Bringing out our inner child

Deb Mullins, of Bear Lake, showed seniors how to make large bubbles at the Manistee Senior Center this week. (Courtesy photo)

Deb Mullins, of Bear Lake, showed seniors how to make large bubbles at the Manistee Senior Center this week. (Courtesy photo)

Bear Lake woman shares bubble-making skills

BEAR LAKE — Deb Mullins’ hobby is as colorful as a rainbow. And it’s a hobby that dances in the slightest breeze, to and fro, up and down.

Sometimes her hobby is just the size of a basketball, but, more often than not, it grows to become 8-foot long, and then 10-foot long and longer.

“I’ve probably made bubbles 12 feet long, maybe 15-feet long,” the Bear Lake woman said with a chuckle.

“I have a blast making bubbles. It’s so fun. Making bubbles brings out the kid in all of us – it certainly brings out the kid in me.”

A retired corrections officer with the State of Michigan, Mullins often finds herself helping the area’s elderly clean their homes.

And, every now and then, after she helps them do that, she breaks out her specially-made big bubble making kit and she does just that – she makes bubbles that seem to go on forever and ever.

With Deb Mullins looking on and offering words of encouragement, Faye Keyes make an over-sized soap bubble. (Courtesy photo)

With Deb Mullins looking on and offering words of encouragement, Faye Keyes make an over-sized soap bubble. (Courtesy photo)

“You start with two cups of Joy liquid soap,” Mullins said. “You mix that with one cup of pure corn syrup, six cups of water, and about five drops of glycerin to give your bubbles elasticity.”

Mullins said those interested in making their own over-sized wand can find directions on YouTube (type in “How to make big bubbles”).

In a nutshell, the wand is made with two long, thick dowels, cotton clothesline that has had its center cord pulled out, a pair of small steel eye-hooks, and a washer that is used as a weight.

“Once you make your wand, and have your bubble-making soaps made, you just go to it,” Mullins said. “It’s really simple to make, and simple to do, but the bubbles you can make are very special – unbelievable.

“They also last longer than other bubbles, too. I live in Bear Lake and I’ve tried – and succeeded – in making bubbles that float all the way out to the golf course, and beyond. It’s pretty amazing.”

Making big bubbles in the parking lot at the Manistee Senior Center this week – Mullins wanted to share what she does with employees, and will return to do the same with others – Mullins

couldn’t help but smile when workers from the center, visitors and even passers-by, approached her to watch what she was doing.

“Like I said, making bubbles brings out the kid in all of us, but making really, really big bubbles like this is even more special,” she said.

“Most people just can’t believe how big and beautiful these bubbles can be. It’s so fun!”

Senior center worker Faye Keyes smiled a smile as big as the bubbles, themselves – or so it seemed – as she watched an enormous bubble she’d just made float away.

“Wow!” was all Keyes could say before she dipped the wand back into the soap, and made another big bubble.

Jeanne Barber, assistant to the executive director at the senior center, also took her turn at making the big bubbles.

“It never ceases to amaze me how many people come to the senior center to share their fun activities,” Barber said.

“I believe it helps keeps all of us young. The activities that our seniors can actually be involved in, hands on, are great. Today’s bubble demonstration was wonderful! It made us laugh, and laughter is good for your soul.”

MAKE YOUR OWN BUBBLES

Bubbles

2 cups Joy liquid soap

1 cup pure corn syrup

6 cups water

5 drops glycerin

Wand

2 long, thick dowels

cotton clothesline with center cord removed

2 small steel eye-hooks

1 washer

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Posted by David L. Barber

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He contributes columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

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