Saturday, January 19, 2019

An Old Clock Evokes Memories

What’s so special about an old clock? One that’s been hanging on the wall of our family room for more than forty years. One that has no batteries. One with no cord to plug in. A clock that chimes every half-hour and on the hour reports the time. It’s a windup clock that requires winding once a month. If the room is quiet, you can hear it running, “tick-tock, tick-tock.”

Our old clock brings back memories of the one-room country school that I attended for eight years. A clock just like the one we have now, hung on the school’s south wall. It was key to everything we did at the school. When school began, it chimed nine times. When we burst from the building for recess, one chime at 10:30, when we could find our lard-pail lunch buckets for noon lunch, twelve chimes. Two-thirty for afternoon recess, and four chimes announcing dismissal.

How I remember those cold wintry days, smelling chili and soup and whatever was brought from home. As the jars were warming in a pan of water on the wood stove in the back of the school room, delightful smells filled the school room We watched the clock move ever so slowly toward twelve and lunch time.

I also remember Miss Thompson, my seventh grade teacher, saying to the ragtag collection of farmer kids, “I want it so quiet in this room that we can hear the tick-tock,of the clock on the wall.” The room was oh so quiet.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: An old clock can evoke life-long memories.

ANNOUNCEMENT: I am organizing an internet book club that anyone can join. And you don’t have to leave home to participate. Go to for details. It begins February 1 and will feature my first novel, THE TRAVELS OF INCREASE JOSEPH (historical fiction about Wisconsin)


February 5, 11:45-12:30. Larry Meiller Show, Public Radio. We’ll be discussing my books: Once a Professor, and Simple Things: Lessons From the Family Farm.

February 9, 2:15 Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison “Ten Simple Things I’ve Learned From Fifty years of gardening”

February 10, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison (Repeat topic)


Order your signed Apps books and DVDs from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, a fundraiser for them. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984

Popular recent Books:

Simple Things: Lessons from the Family Farm (fun to read in winter)

Garden Wisdom (Time to begin planning for the upcoming garden season)

Old Farm Country Cookbook

The Quiet Season (All about winter)

Cold as Thunder (A look into the future)

The Travels of Increase Joseph (Historical fiction about Wisconsin before 1900)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recall as a child visiting my grandparents in northern Wisconsin. During the day, there were many sounds filling the air (as children, most of those sounds we're from my cousins and me). At night, however, everything was unbelievably quiet... except the clock on the kitchen wall! All night long, the only sound I heard when I would awaken for a few brief moments, was the ticking of the kitchen clock. As a child I found it comforting, a night-long reminder that I was in a place that was very, very special, that I was safe, secure, and that 'God was in His heaven and all was right with the world'. Just a clock. There are millions of them around, everywhere. Not many are remembered for 60+ years, but that one is. And recalling it continues to be a source of comfort, just like the one in your story. The simplest things can be elevated to become the fabric of our lives. Even a clock. Thanks for reminding us.

David L. Shekoski
Lake Delton, Wisconsin