There was both joy and sorrow at Casa de Harper yesterday and time pieces were at the heart of both.
We are celebrating the return of Aunt Marion’s mantel clock. Marion was Harper’s Other Dad’s great-great-grandfather’s sister so it is a family heirloom. It is a wonderful old clock with charming chimes. It was in the repair shop for several months last year. Repair people for antique clocks are scarce so they are always busy. Also, parts don’t usually exist so, when needed, they need to be fabricated. We got the clock back and it worked for a few weeks but then stopped chiming. I took it back to the repair shop 5-6 weeks ago. I brought it home yesterday.
Sadly, I realized yesterday that there was another item taken in the recent burglary; my wristwatch. I didn’t miss it until yesterday. By all objective measures it is not a significant loss. It was a Seiko watch, well over 20 years old, and was not extravagantly expensive when I bought it. I’m not usually one who gets attached to material things but it meant a great deal to me.
I bought the watch years ago in St. Thomas while on a cruise. I had finally gotten to the point in my career where I started to feel like I had some disposable income. It was not a major purchase in financial terms but it was the first time I’d really given myself permission to buy something for myself that wasn’t a necessity.
There is an additional aspect. I struggled with coming out. I did not start to have experiences with men until I was over 30. After a couple of years of exploring and experimenting in my ‘kid-in-a-candy-store’ phase, I met someone. We were living together. That cruise was our first vacation together and one of the first times I’d ever done anything ‘in public’ as part of a male couple.
None of that, of course, has anything to do with a watch. The watch was an artifact from a time when I felt I’d put a dark time behind me and life held the promise of better things. I was right. There were better times ahead. The watch symbolized that moment of transition. I’ll miss it.