In the 1930s’, my grandmother, Maxine Storm, was a secretary for J. Frank Dobie, a beloved author, Texan and story-teller. She would take his manuscripts, type them up, correcting spelling and putting on the finishing touches, I imagine.
I first learned about this when I was peck, peck, pecking at her typewriter, trying to finish a term paper in high school that I had predictably left till the last second and she came in and offered to rescue me.
“You know how to type”?, I asked her.
Why do we think our elders were just born yesterday? “Yes, honey”, she answered and I heard the story.
So, she had this desk that I think might have been an antique bookkeeper’s desk. I liked sitting at it and she told me she wanted me to have it when she was gone. Well, when she got Lou Gehrig’s Disease, I took it home. We had to move other kinds of furniture into her room to make her life easier.
This desk kind of got lost in the shuffle over the years. She passed, I moved, raised my son, spent all my time outside. It never occurred to me it was anything special except that of course it was my precious grandmother’s.
I started writing thank you notes from it. Then I journaled from it a little. It sat in the guest room and held stuff in its cubby holes that I didn’t really have a place for.
Yesterday, while doing something totally unrelated, it was like a voice spoke to me to move it into my bedroom and start writing my blog, articles and emails from it.
I dropped what I was doing, went in the guest room, cleared everything out of it and moved it into my room. After I got it set up, I stood back and looked at it. Why in the h*%#! did it take me so long to do this? I love it in here!
My grandmother lived in a one room cabin right after they got married.
This is who she married. A cocky, petroleum engineer/cowboy, named Lynn Storm, one of the five Storm brothers from the Hondo Valley, south of Ruidoso, New Mexico.
They got married the day after he turned twenty-one. He used to like to say, “Yep! I was a man for a day”! Whatever.
My grandmother was a smart, strong woman. As was her mom, Lucille Richter, a nurse.
I had to take english in summer school two times. I never thought of myself as a writer even though I always seemed to be writing.
Now I am not only writing, I’m at her desk. It makes me happy to know she is happy about it and I know she is.
10 thoughts on “My Grandmother’s Desk…”
Wonderful reflective piece. I like to think when we are inspired, as you were to clean out the desk, that there is some celestial influence, maybe Grandma was watching over. Who knows. Now you have new inspiration..
Just recently, I published a piece on the Lipizzans Stallions that tour the U.S. and Canada. She was the one who took me to see them some 30 years ago. I think you must be right. Thanks for your kind comment.
Wow…I feel like I just read the cliff notes for a great family autobiography…Great story…loved the pictures…Have you thought about writting a family history book…? You have a gift. Thank you for writing.
I love that idea. One day I will sit in an RV site in Santa Fe for 6 or 7 months and get a big jump on the two books I’de like to do. There is one in the works. It’s a western of course.
Thanks for the encouragement. Nice.
The ride is very pleasant time. It is written with inspiration from the interior caused by something we see or the forces that come as a wind from the past. The important thing is to pass from the heart when we write.
Lissa wrote a good story, your grandmother will be proud of you, surely, something magic may cause she can read, do not hesitate …
It is a pleasure to walk through your letters.
Your friend of the letters
Thank you, Cruz for your kind comments. They are always like poetry. I’m glad we are friends.
Your words are a Balm for my Soul!
I LOVE this piece and am printing it to read to Mom. Remember what she told you on Monday….YOU DO have a wonderful GIFT and what a BLESSING it is you are SHARING IT! Gaga and PaPa have a story, yet to be told, about their days….. from the eyes/ears of their precious granddaughter….YOU!
Looks like we’re not the only ones that think that!
Love you girl, xoxoxo
Yes! You can tell your mother I liked her idea! Give her a peck on the cheek for me.
this was lovely and I have to think that your Grandmother is nearby watching as you write & smiling about it. As to why did it take so long to dust off the desk and put it to use? I like to think that they show us these items when we are most open to seeing them/receiving them for the gifts that they are.
Beautiful desk .. really beautiful post.
I believe you are right about timing…everything is as it should be. Thank you.