I’m really not sure why this memory recently came back to me. It might have been while thinking about how we entertained ourselves as kids. No phones, internet, Netflix, TikTok, or game systems. How about this: melting crayons.
So I had this Tensor high intensity lamp my parents bought me for the desk in my bedroom. I did plenty of homework under that lamp. Let me tell you, the descriptor high intensity was appropriate. It got hot under that lamp. It was perfect for melting crayons.
I’m not entirely sure when I had that revelation. It might have been after making stained glass windows by ironing crayon shavings between pieces of waxed paper in Sunday School. Or the wax you melted on a letter and impressed your initial into it kit that was popular back then. I was fascinate to hold a crayon as close as you possibly could to the bulb of a high intensity lamb, without touching it, of course, and watching the wax melt.
I began dripping melted wax onto a piece of ruled note book paper and slowly but surely creating a volcanic mountain. Then I would drip enough crayon for the bottom of the mountain and then drip a gold, silver or copper crayon (they were in the coveted Crayola 64 pack, remember?) into the middle. You could then cover the precious metal crayons with browns and greens. Now you had a vein of ore running through the mountain, which you could mine with the pointy end of your compass you bought to draw circles with at school. You could also bore through your wax mountain with a beam of light focused through a magnifying glass. If I got too close and touched the lamp bulb to the crayon, a gentle wisp of smoke floated into the room, with the smell of burnt wax.
I have no idea why this was so much fun and so time consuming. But these moments vividly resurface anytime I sit down to color with my grandchildren. And then I took them to the Crayola Experience in Dallas, TX. I watched as they melted crayons to make small toys to take home. I believe I enjoyed it more than they did!
Am I the only one who ever did this?