Wicked Wednesday: Practical Beauty

ClockandDaggerWe’re continuing our celebration of Julianne Holmes’ Clock and Dagger with our thoughts about clocks. Civilization wouldn’t be what it is if they hadn’t been invented. Imagine the chaos if we couldn’t agree on the time, and even if we agreed, couldn’t tell what time it was right now.

But today, we have blinking digital reminders of the time all around us–on every appliance and device. What time it is, you ask? Let me glance around the room. More than ever, clocks are becoming art forms. While this has always been true, now they must provide us with beauty and happiness to find room in our homes.

Wickeds, is there a special clock in your life? Something from an ancestor or a gift? Something you possess now or remember from your childhood? Tell us about it.VeggieClock

Edith: I have a sweet clock in my office that I love. Hugh had given it to his parents, and we
brought it home after his father died. We also have a vegetable clock I’m very fond of. Right now, for example, it’s a zucchini past onion. Despite all the digital clocks, I always first glance at the analog ones to check the time.

Sherry: I love clocks and since Julie started writing the clock shop mysteries I always notice them. (She’s probably tired of me texting pictures of clocks to her!) Here are some of my favorites:

The first one is from my grandparents farm in Novinger, Missouri. The flyswatter clock came from the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts. The second hand has a little plastic fly on it. One of my daughter’s friends almost took it out when he saw it move over his shoulder. I found the little alarm clock at a yard sale recently.

Liz: I love my zen alarm clock. I bought it years ago when I read somewhere that waking Zen clockup to shrill beeping or blasting music isn’t a good way for your brain to start the day. The zen clock chimes when it’s time to get up. It starts off with one chime, then the more you ignore it, it begins to chime more frequently. You’re still not going to sleep through it, you’ll just wake up a lot more peacefully.

picture of a shelf clock on a bookshelfJulie: One of the best things about writing this series is the clock research. I fall in love with clocks all the time. But the clock on the right? That is the clock my grandmother left me in her will. It is a little beat up, and electric. But it reminds me of her, and I love that I have it. I fine most folks think of clocks as more than just timepieces–they are also memory portals.

Jessie: My brother-in-law, John, has made several clocks for my household. He tailors them to individual interests of the people in the family. When my first book came out it was the debut in the Granite State Mysteries series. He very thoughtfully crafted a clock for me from pink granite cut into the shape of New Hampshire. It makes me smile every time I glance at it.

boothbayclockBarb: I have several clocks back in Massachusetts that have meaning for me. One is a mantel clock my parents gave to my husband and I when we first bought a house that had a mantel. Another was one that sat on my grandparents’ mantel for many years. But since I’m not home, I took a look around the house in Maine. Most of the contents belong to my mother-in-law including several clocks. I found this one. Sherry Harris, it looks a little familiar.

Readers: What about you? Do you have a clock you cherish, for its beauty or the memories it brings?




41 Thoughts

  1. I have a clock that my grandmother cherished–it’s a Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Perpetual Motion clock, with a weighted disk at the bottom that goes around, reverses, goes around–mesmerizing! It lives in its own glass case. I don’t know when or where she got it–probably in the 1960s. The only drawback is, it’s so sensitive to motion that the mechanism stops when it’s jiggled–which means it really doesn’t like my wood-frame Victorian house with its rather bouncy floors. I still have it where I can see it, only not in perpetual motion.

  2. Love the veggie clock! It reminds me of one my daughter and I made for her bedroom. She wanted to be a marine biologist at the time, so when we repainted and redid her nursery-themed room we gave it an underwater theme. I bought a big blue plate and my husband drilled a hole in the center, where I installed a clockworks (Michael’s and lots of other crafts places sell them as kits). We also took wood chipboard fish shapes and painted them to match the room, then glued them around the edge of the plate as the 12 numbers. It was very cute, and she learned to tell time on an analog clock.

  3. My father was a clock collector. When he died his collection was distributed among us. My favorite clock is my grandfather clock that my father made specifically for me. Each of my siblings also have one made by him. I also have a grandfather’s clock that has been passed from generation to generation on my father’s side. These all hold special meaning to me.

  4. This blog brought back the memory of when I learned to tell time–way back when we only had clocks with hands. The teacher gave us paper plates with a pin to hold two black paper hands and taught us how to read time using the plate. Many kids today are only familiar with digital time and can’t tell time any other way.

  5. Barb — our two clocks are amazingly similar — those columns must have been popular! I’ve seen lots of them in antique stores. I like the natural wood of yours!

  6. I’m afraid I’m boring. I use the clocks on my appliances/DVR and I don’t even use a watch any more. I use my phone since it’s always in my pocket when I’m not home.

    1. I’ve never worn a watch, and neither has my husband. My father used to tell a long, tortured joke about a young man who didn’t wear a watch which I’ll spare you.

  7. My family has a wall clock from the 1950s that is so retro. It has a starburst pattern around the clock face. My grandmother insisted that the family doctor (he made house calls, imagine that!) give her the clock. My grandmother was a very persistent woman. LOL. Someday that clock will hang in my house.

  8. I don’t have clock in my house with a history but have my fathers pocket watch, pen knife that he was given by his father when he left for France during WWl. He carried them always . In the fall of 1944 he was home for quite sometime while his ship was being repaired. The Captain of the ship promised him it would be his last trip as all the old timer were left behind., but he had no one to replace him and he had a green gunnery crew. His ship went down in January 1945 and we found he had left his watch, knife and wedding ring behind. On a stop in Hawaii he had his picture taken in his dress white that we didn’t get till he as gone.

  9. Oh, Ruth. Such a beautiful treasure-filled story.

    My father left me his ships bell clock. It’s very old and now one of the last made with the bell that rings in ship’s time. It needs fixing now, since one of the kids overwound it. I’m going to wait until we get back to Boston, because I’m concerned about shipping it. The manufacturer is in Charlestown, I think. Boston, anyway!

  10. I don’t have this clock any longer. But I do remember it with fond memories. It was a small alarm clock that actually had bells that clanged on the outside. Unfortunately, my then toy fox terrier Kiko hated when it went off. He would take it and bite it furiously. It finally died from all the bite wounds. Kiko however, went on to live a full life of 15 years young! He was my best buddy from seventeen til I was thirty- two.

  11. My favorite clock was my dad’s Felix the Cat clock where his eyes move back and forth. He also had a clock that looked like the outside or a diner. Wow! What a fun blog post. Brings back memories I haven’t thought of for so many years! Thanks for sharing all!

  12. I, too, learned to tell time using the paper plates in grammar school. As I have since discovered, it was possibly a life saving skill.

    A few years ago I went in for an ultrasound and the doctor had written the order for the technician to do the ultrasound in the 3 o’clock position of the subject area. The technician promptly did the ultrasound in the 9 o’clock position and announced that she was done. I reiterated that the doctor had requested the 3 o’clock position. She then admitted that she had no idea what that meant. She only knew how to tell time on digital devices. I explained the whole deal and she repeated the ultra-sound in the correct region. I’ve often wondered how many people are incorrectly diagnosed for medical procedures because of the misunderstanding about clock positions. It was fortunate that I was alert and could correct the error in a timely manner. (No pun intended…or written) If I had been groggy or in any other way incapacitated, I’m confident that the doctor would not have known that the wrong area had been “ultra-sounded.”

  13. I have an old, old round bedside clock that was my grandmother’s. It’s metal and I haven’t wound it up lately to see if it works. I have it in the guest room along with a lot of other things from my grandmother. It brings back good memories of her. Can’t wait to read “Clock and Dagger”.

  14. The spring-wound (had to look up the spelling and I mean the past tense of ‘wind’, not an injury) wall clock, that I bought early in my marriage, is currently patiently waiting at my neighbor the clock fancier’s because, after more than 40 years of service, it threw a rod (thought only cars could do that!).

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