I know, another collectible. It seems all my favorite things are either practical things or occurrence that I encounter every day or they’re something I collect that has no practical anything about it.
I have been drawn to marbles since grade school when playing “odds or evens” was all the rage and challenging a friend to “10 down last” was a way to possibly win his or her best marbles from them. I remember having my marbles confiscated by the teacher. There were cat’s eyes, steelies, purees, and crackles both in regular size and boulders.
We all had marble bags. Marbles were like money, and you could be both marble rich and marble poor in the space of one afternoon. I used to hide my marble bag in various places to keep it away from my brothers, and as I got older and the craze died off, I lost track of the last hiding place. I still wonder if it was inside the huge old upright piano that my mother finally gave away. That’s where I look in my dreams (yes, I occasionally dream about grade school and marbles).
The digital age has pushed marbles into the antique/thrift shops I’m afraid, or maybe it’s just where I find them because I don’t shop in toy stores anymore. I have a small velvet bag of my favorite marbles just to remind me of how much fun they were, and I’m going to get them out and play with them the next time my young friend Gracie comes over. I’m sure it will be something new for her.
I kind of want to know – is there anyone on earth who has not made a marble pyramid with Elmer’s Glue for their mom for Mother’s Day?
Earlier today I posted about my love of marbles. Could it possibly be a coincidence that someone put a bag of 50 cat’s eye marbles in the husband’s pickup truck bed, at his work? He said he did not know anything about my post, and he was very surprised to find them there since nothing like that has ever happened before. I am having a fun day, and I now have twice as many marbles. Hahaha… just sayin’.
Don’t you know there are those times that become prominent, for one reason or another, and they stick in your mind like something that sparkles, or maybe like a flashing red light? My mind only has so much room in it and normally I want to save that space for stuff I’m really going to need, so one of the things I like to do is ask for God’s watchfulness over my mind each day. I want him to be in charge of what looms large and what goes by the way. He knows me and he does a good job.
Three things that have been standout (is that a word?) moments recently:
This week there was a community garage sale in the neighborhood where one of my clients lives. My cousin and her husband shop these events and are masters at finding interesting things. They were at my client’s house when I arrived and started talking about what bargains they had scored. Jerry had bought a large jar (water cooler size) full of marbles. Unbeknownst to most people, I have a inner fondness for marbles that I can’t explain, except that it reminds me of happy childhood times. Kids today don’t know that you can get hours of fun and interaction with other people through marbles. They are antiques. When the snow would melt in the spring, our school grounds became pocked with marble holes and each recess was time to either lose or gain valuable marbles depending on your skill. Each long bus ride was a constant barter of boulders of various kinds, games of “odds or evens”. There was a whole language built around marbles, most of which I cannot remember now. I had a precious collection that I would hide around the house (because I had brothers). I don’t know what became of that bag of cat’s eyes and purees – did I outgrow my interest or did I lose them, forget where I’d hid them? Jerry took me out to his car and gave me some marbles and I felt like treasure had come home to me. A standout moment.
Yesterday there was a knock on the door. A young man I have known since he was an adolescent was standing there, wiping the sweat off his head because he had come on his bike and it was a warm day. The last few years I haven’t heard from him often – pretty much only when he needs money, which was why he had come this time too. He was moving north, taking a bus. His mom had given him the money for the ticket which was all she could afford. She felt he needed to start new in a different place, but he had nothing for the trip. I listened to his story, we talked about his inability to thrive in spite of his talent, we talked about the faint odor of alcohol he exuded. I don’t know where God is taking him – or just letting him go – but I felt kindness was required of me. I gave him money. He let me pray for him and tearfully asked if I would continue to pray for him every day. I made a promise. This moment needs to standout so that I can keep that promise.
My inbox is constantly chiming at me because I’m permanently attached to my phone. Most of what comes in is junk mail, just like my old fashioned “snail mail” box. But this morning there was a note from a family member. Two sentences of sweet encouragement, which prove to me how much we can do to keep each other going forward. Thank you MP, for acting on an impulse that was God inspired, no doubt. I love you too.
Three moments out of many that I could have included. Three is a good number and as I said, God does a good job of giving me things to think about and remember.