periwinkle, thistle, and burnt sienna: my favorite crayons

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Periwinkle, Thistle and Burnt Sienna were my favorite crayons. In my coloring days (which I miss madly) I remember these colors the most. Where did these names come from?

Periwinkle
Who looked at the dusty blue color and said, “Periwinkle! That’s it!” Maybe the crayon namer had a friend called Perry Winkle, who knows?

Thistle
Just look at it and relax. It’s a pinkish-lavender color named after the plant. And I’m all for naming stuff after plants. We named our oldest daughter Holly after the berry that decorates the halls at Christmas. And she better be glad, because I could have named her Thistle.

Burnt Sienna
Since sienna is already brown, I’m not sure why they had to add “burnt” to it. It’s a given like when I bake fish sticks. They always come out burnt but I don’t call them Burnt Fish Sticks. They’re just fish sticks in our house.

To add to the confusion, I drive a Toyota Sienna. But it’s gray. Perhaps if Toyota called it Gray Slate it’d make sense.

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back when we didn’t have to wear sunblock

Rhinestone Cowboy (album)

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My favorite summer memory was the year our family took a camper down to visit my Uncle Grant in Melbourne, Florida. This was in the mid-70s when we could listen to the AM radio station WLS from Wisconsin to Florida, so we never had to change the dial. It seemed the only two songs in rotation were Abba‘s “Dancing Queen” and Glen Campbell‘s “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

We didn’t have to stay buckled in so we rode on the top bed of the camper for a bird’s-eye view of our road trip. When we got to Florida we visited the ocean for the first time. There was no such thing as sun block with SPF 50 back then. When we visited Disney World that evening I was miserable and dehydrated. I lay on a shag carpet that night just to get some relief.

Some days it rained at the beach so back up to the top of the camper we went to entertain ourselves. My brother Charlie pointed out a little bird that ran back and forth from the waves and narrated this bird’s misadventures. We dissolved into a fit of giggles, all sun burnt and full of Florida orange juice.

grandma moses: the important thing is keeping busy

What I like the most about my job is that I’m just embarking on it. I’m beginning my freelance writing career by taking Article Writing and “How to Freelance” through Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

I graduated with a BA in English nearly 20 years ago. Whenever someone needs an example of an artist who started later in life, they pick Grandma Moses. I’m no exception: “Painting’s not important. The important thing is keeping busy.”

Yeah. What she said.

Here’s another great example: An 82-year-old teacher gets her first book published. So if I’m going to keep up with this woman, I got a good 40 years to do so.