Saturday, January 14, 2012

Keeping Lenny's Clock Alive

by Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett / L.L. Bartlett

My_grandfather_clockNot long after I moved into my second house, my Dad gave me a grandfather clock.  My Dad gave all three of us grandfather clocks.  Well, almost.  The first clock he made -- yes, he made them from an Emperor Clock kit -- was a grandmothers clock.  That means it looks like a grandfather clock, but it's considerably smaller.  It was the first clock from a kit that he made.  (My Dad fixed clocks and watches for a hobby, so making one was to be expected.) My grandfather, who was visiting from England, helped him make it.  My older brother HINTED VERY STRONGLY that he would be thrilled to own it.  Hence, the first gifted "grandfather clock."  Since my Dad's favorite wood was cherry, that first one was a cherry clock.

Since my favorite wood is oak, my clock (which I believe I either got for my birthday or Christmas) is made of oak.  You don't see many light-colored grandfather clocks, and I've had a lot of compliments.  I've had it for about 25 years now, so it's mellowed into a nice golden color.  My clock is medium sized.  I'm the middle child, so I thought that was appropriate.  (And maybe my Dad did, too.)

My younger brother got a MASSIVE cherry clock.  The biggest one.  When it bongs, you know it.  Which is why the clock hasn't run in at least 20 years.  (My sister in law doesn't like it bonging.)

My clock is a little temperamental.  Quite often I would let it run down (duh--I forgot to wind it) and would have a hard time getting it started again.  We'd go to the cottage on the weekends and the clock would be silent.  We'd come back on Sunday (my Dad was our pet sitter) and the clock would be back to its chiming self ... until I forgot to wind it again.

Since my Dad passed away, Mr. L has become the keeper of the clock. While my Dad was in the hospital/nursing home, during his last months, we had a hard time keeping the clock going.  Mr. L had many conversations with Dad about how to keep it going.

The clock stopped rather suddenly just before Christmas.  Mr. L and I tried about 150 times to get it going.  Mr. L was getting quite upset that nothing he did made it work.  He played with it and played with it to no avail.

The other day, my mother jammed her sewing machine.  She spent hours trying to unjam it.  Finally she said, "Lenny, what would you do to fix this thing?" and suddenly it came to her.  Break the needle.  I broke it for her and voila!  Unjammed.  With this in mind, I went home and looked at my Dad's picture (not far from the clock) and said, "Dad, what's it going to take to get this clock working?"

I went back to working on my book.

Several hours later, I was sitting on the couch and looked up.  Miraculously, the clock was BONGING!  (Oh, how I have missed that sound!!!!!  My sister in law doesn't know what she's missing.) Somehow, Mr. L got it working again. (He won't tell me exactly how--and I don't care.)

Now, I'm not one who believes in messages from the great beyond ... but sometimes ... ya gotta wonder.

Anything like that ever happen to you?