Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Time Piece

They say things run like clockwork when they run correctly and promptly and predictably because that's how clocks run...until they don't.

As my grandma said, "I think a nice clock in its proper place looks majestic."
"When it works," my aunt smilingly countered.

Last week, I ran into a clock that didn't work like clockwork.  In fact, it didn't work at all.  I found it under a pile of stuff in my grandma's new apartment and heard the story about how it came from my great-great-grandfather John Villhard.  I tried winding it and turning its gears in hopes of getting it to work - I might have even had visions of magically fixing this clock - in vain.

Anecdote 1:
Watching me try to figure out the gear system, my grandma spoke up, "True story!  I once tried to fix a clock and when I got done, I had some pieces left over."  

Most likely, that will be the fate of this clock too.

Anecdote 2:
Me: "I always wondered how you set a clock back in the day.  What if you forgot to wind it and the clock ran out?  How did you know how to reset it?"

I laughingly imagined my ancestors taking the clock that I was fiddling with and riding into town with the clock on their laps so they could go to the town bank and reset the clock.  (This is of course assuming that your town has a bank and that it has a clock that has correct time)

My aunt laughed at my proposition as we tried to imagine hauling a grandfather clock into town just to set it.  So then we decided that pocket watches could serve the purpose of giving the correct time.

All of this, of course, depends on the accuracy of each time piece to keep correct time.  Which really just meant that back in the day when clocks were mechanical, because of the obvious difficulty of synchronized clocks, time was less exact and therefore, few things besides clocks ran well, like clockwork.

We all stopped and thought a little bit more about when we put away our schedules and our busyness and simply let life happen when it did.  ...

Anecdote 3:
My aunt: "Maybe you could get something for that clock at one of those antique roadshows."
Grandma: "Oh, but those are usually clocks that are made from a nice piece of wood with some sort of style that actually run."
Me: "Are you implying that you just gave me a clock that isn't made from a niece piece of wood and doesn't have style?"  (We already know it doesn't run)

One man's junk is another man's treasure.

What all of this means:
Life goes on.  Time continues to tick by.  Let's hope we're all making the most of it.

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