The Clock

When I was about 10 or 11 years old, my father gave me a ships clock.  I have no idea where he got it, but I’ve had it almost 50 years.

The clock indirectly caused some concern to my daughter’s first grade teacher when she was teaching them how read an analog clock.  The teacher asked the kids to draw a clock face showing 6 o’clock.  My daughter drew the clock hands; big hand straight up, little hand pointing to the right.  This was, according to the teacher, wrong.  The teacher then asked the kids to draw a clock face showing 12 o’clock.  My daughter drew the clock hands; big straight hand up, little hand straight down.  This was, according to the teacher, wrong.

By then, my daughter was a bit frustrated and this resulted in a letter coming home for either my wife or I to sign.  The note said something about her irrational insistence that her drawings were correct.

I took the clock off of the wall and the next morning, I brought my daughter (and the clock) to school.  When I showed the teacher, she was surprised.  “I’ve never seen one of these before.” was her comment.  Once I explained the difference between 6pm and 6am on this clock, she went on to say she now understood why my daughter kept asking, “Morning or afternoon” for each clock face, but the teacher still said my daughter’s clock drawings were incorrect.

clock

 

About 5 years ago, the clock stopped working, but I didn’t do anything about it at the time.  As they say, “Even a broken clock is correct sometime.”  In this clock’s case, it was correct once per day.

A few months ago, I finally got tired of the non-working clock and took it to a clock repair shop.  The clock maker had to fabricate several new parts to get it working, but three months later, it’s back home and working perfectly.

I’m sure my dad, if he was still alive, would be glad to know that his gift to his then young son is still cherished.

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Just a Few Minutes Ago

Just a few minutes ago, but in 1998, after a somewhat difficult delivery, my wife and I saw our newborn daughter for the first time.

That day ranked as one of the most amazing and joyous days of my life.  Even now, 21 years later, the emotions and memories from that day are just as strong and clear as they were then.

People ask me what I think of her and I reply, “She makes me smile.”  To me that is the highest compliment I can make to her.

21 Years.  Wow

Done

My mom’s house is now completely cleaned out.  The house is as bare as it was the day my parents moved in.  This time, however, the excitement of the possibilities of an empty house was not there.

During the final check to make sure I didn’t forget anything that will be in the way of the plasterers, painters and carpet layers, I found, in the back corner of a cabinet in my parent’s bedroom, a plastic bag containing a note and some dried flowers.  “2/18/46 Wedding bouquet”, is what the note said.  The flowers are in pretty bad condition, but they obviously were of great importance to my mom because she brought them along on probably two dozen (dad was in the Marine Corps) moves.

Even though they were in very bad shape, I decided to save the flowers.  As I mentioned I was going to save them, my wife gave me “the look”.  When I told her what I was going to do, “the look” stopped and said she would like to go with me.  Next Saturday, early in the morning when the breezes are calm, I’m going to the veteran’s cemetery and place those flowers on mom’s and dad’s grave markers.

Mom

This past Friday was my mom’s burial service.  She was a US Navy Lieutenant during World War 2 and the navy rendered honors–the rifle volleys, folding and presentation of the flag and the playing of taps.

Her ashes were interred next to my dad, a US Marine.

The empty spot in the veterans’ cemetery is now filled.

Fair winds and following seas, mom.

Semper Fi, dad.