1000 Marbles

Carol turned 60 in January, and was given 1000 marbles by her friend Suzanne, with a sheet of paper referring to the "Story of the 1000 marbles". (See here for complete story.)

The premise is that by 60 years old you should know what makes you happy. And you should make sure you spend your time doing that. The 1000 marbles refers to the 1000 Saturday mornings between 60 years old and 80 years old, and of a man who kept a 1000 marbles in a jar, and took one out every Saturday morning, which was his favorite time of the week. As the numbers of marbles dwindled, it was a constant reminder to him of what is important and that time is fleeting.

In any case, Carol died suddenly in May, after giving her friend those same 1000 marbles for her 60th birthday. While the sentiment is lovely, those marbles came to represent all those Saturday mornings that Carol didn't get to experience, with her family or her friends. We didn't want to keep the marbles around as a reminder of those missed experiences.

But what does one do with a 1000 marbles? It didn't seem right to just throw them away. Then we had an idea.

We've been placing marbles in places where Carol might have wanted to visit, places Carol loved or visited, or anyplace that strikes our fancy, for any reason: Carol would think it was funny, this place is meaningful to us, this place feels like it needs a marble, and so on and so forth. Very quickly, a few marbles were given to anybody who was willing to take them somewhere.

We are chronicling the adventures of those marbles here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The First Marble

Every August, Carol and I would drive to Selma, California, south of Fresno, to pick heirloom peaches with our peach picking family, the Warm Fuzzies.  On one of the first trips there, we had discovered the carnitas tacos at La Cutija in Los Banos.  It became one of the important rituals of the trip - a stop on the way to (Friday) and from (Saturday) every year.  We'd often run into other peach picker groups whom we had told about La Cutija on our stops, and if one of our family members couldn't come that year, we'd buy tacos to go for him or her on our way back to San Francisco.

Carol loved these tacos.  She loved food in general, but these tacos were in her top 10 list, for sure. 

So on a drive to Los Angeles, I stopped at La Cutija for two carnitas tacos - one for me and one for Carol - and to leave at least one marble somewhere on the premises.

La Cutija is not a big place - and there weren't a lot of places to leave a marble that wouldn't get found too quickly. 

There are two marbles at La Cutija.  One is the dirt next to the picnic tables you see above in the picture.  The other is in the tank of the toilet in the bathroom (white door above).  I don't think anybody will ever find that one, so Carol's marbles are almost certain to stay at La Cutija until they tear the place down.