Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Mum's Sterling Typewriter

Looking like a set of weathered yellow teeth, these keys smacked out hundreds of letters over the many years my mother used them to type out letters of employment, letters of love and letters of who knows what else. For over forty five years this typewriter served her well not only in Canada but also in the United Kingdom. We kids were not allowed to play with it and maybe that's why it is in such good condition today.

When I think back to each and every place we lived in Canada, I can remember exactly where she kept this Sterling typewriter... In the dining room behind the door leading to the kitchen... In the closet by the front door... Under my dad's desk. To me, it was like a piece of furniture. She relied on this instrument to get her through the rough times and the good times. She babied it because she knew that it was her lifeline to the outside world.

It wasn't unusual to hear its incessant tapping late into the night. It isn't difficult to remember how heavy it was for a little lad like me to carry it around. The blue and gray sterling... A part of my life... A part of my family!

Today, my mother gave me her typewriter. I know that my mum has been pruning the household treasures as if she wanted to pass down the family heritage before she dies but I didn't expect to see her give this piece of family nostalgia up so soon. I suppose she knows in her heart that she would no longer be using it anymore.

Now, I know that I will never use this typewriter but it is a part of the family and my heritage and so I am going to keep it. With pride, I am going to show it off to my children, grandchildren and anyone else who wants to listen to me as I tell them...

“This once belonged to my mother!”

29 comments:

Proxima Blue said...

Wow, I went from one blog to another and they both had old school typewriters photographed, how crazy is that!

The forces of good and evil must be mocking me because I have no time to write more then a "to-do" list!

-P

Greeneyes said...

This is an awesome post , a touching tribute to your Mom , I wonder if she knows what a impact and memory imprint this piece of steel and ribbons has had on you ?
I bet it would please her , it is after all part of your life story,nice to keep it and pass on the memories to all who will listen . :-)



Greeneyes

Wayne said...

Good on ya, Dave. Those are the things our memories should be made of; and I can see a story in that story. Thanks for popping over to my spot. I'll be in here from t-me to time.

Wanda said...

Oh Dave: You do have a treasure in this typewriter. How I wished I had kept my old one.

Carol and Chris said...

Beautiful post Dave - I feel like that about my Gran's typewriter (She still writes letters to me on it)and I remember helping her type letters when her arthritis was bad in the winter (My cousin helps her now since it's not so easy for me to pop over and see her anymore!!)

Thanks for commenting on my blog

C

abbagirl74 said...

Totally cool.

pissed off patricia said...

She sure seemed to pick the exact right person to give it to, that's for sure.

It's just lovely and in such great shape. You have a treasure in the machine, and it would seem to me, in your mom as well.

Dave said...

Hi proxima! I know how it feels to have no time. This past summer was a terribly busy time for me. Just take care of yourself and have a great Christmas. :-)

Hi Greeneyes! When I look around my parent's home, I see so much that brings back memories. Hopefully my kids will have similar memories of my home.

Take care!

Hi Wayne! Good to hear from you! :-)

You are right when you say that These types of things create good memories. Thanks for visiting.

Hi Wanda! There are other things that I wish I had kept from my childhood instead of throwing them out. I once paid $100+ to pick up another one of my childhood memories (http://120299.blogspot.com/search?q=beliveau)

Takr care! :-)

Thanks for stopping by Carol and Chris! It seems that alot of our moms and grandmoms had typewriters that gives us great memories. Take care!

Hi abbagirl! Cool it is! ;-)

Hi pissed off patricia! Well I am very glad that she gave it to me. It may not be valuable to others but it is precious to me. Take care and thanks for visiting! :-)

Lynn said...

I felt that way about my moms sewing maching and mahjong set. A number of years ago, I was standing in the office of a middle school (not as a student, sigh) and I pointed to a typewriter and asked the student if he knew what it was...he answered "Some type of keyboard?"

BTW, I love your retirement countdown timer...I may just have to start one of those!

Dave said...

Hi Lynn Thaks for visiting! A while back while my son tried out an old typewriter, he couldn't figure out how to get to the next line since there was no Return key!

Thanks about my retirement countdown timer... I look at it every day! :-)

SOUL: said...

that's really cool. and the way you like to write, i too think you were the right one to choose to get the sterling prize.
enjoy it.
c ya.
and it's ok to laugh, at my expense, but tell me--why do cats barf all the time, and on something they shouldn't?
hmmm.
latah.

David Kim said...

Hi Dave,

I'm glad your mom kept her old typewriter. I wish I kept my old typewriter. I also had an old Korean typewriter.

I'm so glad we have computers and laptops these days. I hated fixing mistakes on those old typewriters! I guess people made less typos back then.

Janice Thomson said...

What a delightful tribute to your Mom. Things like that can never be replaced and it is wonderful you would give it such importance. She knew, Dave, it would be as precious to you as it was to her. A very touching post my friend.

Cheesy said...

My mom has an old Royal... I grinned when you mentioned the clackity clack.
Maybe you should type her out a thank you letter??? :o)

canvaschild said...

what a beautiful treasure. :) merry christmas! emily.

canvaschild said...

what a wonderful treasure! merry christmas :) emily.

geewits said...

Wow. I have MY Mom's old typewriter up in my attic. I haven't looked at it in years, so I don't know the brand. My Mom sure could fly on that thing. I was allowed to use it for school papers and resumes and I was SO slow. Hmmm, now I want to go up into the attic tomorrow just to look at that old typewriter.

Portia said...

That is priceless! I love that it brings back memories from each and every house you lived in.

HeiressChild said...

hi Dave, i think your Mother made a wise choice in passing her typewriter down to you. memories are priceless! it's nice to have you back blogging a bit more. that means things must be a little better in your world. hope so!

Dave said...

Hi Soul! Check this out... http://amos.indiana.edu/library/scripts/catbarf.html

I couldn't resist looking it up after you commented here. :-)

Hi David .. Thanks for visiting! Fixing mistakes was my greatest hatred of typewriters... Been there done that! :-)

Hi Janice! Irreplaceable it is. I will treasure it for a long time to come. Take care of yourself.

Hi Cheesy! I have thought of that. I am also considering typing up a blog on it.

Hi canvaschild (Emily) Thanks for visiting! A Merry Christmas to you as well! :-)

Geewits... Nice to hear from you again! Did you get up to that attic yet? My mum used to fly on her's as well... I will never be able to keyboard like that ever! Actually, they never called it keybord did they! LOL

Portia... Great to hear from you! Memories from each and every house... I have them all. :-)

Heiresschild... It's good to be back and "yes" things seem to be settling down a bit. Thanks for remembering! :-)

Oswegan said...

That's a great story Dave, and a beautiful piece of history.

~Oswegan

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes' said...

Hi Dave,
Thnaks for visiting my blog, I did not realy mend to 'teach a lesson' the "LOST slideshow" is for fun mostly, but I am glad you liked it, I always ry to find a song or fist photography by as song, whatever is first...

So You are from Canada Ontario, very nice area I quess? I've not been there yet but I am very interseted in almost everything, from oher cultures or even daily life.... AND photography... Nice blog you have here!!!

JoAnn from HOLLAND

LeenaM said...

I got tears in my eyes by reading your post.
I agree with all those earlier comments of this post.
When I was fifteen years old long, long time ago, my father gave to me an old Remington typewriter,
I found this URL, when I tried to find out a picture about it :
http://www.typewritermuseum.org

It was black and so fine and I can feel still that smell , what was in it :)
Thanks for all those memories too!

(I have to say thanks also for your comment in my blog, but those dark photos are not night shots, but they are taken this morning 9.15 :)
Our day is today 4h 51min "long". )

Janet said...

What a beautiful typewriter! I've been wanting an old school one for awhile now.

quintarantino said...

Hi, Dave... cool typewritter you got here... by the way, thanks for the visit ...

Jules said...

Hi Dave - so pleased you could visit Rabaul D P.

I am like you - the treasures we have from our past aren't the jewels and expensive stuff - they are the day to day things that our loved ones used and that bring us the most vivid memories of them. My Grandmother had some beautiful expensive Royal Doulton but the thing I treasure of hers the most is the old chipped sugar bowl that she used everyday and that sat on her dining table - that is one of my treasures of her!!! Plus her old treadle sewing machine!!!

HelenMH said...

What a lovely story!

Dave said...

ThanksOswegan! and thanks for visiting! Hope to see you again!

Hi'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes' , nice to meet you! I think there is almost always a lesson to be learned in everything in life... Hey! That sounds like a topic for a blog! LOL

Hi Hi leenam Not night photos!?! :-)

It must be along the same latitude as Northern Ontario Canada because they have very little daylight around this time as well. Thanks for the comments. Nice to meet you.

Hi janet! Thanks for visiting. it's amazing how inexpensive they are at eBay.com if you are looking for one. Take care.

Hi quintarantino! Thanks for dropping by! Take care!

Nice to meet you Jules! yes, I can see we are very much the same in those respects. Some of the simpler things in life can be so valuable.

Hi Helenmh! Thanks for dropping by! :-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a treasure you have!

You are so right that writing is a lifeline to the world. I feel exactly that way about my computer, and once had a well-loved typewriter that went everywhere with me.

It's clear that your mom chose you to give it to because you share her love of writing.