Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Time marches on...

and it's a miracle!

I have a clock I love;
its hung over the fireplace in every home I've owned since 1971.

"It's a French Westminster 'Box Regulator',
noted for its beautiful tonal quality" -
per the clock repair man I recently consulted.

It probably dates to the early 20's.
My husband and I bought it in 1970
from a neighbor who collected clocks and "it was old" then.
The only time it has ever needed attention was back in the mid 90's,
when an overzealous winding 'sprung' some mechanism.

With routine winding,
I am rewarded with the steady heartbeat of a metronome
and melodic chiming every 15 minutes -
which may sound intrusive but which, in actuality,
becomes barely discernible even when you're napping reading in the same room.

So returning from Spain this past spring
to see the clock inexplicably stilled
was devastating
and one more grievance to add to a long list
of a things done poorly by the house-sitter in whom my trust had been misplaced.

Worse than being stilled, there was a terrible grinding noise
with any attempt to swing the pendulum.
No amount of looking (with my untrained eye)
could identify the source of friction or obstacle.

The last time my clock needed servicing it was gone for almost 8 months -
and cost several hundred dollars -
so I wasn't in any particular hurry this time
to find someone I could trust with the repair.

I asked around,
researched on several websites,
visited all sorts of antique stores featuring clockworks -
and, in desperation, had even entertained the idea of just turning it into an art shrine!

Last week though, I had spoken to yet one more person who seemed to have
both the knowledge and appreciation for my timepiece.

The only thing which prevented me from taking the clock down
and transporting it immediately to his shop
was my two day commitment,
under penalty of a subpoena,
to testify in a murder trial.

That's over and done
(the guy successfully convicted of first degree involuntary manslaughter
in the abusive death of his 3 mos old son) -
and this Thursday was designated as clock repair day.

Yesterday morning as I was cleaning in the sunroom,
I felt, rather than heard, an unexpected noise -
and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the pendulum moving on the clock!

(This is a pendulum that needs a 'tap' to get it going again,
even with routine winding,
and nothing and no one had opened up the case or touched the clock for weeks!).

I didn't touch it at all yesterday either,
convinced it would stop operating at any moment.

But it didn't;
it hasn't;
it's keeping time as though nothing had ever been wrong.
The malady of 8 months has completely disappeared.
The appointment with the clock-master has been cancelled.

His theory is that it began working again in solidarity with the people of France
after the terrorist attacks which were meant to silence them.

Leave it to me to have a political timepiece!

Can't begin to tell you how happy I am to have it back -
no matter what it's political leanings are -
as long as its not Republican!

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