The grandfather clock that hangs on our living room wall had a little problem over the past couple of weeks. Somewhere around the time I raced around the house setting all our time machines ahead, with the intent of saving an hour of daylight, I managed to mess with the workings of the old Regulator. To be very specific, this wasn't a grandfather clock in the most traditional sense. This clock was the one that my father presented to my wife and I on the occasion of our wedding. It wasn't a grandfather clock then, it was only a father clock. It became a grandfather clock some years later when our son was born. Though they share a name and a certain amount of genetics, these two gentlemen never had a chance to meet. My father stopped ticking about a year before my son arrived. The pendulum swing of the timepiece he gave us became the sound of the past, a lasting connection between two generations.
That's why I had a moment after I took the clock off the wall to try my hand at making it work again. My father was a fairly handy guy, having built our cabin in the mountains and all, but no one would have mistaken him for a master craftsman. He was the type of guy who had a lot of really great plans to build things, but never got around to completing them. When he left my mother, he left her with a garage full of bits and pieces of lumber that might eventually have become a desk, and there was another set of scraps that had been set aside to become a bar for the basement. I took it as a tribute that he completed the wedding present for my wife and I and delivered it in one piece on time. It has since become something of an heirloom in our home. That's why taking the back off this contraption gave me pause. What if I did something that kept it from working forever?
And then, as most moments do, it passed. I was able to find the screw that had come loose and, with some patient assistance from my loving wife, I was able to piece it back together and get it back on the wall where it returned to its job of marking the seconds and minutes and hours of our days, the way it has for nearly twenty years. It felt good to have that heartbeat back in our lives.