Some of my best childhood memories involve ships. For 30 years, dad worked in a shipyard, building aircraft carriers.
Since almost all my friends’ fathers worked in the shipyard, I was not impressed with the importance of daddy’s job. In my limited view of life, I just assumed most men worked in shipyards somewhere.
Dads exited the Shipyard gates as the 4 o’clock whistle sounded – arrived home by 4:30, and ate supper at 5. By 5:30, all the children in Newport News, VA were out chasing lightning bugs or tying strings around the delicate legs of June bugs watching them fly til the sad, mid-flight amputation of their thread-like leg.
I do not know if that’s how PETA got it’s start but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Daddy worked on only one luxury passenger ship, the USS United States. It was built to capture the trans-Atlantic speed record, which it did and still holds the record today.
Finally, the big day for the ship’s christening! Thousands were expected to witness the smacking of the champagne bottle against the starboard side.
But I did not want to go.
I had just received a brand new box of 64 pointed crayons. Happy names like Periwinkle, Lemon Yellow, Magenta, and Carnation Pink stirred my creativity, unlike the dreaded, ugly Burnt Sienna.
I begged my parents to let me stay with my friend Ruby Ann and color. Daddy finally relented. “You may stay and color. Your mother and I will attend the christening.” I can still hear the disappointment in Daddy’s voice. I can still see his sagging shoulders.
I look back now with utter shame at my selfishness.
I had been lost in the colorful world of crayons although within a week they were “pointless” and worn down. About 22 of them were still at Ruby Ann’s house and another 10 were under the couch — or under foot. The remaining 32 had lost their appeal.
How often in my adult life, my Heavenly Father has an exciting, colorful day planned — something He has been working on a while to enjoy with me – and I’ve “clung to my crayons”.
His heart is sad. Perhaps even disappointed.
And my heart becomes like Burnt Sienna.