Nov 28, 2014

Cherishing Time From Long Ago




My cherished clock turns back time for me.


Hello,

I hope all is well in your world. Like most everyone else, I have  been super busy and when I got a request to write about a cherished treasure, I thought it was a good time to slow down and share a bit.  I was asked to write about a cherished item in my home by Chairish, a very cool site that allows vintage lovers to sell and buy fabulous objects and furniture. I am not getting any compensation, only a request to participate blogging about a cherished item, which of course, is a favorite topic of mine. But do take a moment to check them out - there are some really neat items on their site!




This is my cherished 1890's German clock that belonged to my father. I grew up with this special clock in our dining room. The memories of that clock....Oh, how the minutes just dragged by as I would look up to check the time until Charlie Brown Christmas was due on the tube (as we called television back in the day). And yet, how those minutes flew by when my mother would announce that bath time would be in 20 minutes. I was usually busy making intricate spirals with my Spirograph wheels and colored ink pens - and with no intention of stopping for a darn bath. 







I also learned to count from the clock with its musical chiming throughout the house. Being a night owl, I remember counting to 12 as I laid wide awake in my bed and then being confused that it chimed 12 times then only just one chime on the next hour. By daybreak, I would forget my confusion. But one night, at the stroke of one in the morning, I remember getting up and sliding down to my parents room (in feet pajamas, one can't just walk, but one must "slide" or "skate" down the hallway), tapping my dad on his forehead and telling him something was wrong with the clock. Understandably confused, and he not being the Leave-it-to-Beaver-type of dad that pounced upon teachable moments to explain time to his four year-old daughter at one in the morning; no, he sat up, grunted, "Whaat? Who?  What the hell?" And told me it's late, nothing is wrong, and took me back to bed. However, I wasn't convinced that there was nothing was wrong with the clock, because I was pretty sure how to count and for quite a while, I felt that "my" clock was just mixed up a little.




My favorite memories of my clock have more to do with my father, than the clock itself. The above pic is how I remember my clock as a little girl. It seemed so high up (to keep curious little hands off it, no doubt) and it looked so impressive. This is the viewpoint I had of my clock for years - unless I stood on the stairwell, and suddenly I was tall enough to see it straight on. 




I remember my father winding the clock every Sunday. I was most definitely a "daddy's girl" and would lean on his leg, looked up, as he opened up the door and took the key out of the "secret" hiding place. 






I was fascinated by that little key - it looked nothing like car keys, or the house key or the little key that locked our tool shed. I often wonder if my love of old keys today stems from this clock key.






But mostly, I loved that key, because when my brothers and sister weren't around, my dad would pick me up and hold me with one arm, as he turned the key with the his other hand. And on rare occasion, he would let me "do a turn" as I would beg. He would show me the secret hiding place for the key, and always remind me that I wasn't to play or touch the clock, which I never once did. 






My dad would sometimes wipe down the wood, and I would reach out and gently touch the wood myself and felt all the curves and knobs. All the while, pulling on my dad's neck, as he held me, while I leaned in to stroke the polished wood.






I often think about cleaning up the old marks, the worn areas, and buffing out the pitted stains - that is what my dad would do. But there is a part of me that likes to believe that those old marks are the last marks from my father's hand. My logical part tells me that it is just aged over years of travel, boxed up, and natural patina. My father never really allowed it to tarnish. But his last two years of life, his health was very poor, and I would be very surprised if he cleaned his clock at all during the last year of his life. I like to tell myself that these marks are left by him, and so, I want to keep them. And a part of me also wants to believe that somewhere, there may be a small fingerprint from my childhood, left from those days that I held tightly onto my father's neck as I left my own mark.





When my clock chimes, it warms my heart, brings back memories, and although I am so much older now, the sound of the chimes make me feel young again. I like to think of my clock as my own time machine - stuck in reverse.

But reverse is just fine. While the future holds many new adventures, it is nice to relive those memories that hold my father.

May your own reverse time machine take you to a place of joy.

from my house to your house,



Signature

4 comments:

Chatelaine said...

What a poignant post of a childhood memory. It is a grand clock. I would leave it just as is, memories and fingerprints.

Rue said...

That clock is gorgeous and even better that it has all those sweet memories attached to it.

I have an obsession with clocks. I don't know where it came from, but if I see one that speaks to me I snatch it up and bring it home, even if it doesn't work.

Lovely post :)

xo

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Rue,

Me too, I love clocks - grew up with them. I don't have that many, but I LOVE watch faces!! Thanks for stopping by - sorry for the delayed response - some unexpected things came up and before I know it, it is time for bed!

Big hugs
Elizabeth

Rue said...

You don't have to apologize for being busy! I get it ;)

xo

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