Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Best $3 I've Ever Spent

Our cute new friends (hi Sally and Samatha!) let us borrow their adorable little typewriter this week.  Ellie has been smitten with it ever since Sam brought it for show-and-tell at a 4H Club meeting.  Because she was so enamored with it, I began the quest to find one for her.  I thought it would take a while to find a good condition and sufficiently "old fashioned" typewriter.  Happily it did not. After minimal searching, Ethan and I discovered one at DI for $3 ( I know!).  And it's a delightfully retro blue color to boot!

As soon as we brought it home, Ellie went to work.  She's always loved writing and Jason and I have received millions of handwritten notes from her since she's been able to hold a pencil (that's not much of an exaggeration).  Since the purchase of this wonderful machine, we have received countless typewritten notes, daily newspapers and stories.  Here are a few favorites:

This one didn't scan very well.  It says:
happy st. patrics day (and katie's birthday of course)

(don't forget to wear green)

no. 1 packing clothes toys (if you have child ren)

snacks (for the car ride)

no. 2 activitys. games, fingerknitting (mom, I need a MUCH bigger roll than that) just kidding!!!


no. 4 booking a hotel

no. 5 moving into the hotel and getting the clothes and toys and typewriter (can we bring my typewriter?)


editor: miss ellie joy hillman

 {cracks me up}

 Her stories and other writing kept her busy for the whole of the day yesterday.  She was down there for nearly 6 hours (she claims 7) typing away.  Nothing has ever held her interest that long; it was rather shocking for us.  Something about the typewriter appeals to me, too.  There is no way I'd have let her spend 6+ hours on the computer in one day.  Even the thought of that makes me a little queasy.  But the typewriter is all her, it's all about creativity and self-expression.  There is nothing to distract her from her ideas like there would be on a more technologically-advanced machine. 

 It makes my mama-heart burst with happiness to see how much she loves this creative outlet.  Her current ambition is to be an" author/illustrator/collage-maker/mom" when she grows up.

I've had a flood of nostalgia over the past couple of days, as well.  I didn't use a typewriter very much growing up; my junior high keyboarding class is the only time I remember using one frequently.  But I remember my amazing Great Grandma's typewriter.  I can still envision the desk where it sat, in her tidy little study.  I can see her pencils and pens and an eraser I adored all lined up in a row, waiting to be put to use.  (The eraser was shaped like a pencil, but it had an eraser at one end and a fan-shaped brush on the other, presumably to brush away the flecks of rubber after using the eraser.  This was the height of ingenuity in my 6-year-old opinion). 

I remember receiving typewritten notes in the mail from her, in which she signed her full name in sweeping cursive.  She was an incredible woman, and I miss talking to her sometimes (she died when I was pregnant with Miss Ellie).  Jason and I visited her often when we were in college and  though she was over 90 years old, she always remembered every detail of our previous conversations.  

I remember one conversation in particular:  We had just finished a tough semester, and she asked Jason how he'd done in a Calculus class he'd taken.  Jason, grinning with pride, responded, "I got an A-!" (We were thrilled!) Without missing a beat my sweet Grandma said. "Oh.  Well...that's almost an A!".  She could always inspire you to push yourself a little bit harder.  

Ellie's typewritten notes remind me that my dear Grandma is not so far away.  And hopefully I can help pass on her love for learning to the next generation.

                    Plus, I'd happily pay $3 every week for such a pleasant, quiet Saturday afternoon. 

                                                       We definitely got our money's worth!


  1. What a great idea Heidi. And oldie but a goodie. :)

  2. Before I even read your whole post I was thinking of Grandma and her typewriter! What a great find. Makes me want to go look for one. The kids would be fascinated with the technology (or lack thereof).