Crayola Days…

…OF BEAUTIFUL MAGENTA AND CORNFLOWER BLUE…

Two Little Fairy Girls In The Autumn Forest - Royalty Free Stock PhotoA door off to my right slammed.  The sound of running feet warned me to STOP –  abrupt in mid-step – just in time to let a small dynamo bundled in coat and scarf dash obliviously past me…out across the street to the gazebo on the green —

“Jacklyn!  Wanna see where Grandma has her club meeting sometimes?” she cried with high-pitch excitement to someone lagging behind her.  “C’mon!”

I grinned at that.  Club meetings.  On summery days, our neighborhood book club gathers in the gazebo.  Just friends using books as an excuse to chat and catch up.  But so important-sounding to this little one…

More feet running, tennies reverberating on the driveway, and a slightly younger child zipping past to meet her. Sisters, I thought…smiling.  Children are a rarity in this neighborhood.  Must be visiting.

“You run that way and stop at the end of the sidewalk,” the first, possibly six years old, directed Jacklyn, maybe four.  “I’ll run to the other end and tell you when to go.”

On their marks at opposite ends leading to the gazebo, they spun around, the older girl calling again.  “Okay… now run towards me!”  But Jacklyn, smart girl, was already on her way there.

“Run, run, run!” they whooped together.  “Hip…hip…hooray!”

boy and girl making word PLAY collage Photo (PVL00458)

Making my third walking loop around our little cul-de-sac, I kept my eye out in case they decided to dart out past me again… their wild exuberant screams piercing the air like the excited whistle of a drum majorette to her cheerleaders… A-tten-tion!

It was clear to me which one thought she was in charge.    

Two Young Girls - Royalty Free Stock PhotoNo, no, Jacklyn – don’t go that way.  It’s best to do it this way — see?”                                                                                                  “Let’s play like we’re having tea here in the meeting area…”                                                                                               “Here – you run this way and I’ll go that way – Look out before you cross the street… “

Little stage director, I thought, chuckling and almost wishing the younger one would speak up…

But something in their voices just then melded into echoes from my own Grandma-visit days. And I could hear the calling of two other little girls…see again the old hacienda-style white adobe home with its Spanish tiled roof … almost smell the overflowing magenta bougainvillea pouring out by the sun-dappled portico entrance. The fuchsia plants that hung like tiny red and pink and purple bells, just inviting us to pop them!  And leaf patterns dancing on the walls like music for our days…

Ah, that lovely house.  How Grandma had cried when the state told them they had to sell and move to make way for a freeway.  How I hated to leave it behind…to only a memory.

I loved running my fingers on the outside walls that felt like soft chalk – how it even left a powdery feel on my fingers.

Two sisters draw on the album. - Royalty Free Stock PhotoI loved running, running all around that yard… calling to my little sister.  Up and down the hilly front lawn that seemed so BIG to our little selves.

Setting up our dolls for picnics. Coloring pictures, making plans.  Always directing.  I was the one who got the kick out of devising the plays. She loved dressing up for the parts. “Here, this is what you should say…” I’d script the play for her. Then, “Let’s call Grandma and Papa out to watch,” when we were ready.

Laughter and childish voices echoing —

“Jacklyn, we can’t go in that way!” big sister was calling now.  Explaining that Grandma liked them to go inside through the garage, not through the front door.  But trying to keep her little sis outside just a little longer.

I was you, once… I thought, softly.

You still are – to Me… a loving Voice spoke…gently… into my thoughts.

I lifted up my face to the sun peeking out from a cornflower blue patch in the clouds.  Leaned in to listen.

Run with joy, my child…

I need their kind of energy, I thought.

The joy of the Lord is your strength…  I will renew your youth like the eagle’s…

Mmm…  Yes, the shouts and play of little ones have been ringing like bells across my neighborhood this week.  But this morning as I walked, all was quiet.  Just cardinals and robins, finches and sparrows singing out ecstasy at the unexpected spring weather.  I thought again of Jacklyn and her sister as I rounded the loop to their Grandma’s house… of how like sweet doll houses our cottages look around here, and what special memories they will treasure of these days…

Rainbow colors splashed on the sidewalk caught my eye just then.  I grinned.  Chalk jumping-games of old, scrawled there, cheery colors slightly running together from the morning dew, like melting crayons spelling out “We were here!”… a little remembrance of London Bridges joy.

And a reminder.

We’re never too old to skip and sing for joy. 

©  Pam Depoyan

- - Royalty Free Stock Photo

Got a “skipping” song on your heart?

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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4 Responses to Crayola Days…

  1. Such a vivid and joyful recollection of childhood days, as triggered by those children. So beautiful to recall those treasured memories. I like the title Crayola Days. I reminds me of my own childhood. We were three girls, I was the middle child, yet I felt older than my big sister. She was always sickly, while our little one was four years my junior. I always favored the youngest and drawn to protect her. Sibling rivalry was always between the two. You can find me at a corner, reading a book while the two would battle over something. When mom overhears a cry from our youngest, she would come and gave us little pinches, I included, to my surprise. I complained that I was not a party of the war, but she said, we needed a scolding equally. Wow!

    I rationalized that I was at wrong, in not standing above them to settle their dispute. That made me decide I will be the director next time.

    Thanks for this beautiful post, Pam…… making me look back at the past, which is now covered with dust in the remote parts of my memory.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, Lolita. I was the middle child too, but the oldest girl. Thanks for sharing your memories of your own crayola days. 🙂

  3. From:
    “Diane Ronzino”

    Pam, I left a message three times on your blog. It won’t take it.

    Here was my comment:

    Precious, Pam. You brought me right there with you.

    I’m so sorry about your Grandma’s house. That is terrible.

    At my last writer’s workshop one of the women asked if any of us could remember jump rope songs. None of the women could. The two men both remembered a bunch of them. Isn’t that funny? They probably had sisters. I’ve been singing London Bridges for a week now!

    • Thanks, Diane. Yes, it was hard for my Grandma to give up a home she loved, but they did find another one that was perfect for them… She loved growing her flowers and both places had wonderful gardens.

      Yes, that is funny about men remembering skipping songs! 🙂 Keep that child song in your heart 🙂

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