By Victoria Pann on November 17, 2011
I lived with my grandmother for a month when I was 10. We were in the middle of a move from Midway Island of the Pacific Ocean to San Diego, and while my parents went house hunting, they dropped us off at various relatives for December. My brothers went to Aunt Mary's, my parents stayed with Aunt Dorothy, and I was put with Grandmother and Aunt Robin. In spite of the fact that I had not one toy or book to look at, I survived and got to know my gran better than ever before, and I liked her. She was very pretty, for one thing. She had translucent golden hair that appeared like a halo orb above her head when the sun was right. She was a bitty little thing, barely bigger than I was, and wore those granny oxfords that had heels. Never wore pants, certainly not. A sensible tweed skirt and blouse, thank you. And obligatory pearls, bien sur.
I invented several games to play, including running around the block and drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. Grandmother lived in a condo in Pasadena (really! like the little ol' lady of song), and there wasn't a single child within MILES. I found one book of cartoons in Grandmother's bookcase about funny grannies, which I still have. I was allowed to eat my lunch in the living room watching Sheriff John, but woe be to she who left their lunch plate on the desk. I inherited the desk and love it.
But the coolest thing she had, that to this day makes me think of her, was a mantle clock. I had never heard the Westminster chimes before staying there, and quickly fell in love with the clock. After awhile, the clock was passed down to my mom, and soon thereafter, broke. Mom thought she wound it too tight.
I've scoped out some clock repair places and meant to have it fixed, when it inexplicably began to work on Thursday. I have some theories about this. Hans has been singing "My Grandfather's Clock" all day.
When we were at the store today, I related to Megan how the clock began to suddenly work. The sales clerk declared that to be creepy. I could not resist embellishing a bit, and said that not only did it work, it gives a little ping when I walk into the room, as if it is happy to see me, and when Hans and I talk about something serious or sad, it will gong mournfully. Megan played right along and said (believably) how eerie that was. The sales clerk didn't know what to think but said it sounded like a ghostly clock indeed.
When we got home, I walked into the living room to show Megan how the clock was working, and the thing chimed. No way, declared my girl. Yes, way, I said. It's happy to see me. It's 4:30, said my forthright daughter, and the Westminster chimes ring on the quarter and half hours. We had a good laugh.
I hope that Grandmother is looking back this way and having a good laugh too.
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