Childhood toys: marbles

Among the toys I still have from childhood is a large blue canning jar full of marbles. I know nothing about them, really... except to know that some are hand made, some are machine made, and most are the very common cat's eye: clear glass with a twist of color. Occasionally I come across marbles in an antique store, and if the price is reasonable, I add a few to my jar.

My favorites are the mostly white marbles, with swirls or patches of color in oranges, greens, blues, yellows. One day I'll have time to sort through them and learn more about the different manufacturers and the pattern names. For now, I'll just enjoy their brilliant colors.

Still eclectic after all these years...

It's been about 18 months since I started life as a blogger. I figured that eventually my blog would morf into a focused set of postings about one of my passions. Photography, wine, quilting, writing, journaling, antiques, cats, cooking. I love them all and can't decide what to focus on.

So for now, I'll continue as I began back in July 2009, writing somewhat erratically about the people, places, and things that I love. I hope someone out there is enjoying it.


Cumberland Island

Two years ago we took a winter vacation, our first that didn't involve skiing. We spent a few days in Savannah, Georgia, followed by two days on Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia. We loved both places, even though our grey Northwest weather followed us 3000 miles to the Atlantic coast. My new header photo is the front lawn of the inn on Cumberland Island, framed by a massive live oak with its spreading branches.

The house was pretty spectacular. The huge living room, study, and library on the main floor were filled with antiques and available 24 hours a day for our use. There was a fire in the massive fireplace all day long, and we spent a lot of time there (mainly drying our clothes after getting drenched outdoors). The guest rooms were on the upper two floors, except for the bedroom and bath just off the library, which were our rooms for the weekend. Between antiques, lovely architectural details, the wild horses, and the beautiful grounds, I found plenty of subjects for my camera. I'd like to come back one day.


Childhood toys

I can picture my childhood room very clearly. The child's hutch painted white, with the top shelves filled with beloved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden and Bobbsey Twins books. The lower cabinet held my overflow stuffed animal menagerie, those that wouldn't fit on my bed. I wasn't much for playing with dolls, but still have the large baby doll I got when I was about 5. Mostly, I wanted stuffed toys, and still have a few of those.

When we got older, my parents gave most of our toys to the church, where they went to the nursery for other children to enjoy. I still have a few things, but lament the passing of our childs Singer sewing machine (for some reason, I have the case), the kitchen with its pots and pans and china tea set, and boxes of doll clothes, mostly made by my mother. I wish I had these precious mementos of childhood.


Instead of a gift exchange...

May I suggest a Christmas cookie exchange? That's what we did for my husband's family get-together this year, instead of drawing names or setting a price limit or getting gifts only for those under 18 years of age. The family is big, we don't really need any new stuff, and there's just something festive and comforting about baking cookies for the holidays.

I set it up like this: everyone who wanted to participate baked 2-3 dozen cookies. We set up a special table for the decorative plates of goodies, and I made cards to identify the varieties, and who baked them. I brought a stack off handle bags, and everyone selected the cookies they wanted to take home. If you brought 3 dozen, you could choose 3 dozen to take. We also brought extras for sampling, which we put on the kitchen island to eat for dessert after dinner.