writing for children

Ketchup and Crayons…

Ketchup isn’t really my thing. I think it’s too “swangy”. You know, sweet+tangy. Swangy. I don’t like to smell it. I don’t like to dip my fries in it. It’s just not my thing. My husband knows how to use it in spaghetti sauce – but that’s the only way I like it.

Then there’s crayons…crayola to be exact. I love to smell ’em. I love to use ’em. There’s nothing like opening a box of 24 crayola crayons and taking in that unmistakeable aroma. I could sit and color for days. I love to trace the picture first, then color inside the lines with lighter strokes.

Smelling the crayons and coloring takes me back to a place that is sweet – but not swangy. It takes me to a place of peace. Breaking out the crayons takes me to a place of “ahhhhh…”

Now you’re probably wondering what Ketchup and crayons have to do with each other.

Really…nothing at all. Not for most people, anyway.

But I’ve been playing a lot of “catch-up” lately. And I don’t like that kind of “catch-up” anymore than I like the other “ketchup”.

We’ve had so much going on. We’ve been on vacation (which was fabulous), but we’ve also been readying for our end of year testing and trying to get all our ducks in a row for everything else we do on a daily basis. Life has felt far too hurried.

It’s all settling down now.

We are getting it all together.

My house is in order (gasp!), my kids are back on schedule (for the most part) and I’m getting caught up with my critique groups.

I think it’s time to pull out a coloring book, a box of 24 and breath in the “ahhhh…”


9 thoughts on “Ketchup and Crayons…

  1. Oh, it’s a wonderful feeling when you are catching up …. Spring is a busy season for us as well, and I simply have to let go of anything that is not essential. Baseball rules. I am completely unathletic and yet I have baseball stories swirling in my head. That’s a sign … too much baseball already.

    But Donna, I am shocked. Not like ketchup. I love the stuff. It was given to me in extremely limited quantities while I was growing up. Something like one teeny bottle per year. Very expensive stuff. Now, I indulge in ketchup when we have eggs, or burgers. I even waste it. I don’t feel like I have to lick every drop of it.

    Funny how memory works. I think smells are very evocative. They target those primal centers in your brain. I didn’t even have colored pencils as a child, let alone crayons. We had fountain pens (one per year) and black-lead pencils (a dozen per year). My mother did not limit the ink. It was blue. I still love the smell of ink and I do all my freewriting with a fountain pen.

    Oh, man, I can’t wait for school to be done and be lazy and do my own catching up.


    1. Vijaya,

      One day I want to just sit and talk to you in person. You have such a rich witness to share. I want to soak it all in!

      I love the smell of ink, too. There is something about writing with a pencil or pen that evokes a level of creativity that I don’t always access when I’m typing. Not necessarily a better level, just a differt level. Ya know?

      I know it’s a horrible tragedy for me to dislike ketchup. It’s terrible, really. Especially as I am from the south and everyone loves ketchup. Except for me. 🙂

      I like to dip my fries in mustard or homemade ranch dressing.

      Weirdness fits me like a glove. 😉


  2. Donna,

    This is a cool post. What an unexpected combination, but one that makes total sense. Salt spray is a smell I don’t really like but it always brings back good memories. Now figure that one out.

    I’m glad things are settling down for you and your family. I am looking forward to the school year’s end and a little more time to write, write, write.

    Linda A.


    1. I understand about the salt spray! The smell of the beach always makes me smile, though I don’t really love going to the beach. I’m more of a mountain gal.

      BTW – I’d love for you to share your big news here! I’m so proud of you!


  3. Welcome home, good buddy. I’m glad you can feel yourself catching up. I hate that game–catch up. I like everything planned and arranged ahead of time!

    BTW-what do you eat on your fries? Don’t tell me you’re one of those malt vinegar people.



  4. Oh, that feeling is the best, isn’t it? Unfortunately for me it doesn’t last long enough. About the time I get my “ahhhh moment” either the cat pukes up a hairball or my son discovers what happens when you wash reds with whites in hot water. But I agree, a box of Crayola smells fantastic!


    1. HAH! You crack me up, girl! I know what you mean about not enough time in the “ahhhh moment”. I have many, many pink sets of undies…that were originally white. Unfortunately, so does my husband. 😉


  5. I love the smell of new crayons!
    And I LOVE ketchup. Our family uses a HUGE bottle of ketchup a month. (My husband refuses to put ketchup on his hot dogs though. He says that is not a Chicago dog 🙂 But I do and lots of it!


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