When my mother passed away, I inherited her anniversary clock. It had been purchased when I was a baby and always sat on the mantle of my childhood home.
The clock sits beneath a glass dome. It has a pendulum with four brass balls which rotate slowly in one direction and then the other. An annual winding is all that’s required.
I was honoured that as mom’s time ran out, the timepiece she loved came to reside with me. My mom’s life exemplified the importance of sharing time with others. She was a lifelong volunteer and even at the age of eighty, frequently drove ‘old people’ to medical appointments or to get groceries.
The clock has been in my possession for over twenty years now and for most, if not all of that time, has been purely ornamental. In our recent move, the delicate clock suffered damage to the pendulum clip. Since it needed repair, I decided this was a good time to have it restored to running order.
The clock was returned to me a few weeks before my birthday. Both of us are old enough to be considered vintage. That means we’re not yet antique, but are becoming more valuable with the passing of time!
The combination of the anniversary clock and anniversary of my birth have me reminiscing. Moments of time replay in my mind. The joys, heartaches and lessons of my past have contributed to who I am today. How I currently spend my time will influence my life tomorrow. My goal is to invest it wisely.
Only I can give the gift of my time. When I share it with you, I am giving you a portion of my life. By taking the time to read this, you have done the same for me. Thank you, my friends, for spending your valuable time with me today. You have given me the best gift possible.
I walked past many puddles crusted over with ice before I gave in to my desire to step on one and break the ice. This was something I enjoyed doing as a child and it still gives me pleasure now. There is something satisfying about the sound of the ice cracking and seeing the web of lines form on the surface.
Later I witnessed two young girls stepping on the same sort of puddles. The older sister looked at the younger and said, “You can’t break it because you have to be strong – like I am. Let me help you.” The girls held hands and jumped together, cheering when they broke through the ice.
The path I walk goes alongside a meandering creek. In the stillness I hear the faint sound of fractures in the ice. Along the bank I see areas where water flows beneath an overhanging ledge of ice.
I am reminded the water has been there all along. It couldn’t be seen under the covering of ice but was still there, waiting for the right season to show itself again.
This is reminiscent of the hope hidden under the cares of life. When I dwell alone in the shadows there is no chance for the warmth to seep in and melt away the coldness holding me prisoner.
Sometimes we can’t break through on our own. We are stronger together. Let’s reach out and take the hand of another. Together we can break through the ice caused by isolation.
My grandchildren think I’m getting old and forgetful. Age is just a number and most days I don’t feel old, so I can ignore that. It’s the forgetful part that hurts. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my memory and to prove it I’m going to share a typical day with you. Maybe afterwards you can help me convince those kids I’m no more forgetful than anyone else.
Yesterday I got up early and headed to the kitchen for breakfast. The toast was taking forever but at least the coffee was ready quickly. I removed my mug from the Kuerig to find a colourless liquid inside. Turns out I hadn’t replaced the coffee pod. When I reached for a new pod, I discovered my toaster was unplugged. Those things are easy to overlook early in the morning and I’m sure everyone does them.
After breakfast, I threw a load of laundry in the washer and went to get dressed. Where was the antiperspirant I bought yesterday? I clearly remember taking it from the shelf and putting it in my shopping cart. Was I charged for it? I found my receipt and it was on there. That young cashier must have forgotten to put it in the bag. I hope the store will replace it for me.
There was no sound from the washer so the load must be finished. My new front load washer had been confusing at first but I’ve got it all figured out now. I opened the door on my laundry closet to see there was still time left on the display. What went wrong? Why had it stopped? Carefully, I checked inside to discover everything was dry. Not knowing what else to do, I closed the door and hit the start button. The machine came to life. My problem-solving skills are quite impressive.
While I was waiting for my laundry, I decided to call my friend, Sheila. I punched her number into my cell phone and nothing happened. The keypad looked a little different this morning and I couldn’t get a dial tone. Silly me, I opened the calculator by mistake. So many of these buttons look the same, it probably happens to lots of people.
I put my laundry in the dryer and went to look for my car keys. I know I had them yesterday but I was a little flustered when I got home from the mall. My car was missing when I came back out with my shopping. I was beyond distressed and went back inside to report it stolen. The nice security guard drove me around the parking lot and we found it parked on the north side of the building. I could have sworn I parked on the south.
I kept looking for my key fob until the dryer stopped. I’d resume my search after the laundry was folded and put away. Nothing was dry so I ran it through the cycle again. An hour later I was still faced with wet laundry, but I had found my keys. I must have left them in my pocket and that’s how they ended up in the wash.
In the afternoon, an appliance repairman came to fix my dryer. He had a look and told me I’d left it on the air only setting. That explained why there was no heat. The good news was the repair bill was only for a service call so not too expensive.
I don’t remember much about the rest of the day, so it couldn’t have been very interesting. I did have a pleasant surprise, though. When I was gathering ingredients to make dinner, I found my antiperspirant in the door of the fridge!
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that my day contained the type of things that happen to everyone. So, who wants to help me convince my grandchildren that my memory is just fine?
An art instructor gave advice on the painting I was working on. Personally, I thought it was beyond redemption and was tempted to give up. I could blame it on my lack of ability, the materials, or the environment but that wouldn’t change the ugly picture in front of me.
Since it couldn’t get much worse, I decided to implement the tips I’d been given and carry on. The painting evolved and a tentative hope was born. When the final brushstrokes were made, I stepped back and looked at a work I didn’t think was possible. I was proud of what I’d accomplished.
Something the instructor told me echoed in my mind. “Every painting goes through an ugly stage. Keep going and don’t give up because you’re not finished yet.”
We are in an ugly stage of life right now. The global pandemic has us in a holding pattern and I, for one, am getting impatient to move on. It feels like we’ve been stuck here forever.
Even in this, I have options. One is to give up hope the situation will improve. When despair takes hold my thoughts turn to what might have been, rather than my current reality. I focus on what I’m missing and not what I have. During these times I’m tempted to blame everything around me for my negative attitude.
The truth is, this picture is not finished yet. My better choice is to keep a positive outlook. Today’s decisions will impact my future so I need to be intentional with the brush strokes I make on this canvas of life. The picture is still evolving and I have hope for the outcome.
The ugly stage won’t last forever. When it’s finished, I want to be able to look back with pride at the picture that’s been created.