I lost my marbles


Does anyone even play marbles anymore?

I haven’t even thought about marbles in years. My son has some and they are mostly just used as projectiles and choking hazards. I don’t know why he has them but he does.

Usually they are scattered all over the living room. The cat is fascinated by them. I think she is waiting for them to hatch.

However, today it suddenly struck me. I miss playing marbles. When I was little, maybe 3 or 5 years old (I’m not really sure) my grandpa taught my brother and I to play marbles.

We dug the giant Prince Albert can out of the upstairs closet. It was almost heavier than we were. We struggled with the weight of a million kajillion marbles as we descended step by step down the stairs that were designed to cause early deaths. Finally we presented the can to my grandpa.

“Get me my sticks,” he said. He walked on crutches and always called them sticks. I felt very important when I got to “get his sticks” and I was always very careful to make sure they were turned the right way so that the wing nuts were pointed to the back.

We all headed out into the Colorado summer sun. He led us out into the gravel driveway and drew a humongous circle in the dirt. It probably wasn’t that big but I was short so it seemed huge.
It was quite a production for my grandpa to get down on his knees but he did it all the same. We kneeled in the gravel next to him with the little rocks jabbing us in the knees.

I don’t know how long we were out there, time means nothing to children. He tried to teach us how to hold the shooter marble and how to aim. We didn’t do great but we kept at it. Our tiny hands never did manage to get the proper force behind the shooter marble in order to knock the other marbles out of the circle. It took some extra skill to shoot past all the rocks and actually hit a marble.

Every time we went to grandma and grandpa’s house after that we would pester my poor grandpa to play marbles.

Life moved on and I grew older. I won’t say I grew up because I hope I never do that. So here I am sitting on my living room floor trying my hardest to get my fingers to work and make the shooter hit another marble.

It’s amazing what we forget in our busy lives until some random memory rears up and suddenly we remember what’s best in life.


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