story along.
Send your favorite story or poem to nancy@knik.org
 During the waning years of the depression in a small southeastern
 Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. 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 Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for
 me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged
 but clean, hungrily apprising 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 and the ragged boy next to me.
 "Hello Barry, how are you today?"
 "Hello Mr. Miller, Fine, thank you. Just admiring those peas...
 sure look good."
 "They are good, Barry. How's your Mother?"
 "Fine. Getting stronger all the time."
 "Good. Anything I can help you with?"
 "No, Sir. Just admiring those peas."
 "Would you like to take some home?"
"No, Sir. I don't have anything to pay for them with.
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
 "All I have is my prize marble here."
  "Is that right? Let me see it."
 "Here it is. 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 the 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 learned that Mr. 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 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.
  We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.
 Author Unknown

I wish you enough.......
sent by Becky Henry
I wish you enough....


 Recently I overheard a father and daughter in
 their last moments together.
 The airline had announced her departure and they
 were standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, "I
 love you. I wish you enough."
 She said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough.
 Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy."
 They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was
 seated. Standing
 there I
 could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his
 privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to
someone knowing it would be forever?"

"Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of
expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done
 for me.Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to
 tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this
 man was experiencing.
 "Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?" I asked.
 "I am old and she lives much too far away. I have
 challenges ahead and the reality is, her next trip back would be for
 my funeral," he said.

 "When you were saying good-bye I heard you say,
 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?"
 He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been
 handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to
 everyone." He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to
remember
it
 in detail, he smiled even more. "When we said 'I wish you enough,' we
were
 wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good
things
> to
 sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the
 following as if he were reciting
 it from memory.

 "I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

 I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
 I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
bigger.

 I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

 I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

 I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through to the final "Good-bye."
 He then began to sob and walked away.

 My friends and loved ones, I wish you ENOUGH