I recently came across a beautiful Smith & Corona antique typewriter in an antiques/second hand shop one town over from ours. It was like love at first sight for me. The tag proclaimed that it still worked, so I tapped out a few words on the paper provided; and just hearing the clackety-clack sounds it made thrilled me to the core (and brought me back to Sister Eulalia's typing class senior year in high school, where we learned--old school-style--on both manual and electric models). But it was priced at $65, and I really didn't see how I could justify spending that kind of money on an item that--although it did work--would be strictly a decorative conversation piece in my house.
So I walked away.
Then I backtracked and asked the store owner if it would be all right to take a picture of it with my cell phone--that way I could maybe throw around a few subtle hints, in case my husband was looking for a good idea for a birthday gift or whatever.
Well, now I'm going to tell you--once again--about how I have the BEST HUSBAND EVER, because as soon as I showed him the picture he said, "You definitely need to have that." (No hints, subtle or otherwise, were necessary.) He said he felt bad that he'd been working so much leading up to Mother's Day that he hadn't really had time to shop for a gift (although I got a card and flowers from him, which is more than enough if you ask me!), and he wanted to get it for me. So the next day, we went over to the shop and brought this beautiful piece of history home with us.
I love this typewriter because I love anything you would consider old, vintage, or antique; I love items that have been around a long time, and I try to imagine who might have used them before me. I also love it because it's a tool for a writer, so it has special meaning for me. Once I got it home, I actually typed up the opening lines of Chapter One of Finding Grace with it and left the paper there on the roll. (Corny, right?)
As I was typing away (slowly and laboriously, making mucho typos), I realized that as adorable as this obsolete old machine is, I don't believe I could have ever written a book on it. I often think I belong in some bygone era, and that I was born too late...but I have to admit, I'm really glad I was able to do my writing in the era of Microsoft Word.