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Tick - Tock
By
meredith

Tick - Tock

Old clock marks the passage of time.

I am sitting quietly in the living room. Reading a book or the paper, when I notice an eerie silence about the room. I looked across into the kitchen and then the dining room and still the silence was deafening. I then realize that the old Seth Thomas clock sitting on the mantel had stopped. Apparently, I had forgotten to wind it.

I got up from my chair and walked over to the fireplace. Opening the door, I took out the key. I wound the mainspring and then the chime spring. Placing the key back in the clock I touched the pendulum to start it on its journey. The comforting sounds of the clock started, “Tick – Tock”. It's rhythm filling the soundless void.

Adjusting the time to be correct or at least as correct as this clock can be, I closed the door. I looked upon its cracked and chipped face. This clock had been my grandmother's. It hung on the wall in kitchen of her farm house. She had given it to my mother and then my mother gave it to me. I stopped to ponder. What had this old face seen in it's earlier days? Certainly it had seen my mother during her youth. Growing up on that old farm. Maybe helping my grandmother in the kitchen or doing her homework at the table. It had seen my aunt Marjory and uncle Bob as well. It had probably had seen my aunt Dixie Jean who was born in June of 1929. She passed away the next month. What was she like in her short life? What kind of woman would she have grown into? Would there have been more cousins to have grown up with? Questions for which there were no answers. It had seen all of what had gone before, but was keeping the family secrets safe.

The only response I got from the clock was the steady beat of it's mechanical heart. It was just a set of springs, gears, cogs and escape mechanisms. All it ever has needed since then is a good winding twice a week. No batteries were required. Something that was built in the late 1800's. At least thats what the clockmaker said when he cleaned it last. He asked me if I wanted to put a new face on. I told it wouldn't be the same with out it's time worn look.

For me at least, the clock was a little more. It was handed down to me by my mother. Not inherited or something I had to buy at the estate auction. It was a real connection to my past, a member of the family, part of my heritage. It wasn't much, but it was all I really have from the past. A past I will never find out anything new about. Just the sounds of this old clock marking time by a steady cadence of “Tick – Tock” as it looks out from the mantel.

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Copyright © Copyright(c) 2013 / 2018 by James W

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