C is for Crayon basket. Third of twenty-six posts in the April 2017 Blogging From A to Z Challenge on the theme “Whispering Chimneys: My Altamont childhood” — where my genealogy journey began. Wish me luck!
Today’s coloring craze is all about taking time out with a meditative practice that sparks creativity.
Thanks to the crayon basket and my babysitter Lois, I took a deep dive into this practice at about age six.
I’m not sure where the crayon basket came from. Maybe it was an old Easter basket that became too small for a growing toddler — or possibly it once held one of my grandmother’s African violets.
But I still remember its tight wicker weave, gingham lining and small handle — easy for a child to carry — and the wonderful waxy smell of well-used crayons.
Crayons of last resort
When other forms of entertainment failed, my parents or maternal grandparents — who lived with us — would turn to the crayon basket and coloring books. And when they went out, my babysitter Lois showed me how coloring should be done.
Lois lived with her mom in a house on triangle of land where two roads intersected. We passed her enchanted abode — green with vines and shadowed by trees — on our weekly Sunday drives to St. Madeline Sophie Church.
Sometimes I rode along when my grandmother picked Lois up — always happy that she was coming to babysit. Lois was quiet and unassuming with a touch of gray in her hair. Best of all, she colored like a true artist!
Coloring master class
“Let’s get the crayon basket,” were the magic words that transformed me from a raucous youngster to a rapt pupil as Lois thoughtfully selected her coloring book page and began.
When I colored, the crayon lines showed or I had spots that were darker than the rest. But not Lois.
She slowly and patiently filled in each space with completely even swaths of color — never a waxy buildup, never a stray mark outside the lines, never a section missed.
“How do you do that?” I’d ask her, eager to learn the technique.
“Watch carefully,” Lois would reply, her mesmerizing hand moving back and forth — evenly distributing the flawless color and teaching me how it was done.
Up next: D is for Dandelion wine: An ancestral brew. Please stop back!
© 2017 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.