Posted tagged ‘crayons’

“I hope nobody took the Razzle Dazzle Rose.”

September 25, 2015

Fall weather has taken hold. The days are sunny and warm while the nights are chilly, even cold. I put on a sweatshirt when I woke up this morning. The house was 67˚. If this were winter, my heat would be blasting. I have errands today, and I’m glad because it is a lovely day to be out and about.

When I was young, the nun would pass out papers with outlines of leaves for us to color. In those days the points of the crayons got blunt which make staying in the lines difficult. You had to attack the leaf with the side of the crayon, not where the point used to be. My leaves were red and yellow. I think everyone’s leaves were red and yellow. I remember carrying my treasure home and how proud I was of my art work. I especially remember how much my mother loved those leaves. She made me feel like a real artist and never did mention I went out of the lines.

Crayola crayons were the best of all. I’d get a box to go back to school and a bigger box, the wonderful 48 brilliant colors with the built in sharpener, in my Christmas stocking. When I was really young, I just called the colors red, blue or green. To differentiate, I’d just say light blue or dark red. I didn’t know names like cerulean or turquoise blue. Raw sienna totally threw me. There were so many reds you couldn’t keep track. Light red, dark red and just plain red weren’t enough. There was brick red and Indian red and maroon, my dark red’s real name.

I had a certain artistic style. The yellow sun always had rays coming out from the whole circle. Girls had turned up hair and boys just had a little on the top. Their hair was always brown. I’d put a skirt on the girls which looked liked a funnel. The boys just had stick legs. I don’t know why I didn’t add pants. My flowers were petals of different colors and each had a long green stem coming from the green grass. The trees had bare branches and were almost stick figures.

I never did get good at drawing. I suspect that if I were given a 64 pack of crayons, I’d start with a bright yellow sun with rays extending from the whole circle. It wouldn’t be lemon yellow or green yellow or orange yellow. Nope, mine would just be plain old yellow.

“On cable TV they have a weather channel — 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window.”

August 9, 2015

Today is chilly and damp, the sort of day when being inside the house is like wrapping a blanket around you. The house is dark, but I haven’t turned on any lights. I don’t mind the darkness. When I was a kid, this was a favorite kind of day. I’d lie in bed with the lamp on, the one which hung on the headboard, and read. I was never bothered as the TV drew all the attention, and anybody coming upstairs was heading to the bathroom and pretty much ignored me. I have nothing I need to do today so I won’t even get dressed. I will read away the day.

I was part of an easily amused generation when I was growing up. We didn’t have electronics or computers or cell phones. Board games were the best fun. We’d sit on the rug in the living room, set up the game and play all afternoon. The only movement in the game came when I’d move a man around the board. We’d play cards, even war which is about the dullest of all card games. Slap Jack was fun because you got to whack a faster player’s hand. We played Crazy Eights and Steal the Old Man’s Pack. I always thought that was a neat name for a card game and wondered why it was an old man, maybe because we already had Old Maid.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table coloring. The crayons were all different sizes. Some were full size but many were stubs worn down by use. I had to guess the colors of those as the paper had been torn off as the crayon was shortened. The older I got the better I got at coloring. I learned how to shade the colors, to apply the crayons lightly. Every Christmas I always got a new coloring book and new crayons. The books were mostly Christmas scenes and red, green and brown got a lot of use.

We did get bored sometimes stuck in the house as we were on some rainy days. I remember my mother going crazy when we moaned and groaned about nothing to do. She was expected to keep us entertained. I guess we always thought of her as the house cruise director. She was never honored by the title.

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”

November 22, 2014

It might as well be spring. Okay, a slight exaggeration here but today will be 47˚ and Monday may hit 60˚.  Right now it is sunny and a strong wind is whipping the trunks and leaves of the pine trees in the backyard. I had a really late start this morning as it was a mirror test morning. I didn’t even go upstairs to bed until three and slept fitfully. When I woke up, Fern and Gracie were deep asleep, each on one side of me. They seemed to have slept well.

My delay was further complicated when my computer went wanky, and I could only open Safari with that looping message about a security issue and could go no further. Luckily my iPad was handy, and I found the fix, a simple one.

Staying inside in the winter when I was a kid was usually make your own fun. The TV didn’t have programming until the early evening and then when I was a bit older the late afternoon so sitting and watching was not even a choice. One of our favorite ways to while away the time was playing board games. We’d set the game up on the living room rug and sit around it to play. Sorry was our favorite. Vengeance made the game more exciting, and we yapped back and forth after sending our opponent’s man back to start. That yapping would now be called trash talk. Often the game ended because one of us would get mad and start yelling then the other one would yell back so my mother would yell from the kitchen and tell us to put the game away. That was another argument. Who was going to put the game away?

Boy and girl roles were quite definite when I was a little. Coloring was for girls. I remember afternoons spent sitting at the kitchen table with all my crayons arrayed in front of me so I could choose the exact color to fill in the drawing. The crayons were all sizes, some whole, some mere stubs. The paper had been torn off each crayon as it got smaller so we never remembered the name of the color. We all wanted to color like my mother who shaded the colors like an artist might.

Spending the afternoon reading was always a joy for me. I was a library devotee. I’d take out as many books as I was allowed. I think it was three or four. Quiet spots were hard to come by in my house, but I’d manage. Getting lost in a book was about my favorite thing.

Today I am going nowhere. I think I might not even get dressed. On my table are some catalogues and a book. I’ll do Christmas shopping while watching some Christmas movie then I’ll get comfy and read. I’m thinking that sounds like the best way to spend an afternoon.

“…that lightning bolt was mine”

August 8, 2014

My sanity is still in question. I think I look like Barbara Bush with my eyes bulging out of my head. Yesterday a trip which takes at most an hour and a half took three and a half hours. On a normal ride home, I would have zipped through Boston on down to the bridge, but yesterday it took me over and hour and a half just to get out of Boston and not even far out of the city at that. I had to stop for gas and a bathroom break, an unplanned stop as I had expected to be home well before I needed either of those. My friend Tony came to the house twice to let Miss Gracie out and on the second trip he fed her dinner. I, in the meanwhile, was a crazy woman sitting in the car going nowhere.

As I was sitting in traffic I could see lightning bolts coming from dark clouds ahead. They looked like the sort I used to draw with black crayons when I was a kid. They had edges and angles. I liked watching the lightning especially because it was ahead of me. Come to find out, weather was ahead of me the whole time so I missed it all. The cape had torrential downpours and hail. When I got home, my lawn still had snow, and it was cold out, in the high 50’s. Luckily Tony had closed my windows so I avoided a flood. The road wasn’t as lucky. One spot had water covering the road and up and over the sidewalks. I saw the lake ahead of time and slowed down, but a car coming the other way didn’t, and I was blinded for a bit by the water spray from the car as it sped through. I checked my rear view and the car was dead on the side of the road, probably from a soaked engine. I left him behind, turned the corner and another corner and I, both grumpy and exhausted, was finally home.

Today is lovely with no humidity, lots of sun and a temperature in the low 70’s. I figure Mother Nature is trying to make up for yesterday. I’ll take her apology.

“Coloring outside the lines is a fine art. “

November 18, 2013

I am not in favor of busy mornings. Today was a busy morning. It was all medical, scheduled stuff, which took over two hours. I am glad to be home. Slippers are back on as are my comfy clothes. I am done doing for the day.

61˚ here right now. The sun was here earlier hiding behind a cloud. It comes and goes. The sky is blue in spots and white cloudy in other spots. The day is a nice one. Chillier weather starts tomorrow.

We used to color a lot when I was in elementary school. This time of year it was turkeys and cornucopias though I had no idea that’s what they were called. The classroom was quiet when we colored. It took concentration to stay inside the lines especially if the crayons had dulled. I always tried to do the best coloring I could knowing my pictures were destined for the refrigerator art gallery. My nephews gave me some of their colored turkeys. I put them on my fridge art gallery every Thanksgiving. The pictures are from their pre-school days when lines were arbitrary.

Soon enough I’ll pull out my old wooden nut bowl with the silver nutcracker and silver picks for pulling the meat from the shells. My mother always put her nut bowl out before thanksgiving. We used to open the nuts while we watched the parade. I remember shells flying and a pile of them on the table. I liked Brazil nuts. Walnuts were too dry.

“My childhood smells like a box of Crayola crayons.”

October 19, 2010

‘Tis a dreary day, cloudy and still. Last night was cold and some of it has lingered into the morning. Gracie’s coat feels chilly when she comes inside the house. Weekdays are quiet in my neighborhood.

My crayons were kept in a cigar box. The inside top and sides of the box were a panoply of colors. My crayons ranged from full size to barely big enough to hold. I never threw crayons away. I just couldn’t. I’d tear off the paper as they got smaller and smaller and then choose by hue rather than name. Every Christmas we’d find a familiar green and yellow box in our stockings. Nothing but Crayola Crayons would do. Any others were mere imitators. I liked it when the box came with a sharpener. Crayons with points made it easier to stay in the lines. I always thought white was a wasted color. I couldn’t see it on the coloring book page, and I had to run my finger over the spot to feel the crayon marks. The Christmas coloring books always had lots of pages of Santa with his white beard and his red suit trimmed in white, and I’d use my white crayon for the sake of my art.

By the time my Christmas crayons had become mere stubs, I’d get a new box in my Easter basket. Easter coloring books were my favorites. The eggs could be one or even multi-colored. The Easter Rabbit always wore a short jacket and most times I’d color it blue. I think the reason was the Peter Rabbit influence.

The biggest box of Crayola crayons was 64 when I was a kid. It had neat colors like forest green and, one of my personal favorites, raw umber, which no longer exists in a crayon box. Legions of kids will no longer know the color of umber.

I have some sets of crayons. One is a commemorative set of all the colors, including those retired over time. Raw umber is there along with lemon yellow and maize. That box is a keepsake, a piece of my childhood.

For Halloween this year, I am giving out boxes of crayons. I never give out candy; kids get enough of it everywhere else. The box is a small one with just five crayons, but five colors are enough to fill in just about any page in a coloring book.