Yesterday, to my astonishment, The Clock Repairman called to say my clock is repaired and ready for pick up. You could have knocked me over with feather. It’s been at the shop for so long I forget it is there. The timepiece, called ‘Aunt Marion’s clock’, is back on the shelf in the home office. As I type this, I hear it chiming the quarter/half/three-quarter hours, and the deep bass slow ‘dong dong dong’ of the hour.  You cannot imagine how happy this makes me feel. 

Great Aunt Marion was married to Samuel, the brother of Kleber, who was my great-grandfather*.  Kleber lived 1868-1921, to hint at the clock’s age. I have a few sketchy memories of Father taking me to visit her when I was very young . When she died, Father got the clock – and now I have it. 

This clock has told the time throughout my lifetime; it’s chimed away in all my tribulations and many moves. Once in a while the clock dies and I spend a small fortune getting someone to bring it back to life. Clock repairmen are all alike that they are introverted old men who work alone and have no set work hours. Not once has any of them told me the job will be ready in less than six months**. They are like the old clocks they tinker with. It grows harder and harder to find one still working. I guess they are in high-demand or ironically they are not pressed for time. 

Someone picked up the clock, so I didn’t hear what was the matter. I called once a season or so to see if he is still alive (I worried) and he would say again he’s working on it. The pendulum grows tired and stops swinging. I don’t blame it for doing so. It’s been going back and forth for over a century and deserves a good death – but I won’t let it.  The Clock Repairman tells me there are few clocks like this one left anymore and it is priceless. This was not news to me. I shudder to think of the price it has cost me to keep it going.

But all that doesn’t matter now. It is back up and running again. Aunt Marion’s portrait stand vigil again next to her clock, which quietly chimes the quarters albeit a bit off-key. It isn’t exactly on time but that too doesn’t matter. I will sleep well tonight as I hear its plangent tones emanating from the hallway. 

*Kleber <  Edward < Thomas < Urs Truly. 

**This round I believe took over a year, as I remember dropping it off without me needing to wear a mask.