THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK

It has hung on that wall for over one hundred years.  Each new owner of the old, dignified and somewhat decrepit house has agreed to leave it where it is; hanging in the entry hall.  Day in and day out it chimes the hour, tick tocks the moments and gathers dust.  Some of the dust, deep in its walnut crevices is as old as the clock.  The wood has been both buffed and nourished with bee’s wax, lemon oil and in more recent years, spray bottles of Pledge.  The keys have been turned by hands young and old; clean and soiled; caring and dutiful.  The etched glass of its cover was finely detailed with tiny holly leaves and berries with bits of Christmas ivy intertwined.

The humans who live with the clock have long sense taken it for granted.  It is there. It ticks.  It chimes.  It marks the days, hours and minutes of their lives, as it does what it was designed to do.  The clock is aware of the passing of time as it reverberates with chimes each hour but the humans who live in its house often forget time is fleeting.  They foolishly assume they and theirs will live forever.  The clock knows that is not true and tries to remind the human with each tick tock and each chime.

Except for an occasional draft blowing in with the opening of the ancient front door, the clock knows little of the weather.  Neither does it understand what the home’s inhabitants are experiencing.  The clock knows no pain.  It knows no suffering or need.  The clock has no need for money or pain from lack of it.  The “health” of the clock as it chimes the days away, is unchanging.  It’s ticking is the rhythm, the pulse, of the house.

The occupants of the house experience love as they marry, moving into the house as newlyweds, giddy on wedding wine and love’s expectations.  Through the years they wilt into comfort and expand their love to include running children, crying babies and scampering pets.  Sometimes life is good, as the clock ticks on the wall; sometimes life displays signals of pain as with the sobbing of a young mother, worried about a sick child.  At other times the clock knows joy as the house is filled with the raucous laughter of revelers for a family gathering, an anniversary or a birthday party replete with hats, horns and burning candles.

These mere mortals who inhabitant the home with the clock experience times of pain when Jimmy breaks his leg; when Dad loses his job or when an elderly grandmother is suddenly left a widow.  Sons go off to war and most return safely home. The clock doesn’t understand the meaning of all of this as it ticks away the hours, keeping time in this house of humans, who are frail and expendable.

During the holiday season the home is filled with the fragrance of pine sap, rich and pungent.  Early on, harpsichord music filled the air with “OH, CHRISTMAS TREE,” to be replaced years later by the lilting scratches of a record player with its megaphone speaker.  Stereos, then CD players filled the home with the rhythms of the season. Sometimes the songs were silly like “I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS” and “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH.”  The clock felt a kinship to the music, the rhythm and the tone.

Some of the humans who lived in the house celebrated the season by baking delicious breads and an eight armed candleholder called a menorah.  Some of these candleholders were ornate brass or gold while others were simply made and modest.  All were accompanied with ceremony, emotion and respect for the season of Hanukkah.   

The inhabitants came, they lived for awhile, and then they either moved on or were no more.  Someone always kept the clock wound so it could do its duty, keeping time, chiming the hours of the lives of those who chose this house with the Christmas clock.

Illness had often entered through the door, its days passed by the chiming of the clock.  One young father fell to the floor clutching his chest; another small child limped her way through life after a bout of polio.  The tapping of a cane, replaced years later by the squeaking of the wheels of a wheelchair was often accompanied by the sobbing of those who suffered or those who helplessly watched and loved.  Yet,  in spite of the sounds of human suffering, joyful sounds and laughter still rang louder throughout the walls as the clock continued to tick, tock, tick, tock.

The frailty of human life with its beginnings and its ends was observed by the clock, yet it did not change.  Time marched on as did illness, injury and suffering; always it was accompanied by joy, hope and caring.  It all began to mix with the chiming as life passed by to the tune of the beautiful holly etched, walnut clock, tick, tock, tick, tock.

150 thoughts on “THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK

  1. Quick note before I had off to work. Would appreciate your prayers today. I am in major pain. Turns out the car wreck I had messed me over pretty badly. I have 3 herniated discs in my lower back shooting pain down both legs and interfering with bladder function. Basically undid all the nice work my surgeon did two years ago when I had back surgery. I am very discouraged.

    • Oh Annie, I am so sorry to hear this. Time for some professional help dear girl. Hang in there but I do understand how badly you must be feeling and discouraged. Love you, Sue

      • The professionals are on it: Doing PT, taking muscle relaxers and pain meds at night, have consult upcoming with the surgeon, and meeting with a lawyer tomorrow for some help navigating the liability / insurance maze. Roller coaster ride- arms in the air shouting Wheeeeee!!!!!

      • Annie, I agree with Lyn, of course we’re there for you. I am so sad you have to go through this. The insurance end may drive you crazy so leave it to those who feel better like the attorney. You have enough to deal with. Oh dear…Love you, Sue

  2. Jennie dear, of course you’re in my thoughts. With world news via FOX or CNN, we see as much as you do, play by play 24/7. How tragic for your country and for the families of the innocents involved. So many killed or injured. It’s terrible.
    Hope your Mom is doing okay as she recovers. Any change with daughters friend? Thinking of you with love, Sue

    • HELLO SUE…THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORDS…..IT SEEMS THE HOSTAGE SITUATION IS NOT YET OVER, THE SISTER OF ONE OF THOSE CREEPS IS NOW ON THE RUN, AND ARMED…..LORD KNOWS WHAT MAY COME NEXT.
      MY MOM IS MAKING GOOD PROGRESS THANK YOU, SHE HAS A ROOM TO HERSELF WITH A TINY KITCHEN AND BATHROOM, PLUS A WHEELCHAIR SHOULD SHE WISH TO GO DOWNSTAIRS FOR LUNCH….SHE HAS TO HAVE ANOTHER X-RAY NEXT WEEK AND IF THEY CAN FIT A BOOT ON HER, AND WITH A STICK, THEY MAY LET HER HOME, AS SHE HAS GOOD PEOPLE WHO WILL HELP HER….I THOUGHT IT WAS HER LEG SHE BROKE, IT WAS HER ANKLE.
      REGARDING MY NIKKI’S GAVIN, HE SEEMS A BIT BRIGHTER, THE TINNITUS HAS CALMED A BIT, SHE HAS SENT FOR SOME EXPENSIVE EARPLUGS DIRECTLY FROM THE TINNITUS SOCIETY WHICH SHOULD HELP, BUT SHE IS NOT HAPPY WITH HIS MEDS, THINKS THE DOSE IS TOO MUCH, AND IS AFRAID FOR HIM ON THEM WHEN HE USES THE ROAD, SO THEY MAY GO BACK TO THE DOC TO SEE IF THERE IS SOMETHING WITH LESS SIDE EFFECTS.
      I AM THINKING OF YOU TOO MY FRIEND, AND HOPING YOUR PROGRESSION BACK TO BETTER HEALTH IS STILL ONGOING……………..LOVE AND SPECIAL HUGS….JENNIE XX

      • Dear Jennie, So pleased to hear your Mom and Gavin are both progressing. Actually, fractured ankle for your Mom may enable her to get around better than a broken leg. Bless her. Her independent spirit will sure serve her well, that’s for sure. Hope she gets to go home soon if it’s safe.
        Sounds like Gavin is getting the best guidance he can. That’s such a frustration to both of them, I know.
        My dear friend, I have some idea how nervous and on edge your countrymen must be. I remember on 9/11 how it was in our country. You’re in our prayers and we also know it could be us again at any time. In our news the one on the run is the guy who died in the deli’s wife. News varies apparently. It’s all so complicated and hideous beyond endurance. Looks like the French police did a superb job. Those poor innocents who were slaughtered, oh dear. Thinking of you with love, Sue

  3. Hi all
    So cold and windy here
    Had good news about my breast scan it was clear.it was early,the result,only 4 days,so I was concerned with the envelope,but it was ok. So the itching and odd feeling must still be from the blocked duct I saw about 2 years ago.it comes and goes
    Been reading,done a bit of tidying in the garden. Got spaghetti with cheese on Tonite ,got a thing for that now.!
    Annie so sorry to hear of the back problem,as it had been sorted out.at least you are onto it now.look after yourself at work with those young ones
    Sue
    Will make that shopping trip soon,it’s only 20 mins away,but wait till this weather
    Whatcha up to then Jen?
    Awful news
    Chris

    • HI CHRIS LOVE…HOW IS IT WITH YOU…ANY NEWS ON OWT? I CAN’T GET TO GRIPS WITH THAT “BROADCHURCH” WISH I HAD WATCHED THE FIRST SERIES NOW……..STILL GOT MY “MUSKATEERS” BACK ON FRIDAY NIGHT…YIPEE!!!
      ROTTEN WEATHER, FINE DRIZZLE SO CAN’T GET THE WASHING DRY….GOT TO TRY AND DRY THEM INDOORS, HATE THAT…..PANTS!!
      WENT TO THE EXPAT CENTRE FOR BOOKS THIS MORNING, ALL THEY TALKED ABOUT WAS THE HOSTAGE SITUATION, I THINK IT HAS EVERYONE WORRIED, THERE WILL BE MORE OF THE SAME I’LL BET.
      WELL NOT DOING NOWT ELSE TODAY, JUST A JIGSAW IF I CAN BE BOTHERED, OR JUST TAKE A CHILL PILL.
      LOVE YOU……………JEN X

    • Chris, sounds like your Dad has wheels again. Is his faithful neighbor still picking up the slack? I hope you are doing okay and am pleased to hear your mast. was negative. Good news. Glad you’re finding some foods that agree with your IBS and don’t aggravate it. I don’t know what I would do without potato soup and also pasta. Do take care and hope your weather isn’t too extreme. Love, Sue

  4. Jen
    Broadchurch …thought it was just me!
    It’s all in the papers people can’t make head or tail of it.and the sound they all say is too mushy as well
    Shame..still it mite improve.the first series was so good
    I’m doing owt much either
    Chris

    • Hi Chris…..my daughter has that covered, she made sure he is in regular touch with the tinnitus society, they have been really helpful, but thanks for the thought, it was sweet of you…..just going for a bath, the gonna watch Bette Midler in “Beaches”….a weepy, but I love it, been five times now, got the tissues ready….love ya…Jen xx

  5. Prayers for everyone who is hurting … guess that is all of us right now!
    Jennie, Marguerite was the name of my favourite aunt!
    Just dropping in to say I have been in bed with a miserable flu; couldn’t keep a thing down for two days but I think it is finally settling! It sure hasn’t helped the pain in my neck! I have heard my MRI will be soon. I hate the thought of it but know I have to get through it somehow!
    Lyn and others, you say you are taking muscle relaxants…..for how long do you take them? My doctor keeps telling me they are not for long term use, but I have read many feel they help with sleep!
    It has been very cold but I have only been out to the ER since Christmas and had my routine blood work done!
    Love and Prayers for all …. PM Brenda

    • PM BRENDA….PRAYERS FOR YOU SWEETHEART…….HOPE THE FLU SOON CLEARS OFF, AND IT SEEMS WE ARE BOTH A PAIN IN THE NECK……HE HE!! NOT FUNNY REALLY, JUST DONE TWO HOURS IRONING, AND LOOKING DOWN ALL THAT TIME, HAS HURT ME BAD….SOD THE IRONING NEXT TIME……MUCH LOVE…JENNIE XX

    • Brenda, so sorry you’ve been so sick. How awful on top of everything else. As for me, I only take the muscle relaxants when really needed, so not regularly, every now and then. Lately has been the longest stretch in a great while. I felt I needed to try to get the muscles in my back more under control. Weaning off now until the next big spasm – or really bad bout. Yes, they can help with sleep. Not a cure-all, but helpful.

    • Pommum, since you and I have communicated on FB I won’t go into detail but I was distressed to see you have the flu. It seems our lives will never be simple. You have such great courage but I know how discouraged loads of trouble can be. Get as much rest as you can to put out this current malady. Not exactly what you needed, huh? Let us all pray your day for the MRI comes quickly so they can give you some relief. Don’t think too far down the road dear friend because we never know. There may be simpler solutions than some you fear. Much love, always in my prayers, Sue

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