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.