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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

THE CUCKOO CLOCK

THE CUCKOO CLOCK


Forty years ago, I gave my Mom and Dad a Cuckoo Clock for Christmas.  It was not an expensive clock, maybe thirty dollars, but it might have been the best present I ever gave them.
My mom loved that clock.  It was small, but it was a genuine Black Forest German Cuckoo Clock.  My mother wound the clock every day by pulling the weights on a chain up each morning.  One weight kept the pendulum going; one weight was for the Cuckoo bird.  The bird came out once on the half hour, and then Cuckooed the time on the hour.  Well the bird didn’t actually come out, but the door opened and he would bow and cuckoo. 

A generation of grand-children grew up with that clock.  Toddlers would run to the family room where it hung and wait for the door to open and the bird to cuckoo.  When a child was sad or cranky, the cuckoo clock would cheer him up.

When my mother was losing her memory to Alzheimer’s she still remembered to wind the clock.  I think routine is the last thing the disease steals from its victim.  Years ago, the clock followed mom to an assisted living home and finally to an Alzheimer’s ward of a nursing home.  Whenever I visited my mom which was not often enough, I seldom went to her room.  I completely forgot about the clock.

My mother passed away last year.  My brother gave me the clock which I had all but forgotten about.  It now hangs in our dining room.  A new generation of grand-children will run to hear the clock.  A new generation will be soothed or cheered by a funny little bird and a silly cuckoo sound.

I wind the clock every night.  It is my new routine.  I never pull up those weights without thinking of my mom.  It is amazing how a silly thirty dollar clock could bring so much joy to an old lady, a score of grand-children and now brings back pleasant memories everyday to an old man; memories of my mom and memories of smiling happy children.  

That silly little bird brings memories every day, just like clockwork.      

19 comments:

  1. :) See you share a memory, you open the memory box. My great grandmother (we called her GG because we are so inventive and creative) had a cuckoo clock BUT she also had a fox stole with the foxes' heads attached and biting each other's tails. I have to google that now to see what they are worth...

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  2. What an incredibly touching story! And very beautifully written.

    I, too, have a memory of a cuckoo clock. My great grandparents came from Sweden and Holland, and through my whole childhood, there was always that authentic, beautiful, and, to me, mysterious cuckoo clock on the wall. My grandmother has it now, but I'm next to receive it. Like you, I look forward to the day when I will pull down the chains and my children and grandchildren will eagerly await that bow and cluck the carved bird will do!

    Thank you for this post.

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  3. Thank you for sharing that, what a great memory. We lived in Germany when I was small (dad was in the Army) and we bought a cuckoo clock like that for MY grandparents. Pretty much same memories as yours....my cousin now has the clock on her wall. Funny how those clocks create such memories!

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  4. have met the challenge as you posed of me Cranky. It it set to post soon.

    Funny how the smaller, more simple things in life become the pieces most cherished by several generations. Glad you got the clock and think of your mom every night when winding it. Which of the crankettes will be hosting it in their house several years from now?

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  5. Oh Joe! First of all, I just like saying Oh Joe! Secondly, I love this post. My grandparents are clock FIENDS I tell you! They have them everywhere. And for the joy of their grandchildren used to set them to go off about 5 seconds apart from one another. We used to love it! These days they only have one tolling clock wound and in use, the others all sit on display in my Poppy's office. You know, at 27, I STILL make a point of going in there and touching each one.
    Thank you for sharing your memories and letting me revel in mine.

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  6. Nice piece. We had a clock too growing up, that my father always wound, and remembered to wind, when he too developed alzeimers. When I hear it tick it always takes me back to my child hood. Following you from the weds hop I'm co- hosting.

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  7. We all need our Grandma's and Mom's and the love and memories that we have.

    I have my Mom, we all live together and take care of each other. We make new memories all the time.

    I remember my Grandma King with so much love.

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  8. I'm stopping by for the blog hop. It's nice to meet you. I'm a new follower.

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  9. Hi Joeh - hopping on over from World of My Imagination and am a new follower!

    Can't wait to read more ... :)

    http://unpublishedworksofme.blogspot.com/

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  10. My grandmother had Alzheimer's for over 12 years. A terrible disease.

    Visiting from the blog hop at Nicole's! :)

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  11. what an interesting story! so much meaning behind a simple clock...
    My husband graduated from Laf and one of my daughters is there now..neither of them have any interest in writing or clocks guess that isn't the college requirement.
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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  12. what a beautiful story! I love how you have weaved this post - it is written so well.

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  13. What a great picture you paint. Your Mum, that clock & now they both live on, being see through the eyes of a whole new generation!
    Lisa

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  14. I read this with tears in my eyes. Beautiful.

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  15. Wow. Just wow. We recently lost a mum & mum in law due to alzheimers. Such a wonderful thing to carry on with and always keep your mum's memory alive. Thank you.

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  16. Hi Joe! Just discovered your blog through Eden's linky.
    What a beautiful post. Just beautiful x

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  17. I loved this! Something so charming about a cuckoo clock. So much joy for your family. Just wonderful!

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  18. This is a beautiful piece of writing Joe. Very moving, thanks for sharing it.

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  19. Lovely writing Joe, our mums have a way of resonating don't they?

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