The old banjo clock has ticked and shown hours and minutes for a very long time. It was a wedding gift to my parents on December 28, 1921, and it hung on the walls of two farm homes and for 10 years in their retirement home in the nearby town, Essex, Iowa, until my mother’s death in early 1988.
It was a constant companion of my childhood, and during my teen years an accuser. Mother did not rest easily when I was out late at night; the clock striking the hour and half hour determined the level of her unhappiness with my lateness. Thus, I aimed to be home between 12:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., since during those two hours, the clock sounded only one chime, three times. Was it 12:15 when I arrived home, or maybe 1:45?
The clock still ticks steadily on our wall right now (and at this moment it is striking 12 noon), its time slightly less exact than what’s on our iPhones but far more accessible, and the chime–a rather tinny clang, really, for this is not a rich man’s clock–a pleasant reminder that time is passing and often a decent alarm clock, too.
So the old clock has faithfully done its job for going on 97 years, dependent only on a rare cleaning and regular winding. It’s an eight-day Ingraham, and since keeping track of eight days is complicated, I’d guess it’s more likely been wound weekly (now every Monday), Should that chore be forgotten, the old clock will struggle on most of nine days but then, wound down, stops. A fresh winding and resetting of the hands once again energizes that long journey through time.
That paradigm gives me the theme and backdrop of this blog. I haven’t been around quite as long as the clock; it had done its job in youthful vigor for almost nine years before I arrived. Even so, and especially with almost 88 years complete, I need some winding up to keep going, and too often I get wound up with nowhere to go, and thus, this blog. Sometimes I might even write something worth reading, but be assured, whatever it is, it’s something that has wound me up. And if you take a moment to comment, I’ll likely get wound up even more–and that’s a threat, so take your chances.