Time Then and Now


On April Fool’s Day they might as well say, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”

I’m not a time freak, but when my Zen alarm clock stopped nudging me awake with gentle chimes after two years, I had to find a replacement.

“Mom, get rid of that cell. Get a smart phone. It has an alarm. ” my son lectured me once again.

No. I don’t want a phone alarm clock. Who needs pulsating beeps and  wrong numbers in the middle of the night.

Target had a digital clock radio encased in flimsy plastic with two charging stations on top. So I drove  to our vast mall and crossed the concrete to search for Brookstone or The Sharper Image. Both stores had moved out.

I tried jewelry stores. “Try the home section of department stores,” they advised. No luck.

But then, tucked in an alcove, I noticed a diminutive, white-bearded Santa standing behind a glass case filled with 19th and 20th century clocks, wrist watches, and pocket watches like the one my Maine grandfather kept on a chain that curved into his vest pocket.

“Do you have any alarm clocks?” I peered into the case filled with sweeping hands and turning gears.

April Fool Santa frowned. “I might be able to get you one by Monday.” He noticed one on a tall shelf. “I’d forgotten I had this.” He reached for it. “I like things simple.”

By the looks of his inventory he could fix anything. I rummaged in my purse. “Less to break down.”

He dusted the clock with his sleeve. “$15.00.” Half as much as the flimsy Target model that looked as if it would break before I got home. I  left the mall, pleased with my purchase.

The clock is quiet. Its hands sweep in a circle—soothing and simple. One basic alarm sound. No beeps. No flashes.

6 responses

  1. A lovely post, Paula. I agree about not having a phone by the bed. Keep it simple I say. I love ‘proper’ clocks and watches. Long live the alarm clock 🙂

  2. Ah, treasure it Paula. Simplicity is best. I have a tiny battery powered alarm clock. Great when there is a black out, and no bright red shining numbers that light up the entire room!

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