“History written in pencil is easily erased, but crayon is forever.”

The other day I needed my sweatshirt. Last night I opened windows. This morning I went out with Henry. He ran in the yard while I stood on the deck watching him and basking in the warm, lovely weather. It is sunny and breezy.

Some days I don’t feel like doing anything. I don’t even make a list. When I was making my coffee earlier, however, I did decide to water my plants, my only exertion for the day. I may have to nap afterwards.

When I was a kid, I liked to color. I’d lie on the rug on my stomach, crayons and coloring book in front of me. The crayons were in a cigar box though they didn’t start out that way. The crayons came in a Crayola yellow and green box. We’d get a new box every year for school. I remember how neat the colors sounded. There wasn’t just blue but there was midnight blue, blue-green, light turquoise blue and so many more. That made choosing the right color a monumental decision. At Christmas we got the biggest box you could buy. One year it came with a built-in sharpener.

The crayons would wear down so we’d rip off the paper. That meant we had no idea what the colors were. They became just green, just red, just orange or just any colors. The cigar box would fill with short crayons. We never threw any away until they became so small we couldn’t use them.

Sometimes we’d color at the kitchen table so we could share the cigar box. My mother would join us. She was amazing. I was blunt with my colors. The sky was blue, hair was usually brown, grass was green and trees had brown trunks and green leaves. My mother shaded her colors. The greens of trees and grasses didn’t look the same although she used the same crayon. I wanted to color just like her, but I didn’t.

I found the white crayon just about useless, but I still used it for clouds and for Santa’s beard, but I couldn’t tell. I’d have to rub my finger across the sky to feel the white.

I still have a box of crayons, but it is inside an anniversary tin, the 90th anniversary. My mother gave it to me many Christmases ago even though I was an adult. The inside box has 64 crayons. It is unopened. I guess that’s the difference between an adult and a kid getting crayons for Christmas.

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9 Comments on ““History written in pencil is easily erased, but crayon is forever.””

  1. hedley Says:

    I am blessed with being left handed. So learning early writing and crayoning skills was somewhat difficult. the demand that we should write in “italics” with a combination of broad and narrow lines left a huge smudgy mess that earned a chastising or a beating – as was the way back then

    As a result, my handwriting looks like something done by a Spider on Coke and is subject to interpretation.

    With regard to crayon skills, I could never stay within the lines and gave up quickly

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      My family is all right handed. Everyone started out that way. I say that because left-handed kids when I was growing up were made to use their right hands. I can imagine that the sleeve of your shirt got dirty as it went across your writing.

      I had to do Palmer Method. It was strange practice with circles and all sorts of designs. My handwriting had a flourish to it.

      Staying in the lines was what we all aspired to. Most of us got to that point.

    • Bob Cohen Says:

      There’s a theory that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. Therefore, only left handed people are in their right minds. 🙂 I’m also a southpaw and was also taught incorrectly how to turn my paper while writing. This results that I curve my hand over my writing which results in smeared pencil lines or ink. Thank goodness for ballpoint pens. My handwriting is even illegible to me if I don’t transcribe it by typing the words into a word processing program within a couple of hours. My fourth grade teacher couldn’t understand why I hated penmanship while forcing us to use a fountain pen. Of course she marked my papers down for lack of neatness. 🙁

      In today’s world penmanship and script is a total waste of time for kids to learn. Printing and keyboard skills are all that is required.

      • katry Says:

        Hi Bob,
        I remember seeing left-handed kids trying to figure out how to get pencil to paper. They’d curve their arms around the paper and looked as if they were writing upside down. I expected your line, ” …only left handed people are in their right minds, ” given you are left handed!! No bias there at all.

        I never had to use a fountain pen. We moved from a pencil to a ball-point pen, but I loved fountain pens and always had one for everything other than school. I think it was in Ghana when I first didn’t have a fountain pen. I used a Bic.

        Kids can’t read an analog watch. They are also not able to read cursive. Those are, I suppose, antiquated skills. I do hope they will never be needed.

  2. Bob Cohen Says:

    There’s a theory that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. Therefore, only left handed people are in their right minds. 🙂 I’m also a southpaw and was taught to turn my paper incorrectly in school resulting curving my hand over my writing causing a mess of my pencil or worse ink lines. 🙁 I hated penmanship class especially when my fourth grade teacher required us to buy fountain pens. What a mess I made and my teacher marked down my grade for smearing the ink. Thank goodness for computers and word processors.

    Penmanship and teaching script is a total waste of time to kids today. If they can print, have keyboard skills and can sign their name they will be prepared for the future.

  3. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    When I was a kid my parents would never buy me the really big box of crayons. We had to make due with the middle size box. My artistic talent was inadvertently stifled by my parents.

    Today was cooler with a high in the upper 70s after the cool front passed by last night.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Christmas wouldn’t have been Christmas without us receiving the biggest available box of crayons.
      That tin I mentioned was given to me one Christmas when I was an adult. My mother, too, was nostalgic.

      The weather stayed amazing and is still warm enough for the windows to be open. I’m loving today.

      • Bob Cohen Says:

        Interestingly, left handed ness is found in about 10% of the population. Among pilots it’s closer to 30%.

      • katry Says:

        I didn’t realize the percentage of left-handed people is so low.


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