Friday, June 17, 2016

It's Time for Summer

By Shirley Hailstock

I know we changed the clocks in April, but at our house Spring Forward and Fall Back takes a little longer than a few minutes.  I collect clocks.  Everything from the grandfather clock in the hall to the miniature replicas of Mickey Mouse and Cogsworth from Disney's Beauty and the Beast share a shelf in one place or another.

A friend reminded me recently that I'd once told her that "I have the same 24 hours in the day and everyone else." But maybe I keep track of them more consciously than others.




Does anybody really know what time it is?  I'm reminded of the song by Chicago.  Time is something we call on everyday.  "Gee, I wish I had more time."  "I could really do this right if I  just had a little more time."  "I ran out of time."  There are entire courses on time management.  How to use the time we have more efficiently.  But for us time flows forward and there is never enough of it.

I used to feel that I could get more done if I just had more time, but that's not true, I need to use it better. However, there are days when we just can't focus on anything, even the things we love -- like reading or writing.  When I feel like I'm not going to get everything done, I pull out the trusty paper and pencil and start listing everything I need to do.  As I finish one task, I feel infused and ready to cross something else off the list until I'm down to near zero.  You never ever get to the finish line, but you can try.



Album Cover
I read about time. I suppose collecting clocks makes it a natural interest.  We all know or at least we've heard that time is relative.  According to prominent physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking, time can be bent.  So what time it is depends on where you are.  There are all kinds of time.  There's prime meridian time, vacation time, time from the atomic clock in Fort Collins, Colorado. I can't remember when my fascination with time began.  I think it was when I first saw The Time Machine.  I remember being fascinated by the scene with all the clocks on the mantle.  When I began to travel, I'd gravitate toward places with clocks and not the usual spoons or ash trays although, I did buy thimbles.

The clock below I got in England near the Scottish border.  My son was six months old and we (or I) were touring Scotland.  I drove to the England-Scotland border and took a photo of the house that sits across the property line, half in England, half in Scotland. In the small village near there I spotted this clock in the window of a shop.  Baby in tow, I went inside and could not live without that clock.  I brought it and they packed is well so it wouldn't be broken on my trip across the Atlantic.  To be sure of that, I got a huge box and shipped my clothes home.  I carried the clock.  I know where my priorities lay.

Being so conscious of time, I usually write by the hour. That doesn't mean I write for an hour. I write for hours each day, but I have a clock set for every hour, so I can get up and do something physical. Movement keeps my neck and back from getting tired and I can be more productive. One of my goals for the past two years was to write more books and I'm keeping to it.




In school, I loved both science and history.  Both had a lot of dates and I could remember numbers.  There was a jewelry store close to us that had a window full of clocks.  They were all set to 8:20.  I don't know if it was AM or PM, but that was the time. Every time I noticed a clock in a store, it was set to that time.  I wondered why and someone (can't remember who) told me that was the time that Abraham Lincoln was shot so all the clocks stopped at that time. I was young and impressionable, so I believed it.  I don't know if it was true and today clocks are battery operated, so they are often running when you buy them.  Notice my clocks are set close to 12:15.  This is how I learned the date the Magna Carta was signed.  Lunchtime - 12:15.




This table setting reminds me of the mad hatters tea party from Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite books.  While putting it together, the refrain of "I'm late, I'm late for a very important date" kept running through my head.  And I could see the white rabbit checking his pocket watch. In my collection, I don't have a pocket watch. Hmm, maybe I'll have to remedy that.




The plates have a Spring-type vine around the outside.  I paired it with a white plate that has a lattice pattern.  The white on white might make it hard to see (or my amateur photography - take your pick).




My guests loved all the clocks, especially when they reached the hour and the anniversary clocks played their music and gonged out the hour.  As the clocks are placed all over the house, I rarely think of them as a cohesive song, but they made for long conversations about where we were when I bought this or that clock.

I started a novel once that involved a clock hobbyist. His day job was a judge.  It's still waiting for a finished ending, not to mention a middle.  But time will tell when I can get to it.

An anniversary clock sits on the bookshelf in my office. Yet at night when I'm working and the house is quiet, I don't even hear it and I can work well into the night.




And there are the clocks that aren't on the table.


Atomic Clock

The Atomic Clock is tied into the U.S. clock at Fort Collins, Colorado.  It automatically changes itself when the time changes.  I wanted to watch the numbers go back last fall.  I stayed up to 2:00 am.  Nothing happened.  By 2:30 still nothing had happened.  Suddenly, I realized it wasn't 2:00 am in Colorado and I went to bed.  When I got up, the clock had the right time.

I did get to see it change once, though. Instead of it going back one hour, it goes forward and all the way around the dial until it reaches the correct time. It was fascinating to watch.


-ish Clock

This is my -ish clock.  I've had it for years, so I can't remember where I bought it.  It's for those people who are never on time.  They will be there at three-ish.  This means that you could be waiting for them for up to half an hour (or longer).




The small grandfather clock next to the plate I got in England.  It reminds me of Big Ben.  It usually sits on my desk, but I love it next to the place setting.




With all the time pieces you'd think there was no place to eat on this table.  Yet no one wanted to remove anything from the centerpiece. We had a great meal and a long conversation over clocks and books, stories we'd read when we were younger.

I can't leave out a this clock.  I climbed up this huge hill in Greenwich, England so I could stand at the Prime Meridian.  Time begins here, the sign said.



Below it is a shop with the sign of being the first in the world.


Longitude 00, Latitude 00
When next it's Time for Lunch, invite the crowd and have them remember where they were when time began...or at leave what book where they reading.


12:15 - Time for Lunch


Until next time (pun intended) keep reading and forget about the time.


17 comments:

  1. Your clocks are beautiful and I love the memories associated with them. My sister-in-law carried Black Forest cuckoo clocks all over Germany because she was afraid to have them shipped.

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  2. My son brought me back a cuckoo clock from Germany. I love it.

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  3. Thanks for the fun post, Shirley, and the fabulous pictures. I especially loved the picture of the "-ish" clock. Although I tend to be on time, I love the humor of it. I wish I could find one like it!

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    1. I'm an on time person too. I hate being late.

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  4. Shirley, what an impressive collection! And your table is gorgeous! I love that on your European trip, you sent your clothes home and carried the clock. What is an anniversary clock? If I'm the only one who doesn't know, I apologize to the rest of you. Thanks for sharing your love of clocks with us and all those lovely photos. Happy Weekend, Everyone.

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    1. An anniversary clock is just the form of clock, usually under a dome, usually larger than other clocks. I have several. They usually chime at certain intervals. Some of mine do as many as every 15 minutes and others as long as one hour.

      Anniversary Clock probably has a history as to why it's called that, but I never looked it up.

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  5. Shirley, what a fascinating collection of clocks and facts about them. Thank you so much for sharing! The oldest clock I have is one that is eighty years old, passed down from my family. It is electric and keeps good time. I'm wondering if it will make it to 100.

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    1. It probably will. You might need to have it cleaned.

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  6. Shirley, what a fun, informative and insightful post. I love that you went to the Prime Meridian. Now that is something I'd love to say I did. Your collection and table are spectacular. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Great photos!

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    1. You're welcome. The Prime Meridian was a destination I wanted to go to, so made a point of putting that on the itinerary the last time I was in England. I walked up this tremendous hill to get there, but is an easier way I didn't find until I was on the way down.

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  7. Fascinating post. I'm intrigued with time as well and of course had to look up the answer to why clocks are set to 8:20. Only to find they are now set to 10:10. There seems to be a couple of reasons--at 10:10, clocks look to be smiling, and advertisers like a happy clock . Another reason--when clocks are set at 10:10, they don't hide the company's logo. So take your pick.

    One other thing--I can't imagine changing all of your clocks. lol. I think I'd just leave them at standard time.

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    1. I go around changing them all, sometimes during a commercial on television that reminded me to change them. The others (upstairs) get changed before bed or in the morning. Then I have to remember the clock on the heating/air conditioning timer. It's April when we change the time, so it's still cold here and I want the heat to come up at the right time so it's warm when I wake up.

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    2. Interesting, I hadn't noticed that clocks are set at 10:10. Next time I'm in the mall, I'll look at the clock and watch store.

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  8. I love your clock collection. Have you seen those side tables with a clock under glass on the top? With all your clocks, you must always know the time, although isn't there some proverb about a man with two watches never being sure what time it is?

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    1. I usually do know what time it is, at least within 5 minutes. The clocks/watches are accurate. I even get the digital clock on the store and microwave to be the same number. And while most people look at their phones for time, I still wear a watch.

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  9. I love seeing things that people collect and this is the first clock collection I've seen. What a neat idea! All the clocks in my house are set at least 15 minutes fast because, sadly, I'm one of those -ish people.

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    1. Does that work? Since you know their 15 minutes fast, you think you have more time and that makes you late.

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