Tim’s Magic Pencil




journal entry:

Tim’s delightful caricatures and whimsical drawings have blessed our family for as long as he has been able to hold a pencil, or chalk, or a rock, or a piece of charcoal, or a discarded piece of drywall or broken crayons or an almost-dry Sharpie. He was always a little child with vivid dreams and still has tales to tell as a grown-up. Most of his doodles were magical but an occasional spooky Seseme Street character sneaked in sideways, to our delight and his regret.

For five days we celebrated Thanksgiving with our family this year. There were many little hands to keep occupied and unexpectedly, the brown paper-covered tables “saved the day” every day ! The brown paper which is sold on rolls at craft stores is VERY pricey. I bought 2 rolls of brown wrapping paper (which was the same thickness as the expensive kind) at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off, which made them $4 each. Each roll is the exact width of a banquet table with length enough to cover the table many times. We used masking tape to attach the paper.

tim's thanksgiving day drawings1

Tim never did sit alone. His own children swarmed him as did the children of his siblings.

“Draw one of these, Uncle Tim.”

 “Dad, you forgot the cape !”

“He’s scary.”

“He’s not scary . . . make him more scary.”


(Talking numbers before they were colored)


The paper was also covered with stamped shapes and lots of squiggles and doodles.


Over five days, I noticed that there was always someone at the covered tables. The little playroom table was where the small children liked to sit and the banquet table was the hangout for the older children. (We always move the little playroom table into the kitchen for these get-togethers.) We were able to keep our regular table clean for eating, which happened three times a day if everyone was lucky and no one complained.



Helpful Hints

Since it was Thanksgiving, I thrifted a plastic Fisher-Price ship ($2) which I filled with crayons.

(I made a Mayflower sign for the ship.)

I put plenty of drawing stuff on the tables:  washable markers, crayons and colored pencils.

(Only one marker ended up without a lid which must be a record)

Grandpa secured the paper all the way around each table with masking tape.

(Masking tape was kinder to the edges which made it easier to remove intact.)

I sprayed the paper lightly with hairspray to preserve the drawings.

When the paper was dry, I rolled the pieces up and secured them with rubber bands.

(Something I learned from Tim when he was ten)


(Andrew is a chip off of the old block and both he and his dad are lefties)


“It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.”

-Charles Peguy-

(Nothing simpler than brown paper and crayons)

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