So even though they tell us that spring is almost here — time’s been moved ahead an hour, the 21st of March is approaching — we’re not really getting the feel of the season up here in the Northeast. Though it’s not uncommon to have nasty storms descend in brutal mid-winter form, the one that showed up this week was magnified by the length of the season. It started on the calendar in December, but it really began a month before that. Let’s just say that we’re tired of it.
Last weekend we moved the clocks forward to begin daylight savings time. Per usual, this one-hour change brought out a litany of complaints, from general grogginess from the people whose sleep patterns had been disrupted to full-on bitching about government intervention as an affront against nature. Let’s just say we’re a little uptight.
As chronicled in a recent Sparks Fly On E Street entry, I finally got around to unpacking my dad’s last suitcase as a part of some housecleaning adventures. One of the things in that suitcase was dad’s prized reverse wall clock. You’ve seen them in old catalogs. It takes a while to get used to a clock running counter-clockwise, but it’s sort of fun too. Dad had one when I was a little kid but at some point over all of those decades it had gone missing. When one showed up in a catalog, Dad whipped out his checkbook and immediately placed an order.
I dug around for a new double-A battery and mounted the clock on the wall. Sure, it takes me about 10 seconds to figure out what time it is, but it’s nice to see that familiar object up there. Now we actually have two functioning wall clocks, the other being my faux-neon “Cup of Joe” diner clock, which will now be showing the right time for a while because I was too lazy to adjust it last year when daylight savings time expired. Actually, it’s sort of rare for that particular clock to be running at all. When the battery goes, I usually just print out a sign with a city name (“Downtown Burbank”) and tape it to the bottom of the clock. Drives the kids nuts.
After I put up the backwards clock, I got to thinking that maybe it would be cool to set the time on my dad’s “anniversary” clock, given to him for 25 years of service with General Motors. I’d restarted it just a few days earlier when I had a friend over for dinner. He asked me how I wound it…and I honestly had no idea. In fact, I was pretty sure that we never wound it. He gave me a skeptical look. So I did some research and found that that particular clock was designed to keep moving by winding the main spring using changes in temperature. Well, I’ll be damned.
Of course, the clock hasn’t been cleaned in decades so it ran for only a few days. I’ll have to find somebody local to service it. Even without it operating, it’s fun to have Dad’s “major award” up there on the shelf. 25 years at one company; that’s a rarity these days.
Sorry for the ramble. It’s been a long winter.
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