In my office at home sits the old black iron typewriter I remember clicking away on at my grandmother's store, Hall’s Hardware.
It is one of my prized possessions received from her when she passed away. I guess the writing process has always been such a huge part of my life that an old fashioned typewriter is an icon of my number one hobby. The other day one of the grandsons asked me to put paper in it so he could type. I explained to him that the typewriter no longer has an inked ribbon.
I admit that I have been a bit nostalgic lately thinking back over the "good old days" in reference to our latest pandemic issues. A simpler life is missed, and yet, it wasn't really a simpler life. Things took much longer. Things took much more space. This heavy black typewriter is a prime example. And I can only imagine the joy my grandparents had using it for the first time when it was shiny and new to type statements or order forms to be put in an actual envelope and mailed with a stamp and hand written return address.
Also on my desk is the old wooden stand that has a clothes pin glued to it that was used all those years to hold outgoing mail. As I write, it holds the three bills and two charities that money is to be sent to this month. I still love to practice things from the good old days as I read my column ideas off of my "notes" in my phone and type on a keyboard watching it scroll out on my monitor. There is just something in me that wants to hold on to the last drop of the past I possibly can.
My daughter-in-law is about to open her new business called Violeta's. It is a floral design business where she plans weddings, other events, and sells retail in downtown Covington. When I was looking over her small space that she has already decorated in a way to make it her own style which continues to floor me as I witness her talent, I noticed there was no space for a cash register.
The memories of running into Grandma's store and hitting that button on that big register to hear it ring and watch the drawer pop open to pull out nickels for a coke still register as a childhood smile. But then it hit me. We don't use those big cash registers anymore just like the heavy iron typewriter or the safe built into the wall.
We now just put a little plastic device on the end of our phone and swipe whatever plastic card we choose to use being a credit or a debit card. And then it will even put you on a horrible spot and ask you to click on their phone what percentage of tip you are planning to leave. No cha-ching, just a swipe. And that is my point. Things were really much slower back in the day. And money had to be stored in a safe, and ribbon had to be ordered for an old iron typewriter, and a mistake could mean yanking out the paper and starting over. Things literally took forever compared to our faster world that’s at the touch of a finger.
And yet, it all seemed so much simpler then. There was no need to hurry up and wait. People just waited.