Monday, February 1, 2016

My Type of Surprise!

Keli Gwyn here to talk about unexpected gifts.

As I entered the lobby on a sunny Sunday morning early in the new year, a fellow member of our church family stopped me and asked if I'd like an antique typewriter. It took me all of two seconds to say "yes!"

Little did our friend know that the historical writer in me had been pining after just such a typewriter since I began actively pursuing my writing career ten years ago. I would often stop in front of the antique stores in town and gaze longingly at the models in their front windows that would come and go over the years. The hefty prices being asked for them were well beyond my budget.

Lo and behold, God chose to give me this desire of my heart via the generosity of a friend. My husband helped the gentleman heft the 1920s typewriter into the trunk of our car after the service, and we took the beauty home, where it now occupies a place of honor in my office.

One look at this piece of history, and I'm swept back in time. I remember my days in typing class pounding out endless fjfjfj and jkljkl exercises. Although I didn't use a machine as old as this, seeing the typewriter helps transport me to my story world, as well.

When is the last time someone surprised you with an unexpected gift?

Do you have memories of typing class?


LeAnne Bristow said...

I loved typing class. It took me until last year to stop adding two spaces after every period, lol. I actually started writing on one of those old beat up typewriters. I got it at a yard sale Of course, they weren't considered antiques then, electric typewriters were the new rage. But I couldn't afford one of those, so I spent many, many hours, pounding out the stories of my heart. I packed up all those stories when I graduated high school and it wasn't until about five years ago that I found that box. What a treasure that was!

Keli Gwyn said...

LeAnne, what wonderful memories you have. I love that you saved those early stories. It must be fun to read them again and see what your younger self produced.

I got a kiddie typewriter when I was in the sixth grade. I believe it was a Montgomery Ward model. I definitely remember the color--a hideous shade of pea-soup green--but I loved that little machine. By the time I started high school in 1973, the typing classroom was equipped with electric typewriters. I remember the honor of being chosen to switch to a special class where we got to learn how to use the brand spanking new IBM Selectric memory typewriters with their innovative spinning type balls. Ah, the memories.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Hi Keli! I remember struggling in my typing class. My teacher called me a "key watcher" and she taped a piece of paper over the keys. :) Eventually I kept my eyes on what I was typing and not the keys. There's just something about the sound of a typewriter that a computer can never match.

Jackie Smith said...

I loved typing class in high school ('54) and well remember those old typewriters. Pounding the keys and getting fingers, what a memory. I am afraid I still space two spaces after every period. lol

Keli Gwyn said...

Jill, touch typing can be a challenge at first, can't it? The temptation to watch the keys can be strong. Your teacher had an interesting solution. Having a sheet of paper over the keys must have made depressing them a challenge, but obviously her method worked.

Like you, I enjoyed the sound of keys clacking against platens, but my favorite sounds were the dings when my classmates and I reached the end of our lines and needed to grab the silver handles and shove them over for the carriage returns.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jackie, it sounds like you have good memories of typing class, jammed fingers and all. I remember going too fast at times, resulting in tangled keys. And changing the ribbons, leaving me with ink-stained fingers. Ah, the memories. =)

When I began my writing journey ten years ago, the whole one-space-after-a-period movement was gaining momentum. Being a rule follower, I forced myself to make the change. I expected breaking a forty-year habit to be difficult and take weeks or even months, but the process of relearning took just two days.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Actually she taped the piece of paper and had me slide my hands underneath, so the paper rested on top of my hands. :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for the clarification, Jill. I get it now. =)

Jennifer said...

How cool! Happy that you received such a neat gift that you have wanted for so long! Jenny

Shirley said...

I definitely remember typing class! Not fun. That was the only class I had any trouble with in high school. If it hadn't been for the fact the I could set up tables and such easily I would have failed the class. I barely made the required 32 wpm. After I got out of school and had to type on the job I was amazed that I could more than double that speed!
The first typewriter I used was a 1930's Underwood that Mom and Dad had at home. It was so hard to hit the keys hard enough to really type on it.
As for an unexpected gift, I was gifted with a treadmill just this past week. I am really glad to get it so I can workout more at home.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jennifer, thanks for sharing in my excitement. I hope you receive an unexpected gift in the near future.

Keli Gwyn said...

Shirley, thanks for sharing your typing class memories. Typing is a skill that comes faster for some than for others. The keys on those old manual typewriters weren't easy to depress. Doing so required strong fingers. I was so happy when I was chosen to move to a class where I got to learn to type on the new IBM Selectric model. The touch was so much lighter, making it easier to increase my speed.

It's great that you found a way to ensure that you could keep your grade up. I'm sure the teacher appreciated your help. I can understand why your speed increased once you were out of class and no longer under the pressure to earn a grade.

I hope you enjoy your new treadmill.