Thursday, August 26, 2010

I love marbles.
I love the colors, the randomness, the feel of these seemingly insignificant objects. I have collected them for as long as I can remember.  For some amazing reason, I always seem to land in a home that has hidden a few of them inadvertently and my gardening adventures has me unearthing them years, decades after the marble ring has been put away.  I love the discovery.  I dig my trowel deep down, usually hiding a tulip bulb for it's winter sleep and while breaking the clods of dirt, a eureka moment of the find appears.  In the darkness of the soil, the shiny, colorful glimmer from a jewel of childhood appears.  I sit back on my heels, clean the marble on my jeans,and examine it closely.  Depending on the milkiness of the design, you can generally tell the decade from whence it came. Then, once I determine that, then the stories of it's journey into my hands begin.  I often wonder about the little guy that owned one.  He is counting his marbles and checking to see which one of his collection he lost to his buddy at their game after school.  Sadly, he notices that several are gone and he wonders how he lost so many to his friend.  Unknowingly, the elusive marble rolled away from the marble ring, and throughout the game, got walked into the earth by he and his buddy.  The years, the rain, erosion, sends it deep into the ground.  Until that day when I am gardening and discover the near pristine age old marble appearing in my tulip bulb hole.  If he knew the thrill that I get from each find, he wouldn't have been so sad to have lost it.  My collection does not just sit there.  My little visitors to my porch completely enjoy handling and rolling these little gems.  They too are entranced with the colors and the smoothness.  And being modern children, they have no concept of the game that the marbles represent.  Until they visit Nana/Mimi/My Debbie.  I will tell them about the rope circle and show them my large shooter marble.  I tell them of the dreaded Keepers, when you take big roulette type risks.  I show them my marble/jacks leather pouch that I have had in my possession for 50 years.  And thus another generation will leave their mark on the earth.  The rolly marbles that leave my porch and fall into my flower beds will no doubtedly end up in some other glass jar years from now.
And that is exactly how it should be.


  1. My aunt Bertha had the best marbles that she kept in her back room in one of those old plastic tubs that they used to store potato chips. She must have had 300 of them, as well as lurking kitties, pie and the pleasant, simple presence of the hard-working kind of woman that are all I knew. Thank you for this.

  2. From time to time, we pull out the musty old bag that was my dad's and marvel at the beauties he won away from the neighborhood kiddies. I did it as a kid, feeling them roll through my hands or running my feet over them...always fun to try and bury your feet in the rolling gems or sort them out by color,too. We got them out again recently and had a few moments of panic when it seemed dad's beloved and well-worn shooter had gone missing. We found it after a minute or two of frantic digging. Whew! Would truly have been a tragic loss. My oldest always enjoyed marble time so much that his granny (my mom) sewed and painted his very own marble bag like pappa's and, for years, at every birthday and/or Christmas, a new bag of marbles was pretty much a given. That sack hasn't grown much in the past few years. That needs to be remedied. Thank you for this. :)


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