Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Marble Memories

We went to a marble making factory and museum called The Marble House over the weekend. While there, I was taken back in time to some special, nearly long-forgotten memories of my step-grandma, Grandma Allen, and the treasures at her house. She was a tiny little lady, the mother of my step-dad. She lived in an old house with a cellar full of preserves and homemade sauces, a front porch that cooled your feet under you on a hot summer's day, and a garden so full of rhubarb that pies were just begging to be made. Everytime we went to Grandma Allen's house, she'd fetch the green tupperware bowl from the freezer to let her kiddos dip into her famous oatmeal raisin cookies. She was a saver. As a teenager during the depression years, she had done without and it was obvious from the moment one tried to open up her junk drawer. Full of rubberbands, plastic bread bags, and who only knows what else, the drawer was so bulging full that it was nearly impossible to close upon opening. The attic in Grandma's house was one of those attics every little girl dreams of getting lost in. How I wish I could go back to that attic! I was awed by an antique baby buggy, perfectly sized for the old dolls, beautiful lamps and other furniture covered with sheets and a wonderful old trunk full with treasures.

But the trigger for all these wonderful memories this weekend was the marbles. Oh, Grandma had a wonderful old box full of marbles! When she wanted to keep my brother and I occupied for a little while, she'd pull the old Quaker oats box off of the shelf and allow us to play with her marble collection. We'd set up a little circle of marbles, each choose a shooter, and play for hours with the glass beauties. Of course, we each had our favorites, those we'd vie for at every marble competition. Some of the marbles were made of clay, but most were glass, obviously well-loved and much used if the nicks on their surface were to be believed. I saw some marbles this weekend at the marble House that reminded me of those marbles at Grandma's. They were antique. Most of them were glass, and because of their age and use, they too were nicked and had long ago lost their shine. But to me, those marbles were like magic marbles. Because they took me back to a place and time I'd nearly forgotten. A time of innocence and games and playing at my grandma's with her lovely, old, priceless, little marbles made of glass.

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