Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Still Have All My Marbles

It's true, I do. I still have all my marbles from childhood, sixty-two of them. They sit on the windowsill in a wire-hasp Ball canning jar where I can see them every day. Now both the jar and the marbles would be considered valuable antiques. They range from pee-wee all the way to the big guys. They are my memory-makers. When I look at them I remember my days at Welchville School, a four room school house, where we actually played marbles, skipped rope, and all the other things kids did during recess in the early 70's.

My parents being antique dealers passed down to me many valuable things that I cherish and not because of their dollar value. My Staffordshire dogs, the oil on glass painting of birds in cattails, and a Mary Gregory cranberry glass bottle, are but a few of my prized possessions. When I look at them now, I remember my history and family history. For more than twenty years, I watched the sun rise on the white china dogs, the western sun shine through the cranberry bottle, and the sun set on the painting. I remember how old Mom and Dad were when they gave them to me. Therein lies their value.

Breaking down life into material objects, there are few of such great importance worth truly loving, fighting for and keeping close until our passing. They are things that continue to give you something today from the past with one look or touch.

"No memory is ever alone; it's at the end of a trail of memories, a dozen trails that each have their own associations." Louis L'Amour.

All of us kids have items of Mom and Dad's that we treasure with a lifetime of memories attached securely to them. My sister, Leelee-Bop has the massive twin chalk pastel river scenes of Scotland that hung on either side of the picture window in the living room from the time my older siblings were very young. They have now been restored to their original beauty and hang majestically in her home. I know when she looks at them, time flies through her mind from birth to now, along with recent memories made with her husband. I see them in my mind's eye as I write. Thinking of them reminds of me of watching "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" with Dad, as they hung behind where the television sat. Do you remember that show with Darren McGavin? Dad would always first berate us, "Now girls, I'll watch this with you, but don't you go to bed on me before this is over, okay?" We'd always promise vehemently, and half the time skedaddle off to bed after fifteen minutes. It was so scary, but naturally he'd be hooked and have to sit up until 10 p.m. to finish watching it by himself. Poor Dad. I wonder if L-Bop thinks of that when she looks at those pictures? Well, she will now.

I love the things that remind me of Mom and Dad, of growing up in the big old house with the strangest assortment of things you could not imagine. We had potato guns, trucks full of mattresses, trunks busting with silks and satins. My first wedding dress was a plaything my sister and I dragged out of an old trunk. My marbles didn't come from a store, not one of them. They came from "somewhere in time." Like my memories.

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