I wish I could clean someone’s clock for inventing grandfather clocks. My Ralph’s parents bought a gorgeous grandfather clock as a wedding gift in 1931. In 1981, we inherited the clock because no one wanted it. I only wish they had. For years, it had been chiming away to its heart’s content and my discontent. Every fifteen minutes, it plays the Westminster tune that sounds like our doorbell. Sometimes I even get up and run to the door.
It is particularly annoying when trying to hear the TV or sleep. And God forbid I should turn the chimes off as Ralph loved those chimes. I would turn them off; he would turn them on. We wound it up every Sunday, just like his parents had done, and sealed it with a kiss. And so it went for 40 looong years. After Ralph died, I turned the chimes off – ah blessed silence.
I tried to give it away. I asked my stepson if he wanted it. He already had his mother’s grandfather clock. My eldest daughter, who once lusted after that clock, didn’t have room for it. When I offered it to my niece, it didn’t fit her décor. My brother-in-law hated chimes. My nephew in California discovered how much it cost to ship it out there and suddenly had no interest.
Then I decided to sell it. Surely an antique clock in excellent condition must be worth thousands. Right? Until my clock repairer said it wasn’t worth more than a couple of hundred dollars. Sigh. It seems selling a grandfather clock is like selling an empty church – not much of a market for either.
In my despair, I decided it was mine until death us do part. So, I wound it up, turned on the chimes, gave it a big hug, and named it Ralph!