My most cherished gift this Christmas wasn't really a gift at all.
I recieved my Grandpa's old type-writer on account of the fact that after many years at their current house, they have bought and are in the process of moving into Wrinkletown, which is my affectionate name for Trillium Village, the old folks housing in town. I have always had a passion for creative writing, and there is something really cool about typing on typewriters. My Grandpa's typewriter was one of those kinds where you can see the letter hit the peice of paper and the ink strip leaving a mark. It's really very cool.
I have really wanted this typewriter for about as long as I knew it existed. Its so much for fun to write a story on a typewriter, and the sound it makes is so much more the sound of creation, than the noise of a keyboard.
Perhaps it is the fact that computers and keyboards have always been associated with homework assignments for me. The first time I ever used a keyboard was at school, in a computer lab with some of those 256 mb hard drives..and the cute little ink blue screens, with the one wordprocessing program and packman..because that's all the harddrive could hold. The very first time I used a keyboard, I was trying to type up a homework assignment in grade 2. My spelling was notoriously horrible, and my sentences were generally weak. But I was in grade 2, so really, what can you expect?
But this typewriter.
This typewriter has so much history. And not just from what I know of it.
I remember my sister and I used to type up letters to Grandpa and Grandma on that typewriter after school on Mondays. We would sit in the basement and giggle, while Grandma was upstairs making supper. Mondays were our favourites. Mondays were the days we went there because Mom and Dad both worked. In the mornings we would have oatmeal with sugar and milk on it, and pulpy orange juice (which I never liked) and toast with Grandma's homemade jams..strawberry Rhubarb and Marmelaide. And sometimes she would have those really dry Dutch round bread toast things..they tasted good with the jam too.
Grandma would usually then clean up the dishes and Kristen and I would go upstairs and brush our teeth and hide all the multi-coloured soaps that she had in the towels and under the sink. Then we would go to school.
Grandpa would pick us up after school and we would have tea and cookies when we got home. I remember one afternoon, we taught Grandpa and Grandma how to do Long Division. To heck if I can still do that stuff, but it was fun at the time. And then, after homework at the kitchen table, we would watch the Sound of Music, or Anne of Green Gables, eat carrots and celery sticks, and crochet one single line of wool. Usually just to see if we could get it long enough to fit from one end of the house, all the way up 2 flights of stairs to the closet door at the end of the hallway.
The best days were the ones when you were too sick to go to school. You would get to stay at Grandma's and have soup, and watch TVO kids all day. It was the best.
I think that the typewriter represents all those years at Grandpa and Grandmas. The house they are moving out of is the only one all of the grandkids have known. My being the oldest and all, I have the most memories of this house, and perhaps one of the biggest attachments to it. I have so many stories of that house. So many fun times with Grandpa and Grandma. Now that they are moving, its nostalgic.
When I find some fresh ribbon for the typewriter, I might just compose a list of stories of all the times I had at the Grandparents' house. All of them. Perhaps, too, this typewriter is a little peice of my past, of that house, of that time in my life, that I won't ever have to let go.