A Clock

June 7, 2010

It’s quiet in the house at this moment, save for the hum of the Seth Thomas clock my husband rescued from a junk heap in an old office building in New Orleans nearly thirty years ago. To my recollection, the clock was painted a putty color that hid a handsomeness we had yet to discover.

I remember hanging the clock on the living room wall of our sparsely furnished four-plex apartment in the heart of Fat City. I remember plugging it in and standing back, waiting for something to happen. The hands didn’t move. We were disappointed, but it had cost us nothing, which suited our budget.

For some reason, we left the clock plugged in. We hoped, but figured that at the very least, the clock was decorative. Then, at some point, we realized that it was humming, and later still we realized that the hands had begun to move. The poor old clock seemed to just need time to stretch its arms and wake up to its work.

That hum of that clock has followed us from New Orleans, to Biloxi, to Martha’s Vineyard, to New Hampshire. A near constant through moves and births and middle of the night wakings. Beneath its putty paint, we eventually discovered, was a lovely mahogany case. Twice we’ve had it serviced and declined to replace its workings. We knew that all it needed was cleaning and care, and a little patient waiting for it to come to full hum.

A nice thing… the unforeseen rewards of reclamation.

6 Responses to “A Clock”

  1. lovely…sort of sounds like me


  2. juliedelio said

    I have a Seth Thomas clock that hangs on the wall of our dining room. It belonged to my great-grandmother and has traveled with me since the late ’60s. It has always been the last thing I take off the wall of the home I am leaving and the first thing put on the wall of the new home. Sometimes I forget to wind it for months. But its chiming of the hours is a welcome sound that connects me to my great-grandmother. Thanks for reminding me. I will wind it when I get home.

  3. Geoff Woollacott said

    The unforeseen rewards of reclamation.

    I absolutely love these things. They are wonderful to read.

  4. Gary Spykman said

    And, it keeps perfect time!

  5. iamsurly said

    I would have thought you’d have a cuckoo clock.

  6. beepbird said

    Thanks, Surly girl! Truthfully, I’m to cranky for a cuckoo clock.

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