Simply marbleous
Monday May 06th 2013, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

Parker has taken to photobombing when the camera points at his little brother. Smile! (Didn’t go through. Will have to use stand-ins here for now.)

Does anyone else remember not just playing marbles, but trying to have the prettiest ones, so you would finally get Mom’s permission and watchful eye and go simmer them on the stove–no boiling, it’s always a risk but still you don’t want a million shattered bits of glass in her pot, just those clear marbles with the thin twist of colors down the center, making them leap into crackly patterns surrounded by transparency, breakdancing into kaleidoscopes within while staying smooth and round on the surfaces. Hopefully. The final objects were never a sure thing till they were safely cooled off and done.

Woke up this morning with the mental image of my eyes close to the stove from my then-height, standing staring intently (and a little bit bored) at those small glass balls, watching the tiny bubbles forming and slooowly separating from the sides of the pan but no big airholes allowed to form (keep that heat down), waiting for the marbles to become more colorful, done just so. They took a very long time at that age and a steady concentration.

Haven’t thought of those in…! But it suddenly seems like it was early training for appreciating the steady click, click, click process that is knitting, keeping the stitches bubbling steadily up. Sometimes with a cooling-off after the finish to realize that no, I didn’t mess it up and yes this IS gorgeous.

I not only coveted my oldest sister’s prettier-than-anybody’s marbles (which is what got me to beg and plead for that one session at the stove), I wanted to be able to sound like her too, like, yesterday, at the piano, and I remember her playing Fur Elise. A lot. That one seemed simple enough to aspire to–well, the first part of it, anyway. I started lessons the last year she took them.

I just didn’t quite get to this point in that first year, though. These guys had way too much fun. Don’t miss the picture frame falling down and the window shimmying.

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You had to dump the marbles in ice water to crackle them, it was the temperature shock. Too much shock, they just sundered. We had a family thing for glass and rock–remember tumbling various forms of rock and making our own necklaces and such? Geodes cut open, what would this one have inside? The folks gave us chances to be fascinated with the world in so many ways.

Comment by Marian 05.06.13 @ 11:57 pm

And now that I’ve watched the video, it reminds me of Mrs. Kupelian teaching us that the best way to build control and strength in the fingers was to take a dotted rhythm in place of an even one–add a little jazz touch to that and you have syncopation. Ah, the lessons…

Comment by Marian 05.07.13 @ 12:03 am

Oh! I had almost forgotten about the marbles! I used to heat them in a dry frying pan and then dump them in cold water, hence the name “fried marbles”. And I can appreciate the talent of the two young men and their piano playing skills but I dont like what have they done to one of my favorite pieces of music!

Comment by Jody 05.07.13 @ 5:10 am

What?! I never knew. Dad’s secretary entertained me with marbles, but I didn’t know I could have “cooked” them for even more variety…

Comment by Channon 05.07.13 @ 7:35 am

I like Fur Elise. The version I have is on harp.
This one? I’ll let Ludwig decide.

Comment by Donald Meyer 05.07.13 @ 10:33 am

I remember heating marbles in a little frying pan and dumping them into water to get that look — it was fun! (and no doubt now days folks would say it’s an activity too dangerous for kids to participate in!)

Comment by bev 05.07.13 @ 12:30 pm

We had a kit that contained glue and googly eyes as well as marbles, so after we crackled them, we glued them together to make little animals.

Comment by LauraN 05.07.13 @ 2:08 pm

Way too much fun. I had fun watching, too. Loved the picture falling; thanks for mentioning that.

Comment by RobinM 05.07.13 @ 2:10 pm

That made for great listening :-}
It put me in the mood for a little more swing!

Comment by Diana Troldahl 05.07.13 @ 6:30 pm

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