Monday, August 31, 2015

A Pencil Case Full of Chubby Crayons

When recently walking down a certain aisle of a discount store, I found myself drawn to all the school supplies filling the shelves. Signs shouting special pricing-great deals-hurry while supplies last-were everywhere as were children with parents obviously immersed in Back to School shopping. And there I was-still infatuated by all those products just as I used to be when I was the one taken to the store to shop for Back to School. When it was me, it was never the clothes or shoes that interested me. It was always the pencils-the erasers and glue and paper and scissors and notepads and folders. All those aromas of all those things coming together was exciting to me. Besides going back to school, it meant spending even more time at my desk in my bedroom-writing-drawing-creating whenever I could.

Back then there were no official discount stores. We had a Newberry's and a Woolworths. They sat side by side in our downtown. Everyone would go from one to the other when doing Back to School shopping. Both had soda fountains. Both had lots of school supplies. Newberry's even had an escalator!

There was only one item that I took my time in choosing from all those others on the shelves. And that was a pencil case. I loved pencil cases. I loved them all. Some had zippers-some had drawers. The drawers were fun to fill with crayons and erasers. I had so many erasers. Some were pink and some were gray. The pink tasted the best! Some pencil cases had a plastic ruler on top that you'd slide downward to get your pencils sitting inside. I had a few of those. My very most favorite pencil case ever belonged to a friend when I was in kindergarten. It had all sorts of drawers full of chubby crayons. My friend always used his own crayons when we did projects. The rest of us used school crayons filling a box that sat in the middle of the table. I remember thinking how lucky that boy was with all those drawers and all those crayons. Even now-whenever I see him-I think of that amazing pencil case with so many drawers and chubby crayons that were the envy of a kindergarten class in a neighborhood school so long ago.

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