Friday, September 9, 2016

The Old Fashioned Typewriter

Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 253: Today, I am grateful the humble typewriter...the computer's ancestor.  

I had never touched a typewriter until I took typing in high school. I was terrible at it. My teacher, one day in her discouragement at my progress said in frustration - "Valerie, you have got to stop playing that typewriter like a piano.". I remember the tears I barely held back.  I was frustrated, too.  I had been playing piano since I was four-years-old. Both typewriter and piano had "keys". One was my best friend... the other was apparently going to be my nemesis and the blemish on my academic record. As much as I loved words... and writing... typing was not my gift. 

I look back now and laugh. I type fairly well... and don't look at the keys. While working in college, I purchased two things with my hard earned waitressing money. A 35mm Vivitar camera and a Brother typewriter with a about a 35 word memory (just enough to let me correct mistakes before having to correct and redo). I still love writing and photography. 

Last night, I was in Peoria and made a rare trip to Michael's. In the scrapbooking/paper crafting area, they had an old fashioned typewriter.  What is old has become new. It was right around the corner from the "new" Polaroid style instant cameras. Both, require no printer.  That is... well... a novelty. Crack me up! What was once old and tired... is now somewhat of a wonder and wonderful. 

Now that I have known the joy of writing at a computer, I wouldn't want to do any major writing at an old typewriter, but I could do some fun crafting with the one I saw. Some things can't be run through a printer and old fashioned typewriters will practically type on anything flat enough to fit in the roller. The QWERTY keyboard is familiar on both. The computer has a few more buttons, bells and whistles. 

The old fashioned typewriter is a part of "the story" that brings us to today's modern writing conveniences.  We used to write papers... on paper. And then hope they met the typed requirements when they were typed.  My girl friend Susan typed papers for me - but then I practiced and by the end of my college days, I was typing papers for Randy. Today, it is so easy to write, save, rewrite, delete, etc. This is certainly a "when I was your age" comparison opportunity. 

I love the written word. Writing things down helps us keep our memories and tell our stories... even if we are the only ones who ever read them. One of my new favorite verses comes to mind again:

And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. -Habakuk 2:2

The old fashioned typewriter...humble as it was... was modern stuff compared to stone tablets and parchment papers. We have the luxury of writing things down with ease. When we write it... we tend to remember it better. The Lord made Moses write his instructions. The physical act or writing is part of the learning. After the typewriter...I think the Post-it note was the next thing that has inspired us to write our thoughts down. 

Today, I lam smiling that what it "old" is "new" again. Time makes things written down more precious. Loss makes them priceless. The typewriter put a new opportunity in the hands of the ordinary people. 

Today, I am grateful the humble typewriter...the computer's ancestor. 

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