The Crayon. Certainly you've been familiar with this most basic of artistic tools since childhood. I vividly remember the annual late summer trip, grade specific list in hand, to the drug store for school supplies. It seemed as if Crayola Crayons were thought of as the top of the line. Other brands were available but less desirable, or so we thought. It must have been peer pressure. Most often the teacher recommended the box of 8, your starter set with red, yellow, blue, green, brown, orange, violet and black. Maybe Mom and Dad would splurge for the box of 16 which only slightly broadened our artistic pallets. As we got older the box of 24 gave us yet even more colors, and 48 took us to the next level of creativity. In my youth many of us coveted the box of 64! Not only a wider array of color choices but, a built-in sharpener! Later came boxes of 96, 120 and 152. It took a box of 16 for you to get a white and pink crayons. In the box of 24 came scarlet and gray (Go Bucks!). Get 48 crayons and one would be one of my favorite colors Burnt Sienna. Burnt Orange, another personal favorite, showed up in the box of 64.
To keep up with the times and as an effective marketing tool, new colors with fancier names were developed. You can now color your baby chick in Mac & Cheese Yellow, or a pretty flower in Denim or perhaps Jazzberry Jam. I'm quite fond of the color names Electric Lime, Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown, and Razzmatazz. There seems to be a color for whatever mood you're in. As a parent, then grandparent, I love watching as the kids let their imaginations run wild and maybe color a face blue, or hair orange. Coloring within the lines, early on, is optional and is only enforced when teachers and grades get involved. Completely coloring every space in the coloring book is totally optional when you are young,too. Sometimes just a scribble will suffice, then on to the next page. That's one great thing about crayons. There are no rules. Well except for one: Try not to break them. Even then it's not "game over". Just peel back the wrapper and keep coloring! Hey, that should be a slogan for stress releaf and coping with this world today. "When the world breaks your crayon just peel back the wrapper and keep coloring!" Remember you heard it here first!