Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tick Tock

Today's Wonder of the World is the Old Fashioned Alarm Clock!
Woo Hoo!

Isn't this one pretty?
I bought it at a flea market soon after we got to France, for the equivalent of only a couple dollars. I brought it home, stared at it, and felt happy inside. It doesn't work, but I don't care. I bought it for looks, not brains.

The next weekend, I bought another.

It was a fun thing to shop for. I set a five dollar limit and had a great time searching them out.
Soon the clocks became an addiction.

Every now and then when I went flea marketing I'd find one and take it home, clean it up, and then gaze at it, dreaming up what kind of person might have wound that clock each night. I'd imagine her sitting on her bed, taking off her slippers, talking to her husband about the day's events. I'd see her opening her eyes in the morning and looking at the clock, smelling the bread baking at the boulangerie across the street, or listening to ticking along with the coos of the baby in the bassinet.
The clocks are great story prompters.

You might not believe this, but one of the clocks actually works! What a concept! I thought about using it. But in the end I'm afraid that this ugly thing won out instead.

Sorry radio alarm clock. I didn't mean to call you ugly. You have nice big numbers that I can see without my glasses in the middle of the night. And you are trustworthy. With three kids to chase off to school in the mornings, I need a clock that's dependable.
(By the way, I just noticed I have a copy of Pippi in the South Seas on my night table. That is Sherri's (at Life as I live it) fault, and I'm so thankful to her! After the blog post I did on the French scrubbing shoes, she reminded me that Pippi did her floors the same way! So Sam and I are reading it together. Thanks, Sherri!)

Speaking of Sam, he thinks my clocks are kind of crazy, but he appreciates their beauty too.
Here's a drawing he did of one of them when he was four or five. I kept it because I love it.

There are an awful lot of hours on that clock. Some days I could use a few extra.
All this talk of clocks reminds me of a song that I used to play over and over and over again on the piano when I was Sam's age. Maybe you know it, My Grandfather's Clock?
I looked up the lyrics, and you won't believe the crazy wonderful thing I found.
But first, skim the first verse real quick.

My grandfather's clock
Was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half
Than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn
Of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

Okay, do you recognize this ditty yet?
Maybe you need to hear it. Have I got a youtube for you: Listen to a man playing the song on THE SLIDE RADISH!
Yes! That's what I said! An instrument made of a giant radish! (I wonder if he plays asparagus?)

It's a Wonder of the World in itself!
Please promise you'll watch it all the way to the music.
It's a Perfect Ten on the Weird Meter!

Oh, and don't forget to enter the drawing for the French postcards. Just leave your name on yesterday's (Monday's) post. Come on, don't be shy!

Enjoy the musical radish! Tick tock!


Susie said...

Good morning! My mom used to sing that to me when I was a child. Kind of a sobering song. Sometimes I look at the clock and a voice sings in my head " tick tock tick tock, his life seconds numbering, tick tock tick tock" and it makes me feel kind of like my heart is beating in my ears. "Life's like an hourglass glued to the table." What it all means is to make sure you are doing what you want to be doing!

Susie Q said...

Sam is very talented! I love his drawing. And who doesn't like Pippi?
Such fun.
I know that song...bittersweet one.
Enjoy life NOW, do not wait...be happy today!
Or, at least, that is what I hear!

Love your clocks. I too adore clocks. I am often asked why...I have no idea but their faces speak to me!


Sherri @ Life As I Live It said...

I love the old clocks! I have one just like the one on the third shelf.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Pippi Longstocking got me through 4th grade!
Love the clock drawing too.

Naturegirl said...

Rebecca who would have thought that you could do a post on clocks! You did a great job! Love your collection and BTW I will be in France this Aug. and I will think of you when I pass by unique clocks!
I also collect clocks but mine are minatures.. Irish crystal..stainless steel..gold plated..to name a few!

Rosemary said...

Great post!
Love the clock collection.
The little drawing is so cute, I would have saved it as well.
I will go and watch the video.
Have a great day, and don't be late.

Susan Sandmore said...

You and I really need to hang out. I have old alarm clocks. I have new alarm clocks that look like old alarm clocks. I'll have to take a picture of my favorite one for you.

I can also SING the My Grandfather's Clock song.

You and Tanner need to hit the road--we'll have a party.

La Belette Rouge said...

Please tell Sam that I love his clock. It is fantastic. He is quite the artist!:-)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I love your clocks! Reminds me of my childhood alarm clock! what a great collection.

Happy day!

Fete et Fleur said...

That was one of the strangest things I've ever seen, but very entertaining. Thanks!

I've been searching for an old French enamel face clock for years. I still haven't found the right one. Your clocks are great!


Rebecca Ramsey said...

I agree, Susie and Susie Q, I think that's exactly what the song says. It's a great message to hear.

La belette, I will tell Sam. He'll love that. And Susan S., be careful what you wish for...my family is going to the beach this summer and I'd love to hang out!

And I'm glad to know so many of you new friends are clock lovers too! We should form a club! I wonder if we'd be on time!

A bird in the hand said...

I agree with you about the old clocks. Modern isn't always beautiful!

I love Sam's drawing. I love Sams (my nephew is also a Sam) haha!

I'm thrilled that you like your necklace. Thank you xoxo

Sherri @ Life As I Live It said...

It was early this morning when I saw your clock post so I just kinda skimmed over it.I didn't realize until now when I actually read it in full,that you had mentioned me. That's so sweet and you're welcome for the reminder :)

Anonymous said...

Um, I just read your post and watched the radish. Right now I am blinking. A lot.

Frankly, I'd like to learn to play but I think there is a shelf-life for said vegginstrument.

Funny and weird.

But who am I to judge...

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

Hi Becky
Love Sam's clock how fun ~!! A childs artwork is the most primitive lovely type of art, I think anyway (:)
and I really like your French clock finds too(:)I have a small collection of Garage sale clocks, will have to post them someday ~~
Glad you felt like you had a ''mini vacation'' at my blog.. hugs Patty

Sherri @ Life As I Live It said...

Ok, I must be having a not paying attention day because I just noticed that when I thought you were finished with your post,you weren't.

Yes,I do remember that song...I didn't watch the you tube video yet but I will.

The reason I know that song is I used to have a cassette of chidren's songs when I was 6 until,well,I still have it somewhere!

I remember it's got a yellow label with about 30 different kid's songs on it.

The way it came about that I got this tape is I had a loose tooth and my mother had tried to pull it and I was so scared that for the last 45 minutes that that tooth was in my mouth,it stuck out like an old witch's tooth and I would not let my mother do anymore.After the 45 minutes,I finally let her pull it because she told be she would get me a surprise out of the trunk of the car (I found out years later that that was one of my smaller Christmas presents and they stored them in the trunk).

Additionally,before I let her pull the tooth,she had told me if I didn't let her pull it and it had been sticking out like that for so long,that it would grow in crooked....She was right! That permanent tooth came in so crooked and so far behind the others that with all the sawing down,2 years of braces and a spring right there to bring the tooth in line with the others,that tooth is still mildly crooked.
ok,I'm throught with my ramble,lol...and I'm sure I've made anyone who reads this a little queasy,sorry:)

rochambeau said...

Sam's drawing is the BEST!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I do love my necklace. Now my daughter wants one!

I hadn't thought about shelf life. I suppose he'd store the instrument in the fridge? Check out youtube for more wacky veginstruments (I LOVE your word!) he plays.

Patti and Constance, I agree. That drawing is a treasure!

Sherri, you and your poor tooth! I can relate. I had the strongest tooth roots in the world and could often close my mouth with the tooth still sticking out and attached. Gross! I'm glad you at least got a tape out of it!

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