Monday, July 19, 2010

What I wouldn't give to have an expendable $34.95 right now!

My grandparents used to have one of these Marble Runs (yes, that is a link) at "The Shack", a small cottage-y house up in the western North Carolina mountains Papa and Mama bought as a getaway for their family about half a century ago. And it's still decorated the same as it was back then. In the living room there is a hornets nest hanging from the ceiling and little yellow jackets that my cousin strung up to "fly" around it. There is a rattlesnake skin on the wall that, I think, my uncle killed. There's the stump of a peach tree that grew up in between the front steps from a pit my dad spit over the railing (eventually it had to be cut down). The plates in the vintage metal kitchen cabinet are perfectly mis-matched and I'm pretty sure the Nesquik on the pantry shelves is at least two decades old. There's a pack of cigarettes in the kitchen in case of bee stings and the closets in all three bedrooms are stocked with old robes, various sweatshirts, and jackets which have been worn by just about everybody on my mom's side of the family and have a musty and familiar Shacky smell to them. I remember helping Mama pick blackberries in the woods around the property, which sloped up a mountain, and watching her make jam and cobbler. I remember Papa putterin' in the shed wearing his Chevrolet trucker hat and work gloves. I remember bringing wood down out of the woods to make the fence along the dirt driveway. The Shack is full of memories for me.

I spent hours playing with my cousins, my brother and sister, and by myself plopping marbles down the track and listening to the "clack, whiiiirrr, clack, whiiiiirrr, clack" as it dropped and rolled from level to level. I have looked EVERYWHERE for one of these for Adam (as I believe he will love it as much as I did, you know, when he won't choke on the marbles) and now I have found one! What a perfect first Christmas or birthday present! Depending on whether he is still as obsessed with putting things in his mouth as he is right now, it may be kept safely in a closet until a more suitable age.

Okay, fine.

Maybe I want to play with it, too. So it will be kept in my closet.

Can you picture Adam getting up in the middle of the night, hearing noises from Mommy and Daddy's room, sneaking down the hallway, opening the door, and peeking inside to find us dropping marbles down the track? Talk about scarring.

And the Jew in me is stingy enough to take this opportunity to share a precious keepsake from my childhood with my son and say, "Is it worth $34.95? It is just wood. Is there anyway I could find it for less...or make it?" So now I am in contention with myself.

If you are any kind of woodworker or carpenter send me a message and we may be in business.


erin said...

That is a great toy Liz. I'll bet you could make it. Love love the new header.

Lizzie Brown said...

I just went ahead and got it. Tom told me to.

erin said...

haha, I was just thinking of that today as Noah started stuffing marbles in his mouth that I have in the office.