August 6, 2014

Typewriters & Roadtrips

At the moment it's been a week since I've been in Gettysburg. I'm 21 years and two weeks old. When I was younger I always looked forward to the day I'd be "this old." Yeah. Not so much anymore. Time flies way too quickly, especially the summer, when you're "this old." My birthday was spent with my dearest friends--my family--and off work so I could rest up for Gettysburg. 

Here you'll see my awesome vintage typewriter that my parents bought me as a birthday present. All it needs is a new ribbon and some TLC cleaning and I can actually use it! 
I love the look of my desk at present. There's beautiful pink roses from Sara, and an first edition copy of my all-time favorite devotional, Streams in the Desert by L.B Cowman. The copyright is 1925. The 89yr old book is in better shape than my first copy I've had for 5+ years.



To say it was the best birthday would be an understatement. It was truly a blessed day and I am so grateful to God for all of those who made it so wonderful. Now onto part one of my weekend in Gettysburg with one of the best, Michaela.

I hardly slept the night before, I was so excited. 8:30am on the 25th found us with Panera in hand, car packed to the gills, and en route to Gettysburg.
I kept squealing and saying, "I can't believe we're actually going!" It had been far too long since I'd last been to Gettysburg, let me tell you.
We took a few stops, grabbed some snacks and selfies and the obligatory Starbucks and listened to a lot of NeedtoBreathe and the Pitch Perfect soundtrack.
The drive there is absolutely gorgeous. I love my state!
Finally, finally getting off the highway and heading down to Gettysburg! Michaela's very accustomed to and tolerant of my squealing and rambling--on the 4+hr drive she certainly got her fill I think.
Being friends as we have been for 14 years, there is companionable silence at times of course--me being an introvert--but also awesome moments of singing at the top of our lungs, and laughing at Supernatural references like, Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole.
And of course--we go on and on about our WIP novels and our beloved characters as if they're real people.
Not to toot my own horn--but I have to say I made a pretty decent navigator this trip! Normally I have a horrible sense of direction and have gotten others lost before. 
We went through town, passed our hotel and went thru the circle towards the beautiful Lutheran Theological Seminary Museum.
Yes, the weather was this gorgeous all weekend! 
Seminary Ridge saw the beginning of the battle, while this building pictured here was a hospital for the Union wounded July 1863 through September of the same year.
The museum had four floors, and the cupola you could go up into. The same cupola Union General Buford climbed up to to look out over the land and see the Confederates approaching. I hate heights, so we opted to just look at Buford's view through a room on floor four of the museum.
Our favorite floor of the museum was the third floor exploring medicine, surgery and caring for the wounded during both the Civil War but specifically the battle of Gettysburg and the months following the three bloodiest days in America's history. At one point, I believe on July 2nd, the Confederates took over the hospital and stole medicine, surgical instruments, bandages--anything they could carry.
That floor was both sobering, sad ... but also a wealth of information and inspiration for me that I desperately needed for my novel that ends with Gettysburg. The sequel to my Civil War novel opens in the months following Gettysburg and finds my main female character{s} at one of the many makeshift hospitals in and near town caring for the wounded.
After we were through with the museum, we were starving so we went down the hill from the parking lot to Gettysburg's walking trail along Seminary Ridge and had a picnic.

Once we were full and feeling human once more, we drove south of town and for the life of me I can't remember what we were looking for, but we ended up at my favorite place--the Pennsylvania Monument.
Second only to New York in the amount of men in the Civil War, my state contributed not only a tremendous number of men, but weapons, food, and crucial railroad transportation from Chambersburg--28 miles west of Gettysburg--and Pittsburgh, my home city, was called The Arsenal of the Union. This monument is the largest of the battlefield's 1440 monuments, and has a lovely dedication to the women of Pennsylvania who supported the men on the homefront during the four years of the war.

The bronze guy on the left is President Lincoln, and the one on the right is Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin.



Andrew Gregg Curtin--the governor at the start of the war--was a huge influence in Washington and led the state superbly through the war. Pennsylvania had a surplus of enlistments after the attack on Fort Sumter, so Gov. Curtin took the men not immediately needed and trained them in Harrisburg. After the Battle of Bull Run, he had tens of thousands of trained troops ready and sent them to D.C the day after the Battle of Bull Run. 


What's so awesome about this monument is that you can go up in it to the top and look out over the whole battlefield. It is a beautiful view...and in this picture of Michaela and I, the north-western view is behind us.
Gotta love how my Irish skin is already pink.
After the monument we headed back to town and to our hotel less than two miles away from the circle and crashed for a bit. My fearless driver Michaela was tired and decompressing from all the driving, but still managed the energy to take a running leap from the doorway and flop on her bed.
After we rested a bit,
Artillery on a battlefield is more photogenic than me, in my opinion. Hence my probably 50 photos of just artillery. 
My shirt says "Don't Quit Your Day Dream." 
For me, it's what my writing is all about. I constantly think and day dream about my novel so it appears in my mind like a movie.
Some days it's hard not to "quit my daydream" in the rush of the day to day and still figuring out how to balance my responsibilities living at home and working part time but writing full time...which is why weekends like Gettysburg are such a gift from God.

Part two of my weekend in Gettysburg finds this Northern belle on Confederate Avenue, shockingly enough, and I have pictures to prove it.