Serendipity? Coincidence? Providence? Call it what you will...all I know is that I was delighted to walk into Grand Marais' Drury Lane Books and find the kind of fountain pen* I've wanted, because the beautifully hand-made journal I'd purchased earlier this year seems to require a pen with a nib.
I removed the cap, grabbed some old paper for experimenting, and while I was delighted with the pen, I did not expect a flood of memories of Mrs. Edna Fitch's fourth grade classroom.
Other teachers at Holland Elementary had acquiesced to the replacement of the 19th century wooden desks with contemporary (by 1954 standards) classroom furniture, but not Mrs. Fitch. Her primary reason? The built-in inkwell. We nine-year-olds were issued fountain pens, small bottles of ink, wide-lined paper, and instruction in the Palmer method of handwriting.
Despite that dear lady's efforts, I never did develop an elegant nor particularly legible hand. Nonetheless, I have many warm memories of that wonderful woman who smelled of lavender and who helped guide my uncoordinated fingers as I struggled to make my straight letters straight and round letters round.
She would have been at least 130 years old by now and I'm well past my half-century mark, but I miss her still. I'm hoping that my journal writing will be worthy of her efforts.
*Curious? It's the Pilot Varsity Fountain pen; no inkwell dipping necessary.