Friday, May 14, 2010

the marble

Just a marble. What could be so important about a simple marble? Mary was in the backyard planting some flowers when she came across this marble in the dirt. She brought the marble to me to show me. I wondered for a moment on how it came to be there in the backyard. Perhaps some children of a previous owner of the house had at some time in the past been playing with marbles in the backyard and lost one of them. But that would have been a very long time ago and there sat the marble in the dirt awaiting discovery.

It sort of looks like a small watermelon, doesn't it? As I gazed at the marble I was amazed (as I have always been) on just how they get those colors into marbles in such an orderly fashion like the stripes of this marble. Then a flood of memories started coming back to me of a very young lad going grocery shopping with his mother. My mom would go up and down the aisles with her shopping cart, but not me. I always headed straight for the cereal aisle. My mom use to let me pick out my own cereal for breakfast. This was to keep me from protesting the cereal that she usually bought for me, shredded wheat. I hated shredded wheat. This wasn’t the sugar frosted bite size shredded wheat. This was the brick size unadorned shredded wheat that no matter how long it sat in the milk, it just didn’t seem to soften. Yuk! With this new freedom of being able to choose my own cereal I excitedly went from one brand of cereal to another looking at the boxes to see what free toy was included in the box of cereal. I didn’t choose my cereal based upon taste but on the toy that was inside. One day I discovered that there were six marbles in a plastic bag inside the box of corn flakes. Neat! I chose that one and when I got home I would get my mom’s biggest mixing bowl and dump the corn flakes into the mixing bowl to get to the marbles which were always in the bottom. Why didn’t I just open the box from the bottom? Inexperience. I just didn’t think of it. After retrieving the marbles, I would pour the corn flakes back into the box. I would eat hearty portions of the corn flakes each morning so that I could hurry up and get another box with more marbles. I built up my marble collection this way and kept eating the corn flakes until eventually they stopped putting marbles into the boxes of cereal. I used to get on the ground and draw a circle in the dirt and “shoot” my marbles. A couple of times I did this with other kids but I wasn’t very good at it and I always seemed to lose some of my marbles to them. I figured that it was better to shoot marbles by myself and that way I wouldn’t lose my marbles (please, no puns about losing my marbles). Besides, to me those marbles had value because I had to eat a lot of corn flakes to get them. I kept those cereal box marbles for the longest time. And so, this simple marble brought back all of these pleasant memories of scurrying down the cereal aisle and the fun times that I had with my free marbles. Sometimes it is the simpler things in life that are really important. This blog was just a little snippet from my life and I would be interested in hearing little snippets from other people’s lives. I guess that this blog has gone on long enough and as Paul Harvey would say “Good day”. Actually, I like Crocodile Dundee better, “G’day”. Lew

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