Sniffing crayons

World-famous Crayola crayons are manufactured ...

World-famous Crayola crayons are manufactured in Easton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I walk into Walmart and veer over toward the aisles with signs advertising “back to school” sales, I realize, I want school supplies.  I always do at this time of year.  Call me crazy, but I love paper products and I feel like I’m missing out on something.

It’s like a new season; a fresh start to a new year of learning, meeting new people and new teachers and a year to be a better student and classmate.  That is how I always viewed it anyway.

I can smell the crayons and recall the careful searching for just the right box.  In kindergarten, there were the chubby crayons available in limited colors, for little fingers not yet aware of their strength.  Next was the bigger box sporting a few more colors and finally, you graduated to the big box, the one with the sharpener embedded in the back (I remember sharpening them down so small that my mom would tell me I wasn’t going to have anything left to color with).  When you got to these, you’d hit the mother lode of crayons.  The crayon eaters (there was one in every class) seemed especially drawn to these large colorful boxes.

Back when I was in elementary, picking out the wooden (cigar box) or tin crayon box was one of the most painstaking decisions to be made and I will venture to say many mothers must have lost their patience with children like me.

Browsing through the back to school aisles now, although still nostalgic, is not quite so familiar anymore.  I don’t recognize the super heroes and the cartoon-like images look more ghoulish or scary to me than Scooby doo or Superman.  There is also a shelf full of calculators.  My girls had to have these for math class.  I was always taught that I took math for those times when I didn’t have one of these and had to think for myself.  Oh well, math was my least favorite subject and I am eternally grateful that I don’t have to use it often.

I still love the paper aisle.  I just see page after page I can fill.  I am compelled to pick up a couple of cute notebooks for myself so I don’t feel completely left out.  I get a green one and a pink one sporting cute little owls.  This takes me back to Mrs. Green’s class where we wrote for the first 10 minutes of class, honing our writing skills.  There are fond memories there.

Strolling past the pencils conjures up memories of students sharpening pencils when the sharpener hung from the wall.  The kids who couldn’t sit still wanted to sharpen all 24 of theirs every day.  If I were a teacher, that would have got on my last nerve.  I remember the smell of lead and wood shavings to this day.  Then there was the poor boy that leaned too far back in his chair and fell on his pencil, lodging it in his derriere, and requiring medical attention.  We all thought he’d be dead by morning, as our parents had constantly warned us about the dire consequences of lead in our mouths or in our bloodstream.

Then, I see the lunch boxes.  I was never one of the children who used one, but always thought it would be cool.  I suffered though cafeteria food until high school and then we overloaded cars and trucks and went to McDonalds.

In all honesty, I enjoyed school and can summon all kinds of great memories from my time as a student.  Those days are long gone for me and even for my children, but I don’t think an August will ever go by without me waxing nostalgic over school supplies.

I think maybe I’ll go and buy myself a new outfit and some shoes too, in keeping with the spirit of things.

Eyebrows and Toenails

Pedi in Hawaii

Pedi in Hawaii

Today was a day I decided to just meander into town and do whatever I felt like doing, a “me” day, I guess.

After a couple of errands were out of the way, I found myself at the mall which was just beginning to open.  There weren’t many people there and I thought that from now on, early morning is the right time to come to the mall.  The only thing you have to watch out for is all of the elderly walkers who come here to have a safe, indoor environment to move those bodies.  Some of them are fast and you have to get out of their way.

My stop at Sephora was very productive, although a tad costly, but what’s a girl to do without her cosmetics?  I even allowed myself the luxury of letting the girl try some new products on me and got a new “eye look”.  She insisted primer is the key to keep that eye shadow in place.

Next, I stumbled on a huge dress sale, so of course, I had to stop.  After trying on about 10 dresses from the sale racks and one of the latest arrivals, guess which one fit?  Right, the latest arrival, which meant it wasn’t on sale.  But, it was too cute to pass up.

My next to last stop of the day was to redeem the mani-pedi gift certificate one of my daughters gave me for Mother’s Day.  I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but it’s a challenge for me to sit still and relax during this process.  I look at it more as a “necessity”; something you just do, get it over with and feel prettier because of it.  This time, I told myself, I would really try to relax (except for the waxing part as that is impossible!).  I settled in and closed my eyes, the massage chair already doing its thing.

Wouldn’t you know I would be perched near the lady who proceeded to regale everyone within earshot with stories about her and her husband’s feet.  She went on for approximately 20 minutes expressing her angst over her ingrown toenails and telling her friend how she comes to get them “dug out” once a month.  She enlightened us on more than we ever wanted to know about ingrown toenails, her husband’s bunions and a horrific trip she had to the podiatrist who drew blood.

Needless to say, I was glad when it was my turn to go in the back for eyebrow and upper lip waxing.  The pain of that would surely be better than the next topic she would thrill us with.

Finally, I was ready to go.  I got to my car to try to remove some of the gooey, shiny stuff they plaster all over your brows and lip after this process.  When I opened the mirror, I was horrified.  My new “eye look”, was stripped mid-way down from the brow and thanks to the new primer she used, I couldn’t rub what was left around to fill in the huge bare gaps.

At this point, I knew that the only place I could possibly go was Walmart to pick up my last few things, so I hurried through with a prayer that I wouldn’t see anyone I knew.  I saw one, but managed to avoid them.  It was for their benefit as well as mine (so don’t judge people for avoiding you sometimes as you never know the reason, hehe).  I was a puffy, red mess with goofed up eye makeup.

I got through there in record time and made it home undetected and unnoticed for the most part.  I’m feeling much better after a cold wash cloth, a glass of sweet tea and a piece of dark chocolate.  I’m thankful that my toes are still kinda cute, for a while longer anyway.

Frustrating Friday

Traffic lights

What a day!  It seemed like from the moment I left the comforting walls of my humble abode, nothing was going to be easy.

It started with the package my daughter asked me to mail; an odd shaped present for her boyfriend stationed in Texas.  With the proficient help of the postal service, that gift was on its way.

I headed towards town, knowing the traffic would be atrocious, but having no idea how much so.  It was the kind of traffic where you sit through a red light more than once.  My patience was already being tested.

First stop was the bank, where I tried unsuccessfully to get some copies of missing statements for an account that I am a signer on so I could get balanced.  They informed me that I’m not listed on the account, so therefore, they couldn’t help me.  It’s strange, because I’ve been the sole signer of the checks for several years now.  Things that make you go Hmmmm….  They said I could wait for a manager, and I did, but after 30 minutes, I gave that up for another day.

Second stop, auto parts store for my husband.   I hand them the note he thoughtfully penned for me, knowing my lack of knowledge in this particular area.  It wasn’t enough; they needed to know how many axels on the truck?  I said, “Do I look like I know anything about axels?” with a smile of course.  So, I sent a text to the hubby, who was out in the boat.  No answer, because he doesn’t have service….On to next stop.

Things were looking up at the car wash when they advised me I had met the requirement for my free wash.  A few minutes later, I had a shiny, freshly vacuumed ride, and oh, how I love my ride.

I figured I might as well stop at the department store and look around since I was still waiting on that return text.  I was almost tricked into thinking the day was getting a little brighter as I found a few things on sale, until I went to check-out.  The lines were 20 people deep and I am not exaggerating.  I sighed and settled in for the wait.  It’s funny watching people save their spot and get really close to the next person in front of them, like someone is going to take it away.  And some of this was over gaudy baubles and tacky looking (to me anyway) tops.

I finally decided to proceed to the grocery store and head home since it didn’t seem like my husband was going to get in an area where he could respond.  Fast forward thirty minutes and I had fought my way thru the aisles of Walmart like a trooper, weaving my basket in and out of others like a pro, waiting with a smile while people sauntered along in front of me like they didn’t have another thing to do in the world……ever!   I finally reached the register where the young man who took my money waited.  And trust me, other than slinging my stuff in the bags, all he did was take my money.   I got the feeling he was irritated with me for daring to enter his line, and taking up his precious time.  Goodbye, grumpy, young man.

As I was about to reach the car and head for home, for shelter and solace, my husband texted me and said to go back to the parts store.  Translate, fight the traffic again and postpone your much anticipated arrival home.  Of course, when I got there, they didn’t make it easy, but I finally left with the goods.

On the ride home, I managed to find myself behind a huge truck carrying concrete blocks and any time there was a dotted line for the pass, there was oncoming traffic, so I settled in behind him for the 45 mph haul.  At least I was only number 2 in a line of 20.

I finally drove into my little neck of the woods and was abruptly reminded that this is the weekend that we have over 40,000 visitors for the local seafood festival.  Yay, just what this introverted, quiet girl wants to deal with.  Oh well, at least its blog fodder J  Hope your day rocked!

Mitch Teemley

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