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Monday, June 25, 2012



Several months ago I posted about a cuckoo clock which I inherited from my mom.  It is not an expensive clock.  It is probably not worth more than $25.  Its value is purely sentimental.

Somewhere in transit the clock lost its minute hand.  I replaced it with a small stick painted white.  This stick-hand is glued to the clock post, but it is not on firm enough to manually spin forward and move the hour hand to adjust to the correct time.  In order to get the clock to the right time you need to wait until real time equals cuckoo time and then start the pendulum. 

The clock runs fast or slow depending on where the weight of the pendulum is located.  Push it up to speed time; pull it down to slow time.  The clock must be wound once a day or it stops.  Needless to say whenever the cuckoo is in synch with the real world time, I forget to wind it, or we are away for a day or more.

The cuckoo is almost never in synch with the real world.  It is almost impossible to remember to start the pendulum when real world time equals cuckoo time.  Generally I remember to start it up within 90 minutes of real time.  I then have to adjust the pendulum weight to either catch up or drop back to the actual time.  Once I have achieved synching up to real time I then have to readjust the weight to real time speed.

Every once in a while I actually have the cuckoo clock adjusted to the correct time and running at the correct speed.  Then I forget to wind it  and the process starts all over.

Mrs. Cranky is the only one that can hear the cuckoo bird cuckooing from our bedroom.  Every morning she advises me how far off the clock is to real time and I try to adjust it accordingly.

Last week she told me the clock was one hour fast.  When I went to check it, the time was spot on.   She claimed she heard nine cuckoos when it was eight o’clock.  If true this would mean the bird’s cuckoos were not is synch with the time hands.  I have no idea how to correct that.

Later in the day I counted eleven cuckoos at exactly eleven o’clock.  I informed Mrs. Cranky she was crazy and the clock was just fine.  She disagreed.  The next morning at eight o’clock I counted nine cuckoos.   Damn!  After several days of cuckoo counting we have determined the bird is accurate from ten o’clock to five o’clock and then adds an extra cuckoo from six o’clock thru nine o’clock.

The clock is indeed cuckoo!  We have decided it just adds to its charm. 

I suppose I could purchase a new, accurate, adjustable cuckoo clock, but this was my mom’s clock, a new one just would not be the same. Besides, I’m retired; trying to get the clock running at the correct time gives me something to do.  Figuring out what time it is based on the number of cuckoos is good mental exercise.


  1. I'd just hang it on the wall and not wind it at all. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. ;)


  2. Ah...but then the grandchildren would miss the "cuckoo" bird!

  3. Being retired you really don't need to know the time. Another wise saying: Don't mess with cukoo's.

  4. I had a cuckoo clock when I was a kid but I never maintained it properly. My grandmother admired it so much that I gave it to her. At her house she always kept the chains pulled so it would work but the clock never had the correct time. I asked her about this once and she said she kept the clock for company, not for the correct time.

  5. I had almost forgotten about the onetime need to regulate our clocks. Remember when we needed to leave our watches at the jeweller's for a few days to have them corrected? And then pay the bill? Some progress aint so bad!

  6. When I was a kid, we had that same clock in the photo. I used to love watching the cuckoo come out and "speak". I think My Dad wasn't quite so enamored of it, in the same way I would not be today. I think I would now find it annoying to have the damn bird mouth off every hour.

  7. Oh, I love how your mind works, Cranky. Keep the cuckoo would seem dead boring without it.

  8. Hello! Following you from Flow Yo Blog Friday blog hop! Looking forward to reading more! Would appreciate the follow back!
    Have a great weekend!!! :)

    Stay Cranky! :)

  9. It would drive me nuts! Sentimental value is worth more than gold though :)

  10. I agree with you. The sentimental value of the cuckoo clock is more important because it comes from your mom. My mom also has passed away 10 years ago. But her memories stay with us.