A Clock

This clock got taken down about the time I bought my treasured card catalog. In our little house we only had so much wall space and while I always intended to get it back up, I think my husband was just as happy leaving it on a shelf in the basement. Then we moved and it sat on another shelf in another basement. Dusty. Batteries dead. A few water spots on the wood.

The clock was my grandparent’s. And it’s loud. You hear the mechanism with every back and forth of the pendulum. You hear the chime set at three minutes to the hour. And then the hour strikes. Jesse misses the first few moments of dialogue on his show and sighs, “Every single time.” he says. Every single time, I smile.

I remember lying on the floor, curled up in pillows and a cotton cool tie blanket made from old sheets. I remember my grandpa in scratchy wool flannel smelling of cigarettes and cut wood, how his pencils were always roughly sharpened with his pocket knife. I remember my Grandma with her housecoat aprons rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar, doing her daily scramble, and watching Wheel of Fortune. I’d tickle my grandpa’s feet and steal my grandma’s Danielle Steele.

I miss my grandparents. My grandpa’s stern but kind heart and the way he called me “kid”. My grandma who cried any time she saw someone else cry and added ice to her coffee. I wish I could bring them back. But I can’t. I have however, returned their clock to it’s former glory.

I took it off the shelf. Dusted it. Put in new batteries. Repaired the water stains with a little olive oil and baking soda. Set the pendulum to swinging. And every single hour I hear it chime, I smile.

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