Scramble to End Hunger is a Success!

Eaton Country Club – Eaton, CO

In conjunction with its national member food drive for 2018, Assured Life Association sponsored a “mail-in” scramble golf tournament; coined the Scramble to End Hunger Golf Tournament. We were pleased with our first effort with this kind of tournament.

Teams were to choose a 72-par golf course in their area to play and submit their total score to the tournament home office. Each team paid $60 to enter the tournament with all proceeds donated to Feeding America. Pictures throughout this blog represent the golf courses played for the Scramble to End Hunger.

Happy Hour Hackers – Castle Rock, CO

Assured Life had 4 teams enter the tournament, for a total of $240 in registration fees going directly to Feeding America to help in its battle against hunger.  They included Team Tanya of Eaton, CO, Girls Gone Golfing of Littleton, CO, Happy Hour Hackers of Castle Rock, CO and the Huskerteers of  Castle Rock, CO and Blair, NE.

The Huskerteers – Castle Rock, CO and Blair, NE

In their first ever Scramble to End Hunger Golf Tournament, teams were required to use each team members’ drive at least 4 times in the 18-hole round and could not use consecutive shots by any one player. This added some challenge to the tournament and, perhaps, evened the playing field a bit.  There were grumblings about these rules at first, but teams soon embraced them.

The winner of our 1st ever Scramble to End Hunger was Team Tanya of Eaton, CO. This team brought home the championship trophy and a year’s worth of bragging rights with an impressive 7 under par score of 65!  Way to go Team Tanya!

River Wilds Golf Club – Blair, NE

2nd place belongs to our team made up of 1 golfer from Castle Rock, CO and 3 from Blair, NE; the Huskerteers. With a score of 69, or 3 under par, the team vows to better their performance at next year’s tournament.

Girls Gone Golfing of Littleton, CO, an all female team, and the Happy Hour Hackers of Castle Rock, CO, an all male team, tied for 3rd place on our leader board with a 1 under par score of 71.

Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks, Silverthorne, CO

According to the rules, the longest drive would break any tie; however that hardly sounds fair when you have an all male team competing with an all female team for the tie breaker. Someone didn’t think these rules all the way through. So, we are leaving the results as a tie for 3rd place.

Team Tanya graciously donated the $260 prize money back to Assured Life Association for the benefit of Feeding America. Thank you Team Tanya!

Highlands Ranch Golf Club – Highlands Ranch, CO

With the registrations of $240 and the prize money of $260, the Scramble to End Hunger Golf Tournament donated $500 to Feeding America. This donation will provide 5,000 meals, or 6,000 lbs of food, to families in need through the Feeding America network of food banks. A great 1st year for this event with hopes of next year being even better! Watch for announcements next Spring for the 2nd annual Scramble to End Hunger Golf Tournament.

 

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4 Teams Enter Scramble to End Hunger

We thought we would have more.

But in retrospect, 4 is not bad. That is $240 to be donated to Feeding America, providing 2,400 meals to families in need through the Feeding America network of food banks and representing just over 4,000 lbs of food.

We will let you know the winner, but we have 3 teams from Colorado and 1 team from Colorado-Nebraska registered. Best of luck to:

  1. St. Andy’s Hackers
  2. Girls Gone Golfing
  3. Team Tanya
  4. The 4 Huskerteers

May the best team win!

Hear In America Added to Member Benefits and Discounts

As a member of Assured Life Association, you are now eligible for Hear In America hearing care benefits with no enrollment fees and no premiums. You and your immediate/extended family have access to free hearing consultations and discounts on high quality hearing aids through their nationwide network of hearing professionals. To register, call (800) 286-6149 – tell them you are a member of Assured Life Association.

Hearing is an important part of overall health. Recent research has found strong connections between hearing loss, serious falls and dementia as well as higher overall medical expenses. Modern hearing aids are comfortable, easy to use, and improve quality of life in many ways. Protect your well-being by getting your free hearing screening.

Hear In America Member Benefits Include:

  1. Free hearing screening for all members and their extended family, even if they live in another household
  2. Purchases of hearing aids at set discounted prices (approx. 35-70% off MSRP)
  3. 3-year repair warranties
  4. 3-year loss and damage coverage
  5. 3-year office service (clean, check, adjust)
  6. 3 years of free hearing aid batteries mailed from our office to each member
  7. Financing is available for those who qualify, including 12 months with no interest

To learn more or to schedule your free consultation with a provider near you call (800) 286-6149 to register and tell them you are a member of Assured Life Association. You can also visit their website at www.hearinamerica.com.

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Scramble to End Hunger Golf Tournament Announced

Assured Life Association is officially sponsoring a team “mail-in” 4-person scramble golf tournament to benefit Feeding America. A “mail-in” golf tournament means that your team can golf at any 72-par golf course at your location and mail in the team score. Click here for full rules and guidelines and registration form. Depending upon the number of team registrations received, individual golfing prizes may be considered.

The tournament will include 4-person teams of all males, all females or mixed; however, all teams will be placed into one tournament pool unless the number of registrations allows separate tournaments.

A team registration fee in the amount $60 ($15 per golfer) must be mailed to the home office along with the team registration form. You can also register online here. The winning team will receive at least $260; additional team and/or individual prizes may be awarded depending upon the number of teams registered.

All profits from the tournament will be donated to Feeding America to help those struggling with hunger in the United States. Profits are defined as the total of all registrations fees minus the winning prize money. No other expenses will be deducted from the registrations collected.

Registrations must be received by June 1, 2018. Team scores must be submitted to the home office on or before August 1, 2018.

2018 Represents the 10th Year for Assured Life’s National Member Food Drive

Scramble to End Hunger was added to our annual event schedule this year to compliment our national food drive which we have been actively promoting now for 10 years! We have made such a huge impact over the last 9 years because of of our members.

Assured Life has collected and donated over 21,000 lbs of food to various food banks and food pantries since 2009 for a total estimated value in excess of $39,000. A total of $27,000 in cash has been donated as well. Currently, every $1 donated to Feeding America secures 10 meals to people facing hunger. By today’s standard we have provided over 270,000 meals to the hungry over the years!

This year’s events in support of the National Member Food Drive include:

  1. Scramble to End Hunger National “Mail-In” Golf Tournament
  2. Strikes Against Hunger National “Mail-In Bowling Tournament (Fall 2018)
  3. Food Build Events in conjunction with Chapter Food Drives

Please get involved and help us help the hungry here in the United States. Do some golfing and bowling with some buddies this year and help the hungry in the process. Encourage your Chapter to have a member food drive and food build. It is a great way to have fun and get young people involved as well.

New Hearing Benefit Coming Soon

Assured Life Association is working with a new hearing care provider. The new program should be available mid-May, so watch your email inbox for future announcements. Benefits included in the new program include:

  • Free hearing screening for all members and their extended family, even if they live in another household
  • Purchases of hearing aids at set discounted prices (approx. 35-70% off MSRP)
  • 3-year repair warranties
  • 3-year loss and damage coverage
  • 3-year office service (clean, check, adjust)
  • 3 years of free hearing aid batteries mailed from our office to each member
  • Financing is available for those who qualify, including 12 months with no interest.

 

 

 

 

 

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Food Builds Get Creative

In conjunction with our 2017 National Member Food Drive, two Danish Brotherhood Lodges participate with a Food Build event.

We are so grateful to the Seattle, WA and Eugene, OR lodges for their continued support of our food drive and the food build.

Members and friends of DBIA Lodge 29 in Seattle collected and brought their food donations to the lodge’s annual Veteran’s Night Party and after dinner the “official lodge designer” led her volunteer builders in the construction of our annual Lodge Food Build. This year’s theme is the Royal Copenhagen porcelain logo found on the bottom of every piece of china made by the company.

One lodge member, Frank Poulsen, has huge support in his own neighborhood gathering over one half of our total collection. The Lodge gathered 839 lbs of food valued at approximately $1,678. The food was donated to HopeLink.

With the combined creativity of Mary Stefansen and Joan Cavin, members of DBIA Lodge 348 in Eugene, OR created a Viking ship; complete with a couple of Vikings!

As always, the entire structure was made with canned, boxed or packaged food. Okay, not the beards. Food cans were wrapped in brown paper to represent the Viking Ship. This is a fun event for their entire lodge which gleaned 478 lbs of food valued at $775. The food was donated to Food for Lane County.

Join Us for a FREE Informational Webinar about Office Depot / OfficeMax Member Benefit!

Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm EST

Click Here to Register

As a member of Assured Life Association, you can save up to 80% on thousands of items at Office Depot/OfficeMax. Simply take the store purchasing card to any Office Depot or OfficeMax store location and present it to the cashier upon checkout. All available discounts will be immediately applied to your purchase.

To shop online or to print out a Store Purchasing Card, visit www.officediscounts.org/ala. Qualifying online orders of $50 or more are eligible for next business-day delivery to your home or office.

 

 

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Merry Christmas from Assured Life Association!

Interested in Becoming a Board Member for Assured Life Association?

Assured Life Association’s Board of Directors is composed of seven voting members, whom are Benefit Members of the Society, and the President who serves as an ex officio non-voting member of the Board.   In accordance with the Society’s Bylaws, the Nominating Committee is currently accepting nominations for the three board positions up for election in 2018; board position numbers one, two and three.

Society Directors receive compensation as determined by the Committee on Legislation and are reimbursed for expenses incurred in connection with official business of the Society.

The following is the criteria and qualifications for board nominees:

Board Member Criteria

Board candidates must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • A Benefit Member of the Society.
  • No Officer or employee, or spouse or significant other of an Officer or employee, or persons who are under contract with the Society as licensed agents or brokers may be a member of the Board.
  • No conflict of interest that might impair the independence of judgment or adversely influence the decisions or actions of the nominee if he/she is elected as a director.
  • A commitment to expend the necessary time to the work of the Board and its committees, including preparation and attendance at meetings.
  • Travel may be required for up to four Board meetings per year.
  • Shall not serve beyond December 31 of the calendar year in which age 75 is attained.

Board Member Qualifications

At the charge of the Board, the Nominating Committee (NC), a Committee of the Board, identifies, investigates, recruits, and recommends candidates for membership on the Board of Directors to the existing Benefit Members. Nominees must have the appropriate background, experience and integrity to fulfill their prospective roles such as the education, experience, intelligence, independence, fairness, character, reasoning and judgment to lead the Society. The NC will also assure that the qualifications, expertise and experience of a nominee includes such qualities as integrity, accountability, informed judgment, financial literacy, mature confidence, and high-performance standards.

The following qualifications for nominees for Director should be considered when reviewing the background of potential candidates:

  • Proven integrity and a record of substantial achievement.
  • A high degree of leadership experience in a complex organization such as a corporation, university, foundation, professional organization or governmental unit, or commensurate non-profit experience.
  • A reputation for sound business judgment. It is important that a candidate understands the role of the Board and the workings of the Society in the current business environment. A candidate should be able to objectively appraise management’s plans, programs, achievements and shortcomings while working as part of a team in an environment of collegiality and trust.
  • The financial and subject matter expertise required to provide effective oversight of a diversified and heavily regulated financial services or insurance business.
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time to the work of the Board and its committees.
  • Demonstrated record of community support and involvement.

The NC will assess a nominee’s independence and evaluate whether the nominee’s skills are complementary to the existing Directors’ skills and the Board’s and Society’s needs. As the NC reviews nominees, it will take into consideration that the Board as a whole possesses the various core competencies needed to oversee the Society.

Benefit Members meeting the board membership criteria and qualifications who are interested in the position of Director must submit references and resumes of their qualifications and background to the Nominating Committee no later than March 31, 2018.  At a minimum, the resume of qualifications should include the skills and experiences outlined above.

Please send your information to:

Diane L Muller, Secretary
PO Box 3169
Englewood, CO 80155
dmuller@assuredlife.org

Deadline for submission is March 31, 2018, postmark shall govern.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Diane at (800) 777-9777, extension 3830.

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Strikes Against Hunger Bowling Tournament Results are In!

DBIA Eugene, Oregon Lodge 348 team members stand ready to begin.

Assured Life Association’s 2017 Strikes Against Hunger Bowling Tournament was as huge success!

Assured Life received 9 teams register for its 1st (maybe annual) Strikes Against Hunger Bowling Tournament. These 9 teams generated $540 in registration fees which will be donated to Feeding America.

This donation will secure nearly 6,000 meals for the hungry; or an estimated 7,500 pounds of food! Our gratitude goes out to the following chapters for entering teams in our tournament:

  1. DBIA Eugene, OR Lodge 348
  2. DBIA Seattle, WA Lodge 29
  3. Rocky Mountain Camp 999

Eugene Lodge 348 sponsored 3 teams, Seattle Lodge 29 sponsored 4 teams and Rocky Mountain Camp 999 came in with 2 teams. Here are the members that participated:

Seattle Danes #1 – DBIA Seattle Lodge 29
Tage Christiansen
Leif Sorensen
Lars Clausen
Rick Newbrey

Seattle Danes #2 – DBIA Seattle Lodge 29
Karlo Thornvig
Kenneth Olsen
Flemming Sorensen
Henning Buus

Xs 4 Darbs – DBIA Seattle Lodge 29
Derek Todoroff
Steve Hambleton
Sami Todoroff
Tove Sorensen

Better Halves – DBIA Seattle Lodge 29
Beverly Sorensen
Joan Clausen
Marly Christiansen
Tina Newbrey

Although the Better Halves did not end up bowling in the tournament due to scheduling conflicts and other issues, they participated with the registration fees that go to Feeding America.  Thank you ladies!

348ers #1 – DBIA Eugene Lodge 348
Scott Stefansen
Dan Staats
Svend Toftemark
Joey Castleton

Lois Toftemark takes aim at picking up her spare!

348ers #2 – DBIA Eugene Lodge 348
Mary Stefansen
Lois Toftemark
Joan Cavin
Poul Stefansen

348ers #3 – DBIA Eugene Lodge 348
Susie Staats
Bente Pedersen
Alicia Burke
Sue Ezzati

RMC 999 #1 – Denver Rocky Mountain Camp 999
Lisa Lehnus
Diane Muller
Michaela Franklin
Tanya Unrein

RMC 999 #2 – Denver Rocky Mountain Camp 999
Deborah West
Brian West
Jerry Christensen
Gary Wheeler

And the Winner Is…

The winning team was “Xs 4 Darbs” from DBIA Seattle Lodge 29! Seattle Lodge 29 will receive $260 for 1st place honors. Congratulations to Lodge 29 and Xs 4 Darbs!

Individual High Series score (both scratch score and series with handicap) went to Joey Castleton from DBIA Eugene Lodge 348’s “348ers #1”. Joey was awarded $50.00 for this honor.

Remember Operation Santa’s Elves

As the national member food drive winds down, it is time to prepare for Operation Santa’s Elves; the last of our national member volunteer projects for the calendar year.

This is the 9th year for Assured Life Association’s Operation Santa’s Elves. When the Fraternal Committee coined the program “Operation Santa’s Elves”, they did so with the knowledge that there are already so many programs and projects that help provide needy children with Christmas gifts during the holidays. Assured Life Association decided not to re-invent the wheel, but instead encourages its chapters and members to help bring the joy of Christmas and Santa Claus to the lives of needy children by seeking out and participating in one of the many projects and programs already available. Operation Santa’s Elves is about promoting these worth-while programs that serve the under-served at Christmas time; especially children!

It’s easy to participate! Just seek out a local organization or program that assists in providing Christmas gifts to kids that would not otherwise receive anything for Christmas. Whether it is Toys for Tots, Adopt-A-Family programs or the Salvation Army, get involved and let us know what you did by emailing us at fraternal@assuredlife.org.

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Assured Life’s Strikes Against Hunger Bowling Tournament Attracts 9 Teams!

Assured Life received 9 team registrations for its 1st (maybe annual) Strikes Against Hunger Bowling Tournament. These 9 teams have generated $540 in registration fees to be donated to Feeding America. This donation will secure nearly 6,000 meals for the hungry; or an estimated 7,500 pounds of food! Our gratitude goes out to the following chapters for entering our tournament:

  1. DBIA Eugene, OR Lodge 348
  2. DBIA Seattle, WA Lodge 29
  3. Rocky Mountain Camp 999

Eugene Lodge 348 sponsored 3 teams, Seattle Lodge 29 sponsored 4 teams and Rocky Mountain Camp 999 came in with 2 teams.

Watch our Blog, Facebook page and future fraternal link newsletters for the winners of our bowling tournament. Winning Team(s) will receive a minimum of $260; other prizes possible as well.

Operation Purple – A Worthy Cause

The National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple summer camp program has been in our list of national member service campaigns now for about 6 years. We don’t get a lot of traction for this program, which is a shame.

Did you know that when you mix the colors of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine Corps red and Navy blue, you get the color purple? In the military world, the color purple represents all who serve; all branches of the armed forces.

Operation Purple summer camps offer military kids a free week of camp where they connect with other kids just like themselves. They learn to cope with a parent’s military service and deployment among other kids who get it because many of them are going through the same things.

Just think about the issues military kids experience; multiple moves, long deployments, change in schools, difficulty making new friends. When a military kid attends Operation Purple Camp, they thrive in an environment with fully trained counselors and camp staff experienced in helping children adapt and overcome the stressors of military life. A worthy cause.

Pictured here are some statistics applicable to Operation Purple Summer Camps shared from the National Military Family Association website.

This next year, Assured Life is once again promoting Operation Purple Camps as one of our national member service campaign. Please consider supporting this cause with a donation. Because Military Kids serve too. Send your donations to:

National Military Family Association
3601 Eisenhower Ave Ste 425
Alexandria, VA 22304

Be sure to designate your gift for Operation Purple Camp, and remember to utilize Assured Life’s charitable matching gift program if you have not already used up your $250 allowance for the year.

 

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Assured Life’s Strikes Against Hunger Bowling Tournament is a Go!

Assured Life Association is officially sponsoring a team “mail-in” bowling tournament to benefit Feeding America. A mail-in bowling tournament means that your team can bowl at your location and mail in the scores.

The tournament will include 4-person teams of all males, all females or mixed; however, all teams will be placed into one tournament pool unless the number of registrations allows separate tournaments.

A team registration fee in the amount $60 ($15 per bowler) must be mailed to the home office along with the registration form. Each bowler on a team must establish a 3-game average before entering the tournament. The winning team will receive at least $260; additional team and/or individual prizes may be awarded depending upon the number of teams registered.

All profits from the tournament will be donated to Feeding America to help those struggling with hunger in the United States. Profits are defined as the total of all registrations fees minus the winning prize money. No other expenses will be deducted from the registrations collected.

Registrations must be received by October 1, 2017. Bowling must be completed between October 1, 2017 and November 15, 2017. Scores must be submitted to the home office on or before December 1, 2017. For complete Rules and Guidelines…

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Assured Life Food Drive is Underway

It is hard to believe that we are quickly closing in on the end of July! Back to school advertisements are all over the television right now. Didn’t school just get out for the summer?! Crazy.

Get Involved with the National Member Food Drive Today!

The 2017 National Member Food Drive is on as well. Please consider volunteering to help the hungry of the United States this year. They need our help. According to Feeding America, 1 in 8 people in the United States struggles with hunger! For those of you that have been with us for awhile, you may remember when we first started the national member food drive, 1 in 6 Americans were struggling with hunger; so we have seen some progress over the last few years. But the need is still great! And in this country, of all places, we should do better. It is not up to the Government alone to solve this problem. It is up to each and every one of us to make an impact.

We are offering our Virtual Food Drive again this year as an easy way for members to get involved and donate to the cause. Whatever you can give will be appreciated because every bit helps. Every $1 donated secures 11 meals through the Feeding America network. Help us help the hungry by donating to the Assured Life Virtual Food Drive.

As a member of Assured Life Association, you and your family are eligible for exclusive American Hearing Benefits™.* You should check them out!

Take advantage of your member discounts now:

  1. Discounts on today’s latest technology, including hearing aids and tinnitus options
  2. FREE annual hearing consultations
  3. Access to a nationwide network of 3,000+ hearing professionals
  4. FREE one-year supply of batteries (40 cells per hearing aid purchased)
  5. One year of free office visits (limit of six)
  6. 60-day trial period**
  7. FREE Deluxe Warranty Plan, including loss and damage**
  8. Financing plans available (subject to credit approval)

*Patient benefits may vary by contract type. **Professional service fees may apply.

Call 888.900.4819 to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION and receive your discounts or Click Here.

On the Lighter Side

Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents’ house. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers.

The youngest one began praying at the top of his lungs, “I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE. I PRAY FOR A NEW NINTENDO. I PRAY FOR A NEW DVD PLAYER…”

The older brother leaned over and nudged the younger brother and said, “Why are you shouting your prayers? God isn’t deaf.”

To which the little brother replied, “No, but Gramma is!”

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Summer Camp Grants Available for Assured Life Youth

It is that time of year again! Kids are thinking about school coming to a close for the year, summer break and where they might go for summer camp. We here at Assured Life Association are thinking those very same things. We can’t tell kids where to go for summer camp, but we sure can help get you there with an Assured Life Summer Camp Grant. So, if you are a benefit member, child or grandchild of a benefit member or you are being sponsored by one of Assured Life’s local chapters, you are eligible to apply for a summer camp grant. The deadline is May 15, 2017 so don’t delay. Act today.

Board of Directors Elect Tanya S. Unrein as It’s Chair

The Board of Directors of Assured Life Association, at its organizational meeting on March 17, 2017, elected Tanya S Unrein as its Chair. Ms. Unrein has the distinction of being the first woman to be elected to this position in the Society’s history.

Tanya S. Unrein of Eaton, Colorado, has been a member of the Assured Life Association Board of Directors since July 2004, and serves on the Executive Committee.

Unrein has over 15 years of experience in the life insurance industry.  During that time, she worked for a stock life insurance company and Assured Life Association before going back to the medical field.  Unrein was the Medical Underwriter for both companies, and has also held the positions of Manager in claims, new business, policy accounting, and customer service departments.

Unrein brings experience in corporate governance, finance, accounting, insurance, and fraternalism.  She has a comprehensive understanding of life and health insurance products, insurance compliance, sales training, and accounting principles from her years working in the industry.  Unrein has also demonstrated an active involvement in the fraternal affairs through her participation in local community service projects with Assured Life Association.

Unrein currently works as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Clinical Supervisor for North Colorado Family Medicine, and volunteers for health fairs, sport physical clinics, and mentors FNP students.

National Member Food Drive is Officially On

This is our 9th annual national member food drive! All the statistics point to a need for such a program here in the United States where 1 in 8 people struggles with food insecurity; that’s 42,238,000 Americans, over 13,000,000 of which are children. Food insecurity means that, for at least some time or multiple times during the year, a person lacks the resources to get adequate food for an active, healthy life. This is an important cause for us and we need your help.  Please get involved today. Find ways to help here…

It’s What We Scatter

I received this story via email some time ago and published it in the Life Assured magazine 5 years ago. I do not know the source to give credit, but it presents us with a life lesson worth taking another read.

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’ said the boy.

‘Is that right? Let me see it’, said Miller.

‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’

‘I can see that. Hmm, 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 of the story: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!

 

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