Sunday, November 13, 2011

Losing My Marbles

My family moved to Illinois for the second and final time, during my third grade year. It was very difficult for this little country girl, who spent her summers barefoot, to move away from her best friend Janet, her extended family and the pull of nature. Oh, and let’s not forget her boyfriend Jimmy. But, I’m always up for an adventure and I was excited to see what new experiences living in a city would provide. But, that’s another Ruralhood post.
During the time I lived in Washington, I was introduced to the  world of marble game playing. Kids at school and on my block owned and played marble games. Marbles had always fascinated me, but now as a child I could play a game with these smooth round wonders of rock and glass.
I don’t know if the game I played had a name, but this is what we did. We each put an equal share of marbles on the ground depending on how many players. You could include larger marbles that we called boulders, but after losing my favorite marble, I never again played my boulders. And we all had a favorite boulder or shooter. 

We used terms like aggie, cat eyes, keepsies and biggies.
After we put our portion of marbles down, we would kneel on the ground, rest our shooter on our crooked forefinger and flip the boulder with our thumb toward a marble that we wanted. If we knocked it out of the imaginary circle (often drawn in chalk on the sidewalk or sketched out in the grass) the marble became ours.  But, we all had to decide beforehand if we were playing for keepsies.
And we could trade marbles. That was fun, too.
My mother sewed my brother and I a marble drawstring pouch with our initials embroidered on each. I wish I still had my pouch. Last year, I made my grandkids a pouch and gave them marbles.
I also gave my GKids more marbles this year in their Halloween treat bags.
I loved marbles. I still do.

Did you play marble games as a child?