wings and things

Tick tock

on November 29, 2013

Anthony has a lot of antique clocks – a magnificent grandfather clock, three carriage clocks, two mantle clocks and one cuckoo clock. All of them chime on the hour and some on the half hour.

Well they used to.

Ever since Anthony went into the nursing home, all of the clocks have stopped. Mostly this is because Ants always did the clock winding and he never really taught Ming and me. Also, once Anthony wasn’t at home any longer, there didn’t seem any point any more, and letting all of the clocks stop seemed a natural reaction to his absence. My love of their chiming diminished in equal proportion to my increasing grief (if that makes sense, which it probably doesn’t!)

I finally got my act together a few months ago and invited a clock man over to have a look. He serviced all of the clocks, got them going again and showed us how to wind them without overwinding them and pronounced one of the carriage clocks as too far gone. Well, Ming and I lasted a week, so all of the clocks have once again stopped.

Oh the guilt. And the silence! If you are used to the constant chime of clocks, the silence is like a thrum of nothingness. I miss the noise of the clocks, the complaints of people staying with us who said, ‘how can you stand it?’ I miss all of those hundreds of Sundays when Anthony wound each clock with such joy until he forgot how to.

The other day, when I brought him home for the day, he tried again with his favourite clock.


It didn’t work.

Tock tick (no, that is not a typo).

73 responses to “Tick tock

  1. Looking at Anthony is like looking at Ming in the far off future, I’m sure that eventually the tick tocks will get straightened out, in time. πŸ™‚

  2. elizabeth says:

    The decrease in chiming being proportional to your increasing grief makes perfect sense Julie. How very sad that the beautiful music has stopped. There’s something very comforting in the tick-tock and chims of a cherished clock.

  3. It’s sometimes I would suppose …the ‘little’ things that come to be noticed maybe more than the ‘big’ things… because I’m sure there are more of them…. Diane

  4. ksbeth says:

    this is a wonderful post, the clocks are a perfect metaphor for what you are all going through. i have to ask, are you by chance related to another anthony goyder and family who are from bunbury? young anthony is in his 30s and a close friend of my son in laws. thought it was such an unusual name coincidence and from the same part of the country that perhaps… and thanks for reading and following my blog, it’s been wonderful getting to know you and your family through yours – beth

    • jmgoyder says:

      Omg YES! Your Anthony is my Anthony’s second or third cousin and I think I have met him once – tell me more! BTW I thought I was subscribed to your blog but had to resubscribe – is there a glitch somewhere with WP or is it just silly me?

  5. KDKH says:

    Good post. Invites us in to see a glimmer of the changes in your family, without going too far. I really loved it. Thanks.

  6. dcwisdom says:

    I think it’s great he’s still coming home! Anthony and I share a love of tick-tock clocks. It’s a sound that reminds me of my grandparents’ home, and as a little girl, I observed my grandfather winding his century-old mantle clock. Sometimes, we sat together in front of the fireplace, and the only sounds would be the sizzle of the fire and the constant ticking of the clock. To me, that’s a comforting and quiet memory of love. I wonder why Anthony liked his clocks? He has quite a collection.
    Over here in Texas, we celebrated Thanksgiving today. So, to you, Julie, Downunder, Happy Thanksgiving! Sending you big Texas love across the waves…

  7. My heart breaks at the last photo.

  8. bulldog says:

    The sound of clocks can be very soothing.. the quiet tick tocking and the chimes often can break that horrible silence that sometimes surrounds one… try and keep at least one going just for sanity sake… when we get a new pup we put a clock near his place where it is to sleep… it seems to sooth them so one doesn’t go through a night of chunking…

  9. niasunset says:

    Dear Julie, this is wonderful post, and my memories with clocks hit me. I am impressed so much… Do you know, your lovely son Ming, looks like his father… I can see Ming in his father’s face expressions… Blessing and Happiness to you all, Thank you dear, love, nia

  10. My goodness! I can’t imagine the time, effort and cost to fix those clocks … and the deafening silence. So glad to read about you, Ming and Anthony again. Missed you.

  11. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    I love the sound of clocks ticking too, but only during the daytime (I daresay, the sound would keep me awake as I sleep so lightly).

  12. mimijk says:

    I was all ready to write about the beautiful, doleful rhythm of your post, and then saw the exchange about your distant cousin and delighted that in this universe, people once again prove that connection will find its way regardless of continent, time or circumstance. ❀

  13. I felt like I was sitting in your very quiet house feeling the silence and the sadness of the quiet clocks. I can imagine the missing it.

  14. My parents have several old clocks. Growing up I thought they were amazing and they are! But when I visit now and have to stop talking when the Grandfather clock chimes, I’m annoyed! LOL

  15. Oh the sweet sword of nostalgia in reading your words and seeing his beautiful face up against father time. This one got to me.

  16. Judith Post says:

    Boy, do I understand the sort of symbiosis of the clocks and Anthony–his winding them, their joyous noise. And I understand even more why you WOULDN’T wind them. Pretty symbolic. Certain things tie us to memories of certain people. My mom loved her cuckoo clock. It hangs, soundless, now. As it should.

  17. What a difficult, sad thing. But I hope you don’t really feel “guilty” about not keeping the clocks wound. To wind so many clocks every week–that has to be motivated by the pleasure of pursuing a hobby. It’s something only an avid collector would choose to do.

    With everything you and Ming are going through, certainly you don’t need to heap the burden on yourselves. One person’s pleasurable pastime is another person’s chore of drudgery. Of course, it’s tremendously grievous that Anthony can no longer pursue his pleasure. The story makes ME sad, and I’ve never even met any of you. It must be devastating to live through.

    But you’ve preserved something important–the essence of the memory–by writing about it and documenting it. Writing is one of the things that brings you pleasure, I think?

  18. Terry says:

    Oh I would love that noise. Al and I are big chime clock collectors. They calm Al and they remind me of my father

  19. I can relate in a very small way. We have inherited an old mantel clock from my husband’s mother. It used to sit in her house, always silent, never chiming, and I always wondered what it would sound like. Well, when we got the clock a few years back we had it serviced and kept it wound. I liked it. I didn’t have to look at a clock to know the time. I liked the rhythmic tick-tocking. After a few months however it was announced that the ticking drove my son wild, and the chimes in the night woke up my husband. So it sits now, sadly silent. The comforting sound of a ticking clock forgotten. Sort of like the old hand wound wrist watches. I always liked to listen to the ticking. It was like a little heart. I still have an old wrist watch. I must’ve over-wound it, because it doesn’t work any more. One of these days I’ll have it repaired again.

    It must’ve sounded awesome in your house with all those clocks going. I understand the chore of keeping them properly wound, and understand why they are no longer running. I’m with you though. I miss the sound. It must be profound silence for you indeed.

  20. FlaHam says:

    Julie, being a collector of time pieces, (I have 22 wristwatches and 8 desk top). But all of my clocks (except 1) are battery powered, so I don’t have the need to keep them running, But my wife has a grandma and a mantle clock and it is a real challenge for her to keep them in sync. Sometimes it seems like it is 15 o’clock are here. Please take care, have a few fixed, so you get the feel for the sound again, which will also allow you to manage them. Take care, Bill

  21. My grandmother had a very loud ticking clock. It was strangely relaxing.

  22. Lynda says:

    Julie, I have my grandfather’s mantel clock. I remember being at their house and falling asleep to the sound of the tick-tocking and the gonging of the hours and half hour. I miss it.

    It is very odd, but my mother said that when my sister began learning to play the violin (it was grandpa’s violin, BTW) anyway, she said that the hour her first lesson started the clock stopped. I have never been able to get it to run no matter what! Clocks with history sound so sweet. Maybe you should pick one that is your favorite and just keep that one going. πŸ˜‰

  23. My father collected clocks and I too loved their constant chiming and ticking and sometimes cuckooing…

    My daughter brought me back a lovely clock from Paris that ticks loudly — it is one of the most comforting sounds I know.

    Hugs Julie.

  24. lensgirl53 says:

    I agree that you may find it less challenging to just keep one going.and not have the fearfulness of letting “time stop”….the analogy of stopped clocks and Anthony’s regression do not go unnoticed. It is a sad reality of life that stares at you each day. Anthony is blessed with a kind and loving family. I pray that the “tick-tock” will one day begin again and that the sound will bring joyful memories. I like the photos of Anthony and his clock. xo

  25. I have eight clocks in my house–only two of them work right now–and all most of them need are batteries–although we have a grandfather clock we inherited and do not know how to wind

  26. Oh I love old clocks but like you would suck at winding them………….

  27. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    I like blogs because of these very details, what happens in other people’s homes. Love the photos too. Very intense working away there.

  28. viveka says:

    Julie, I love this little post and I’m so sorry for that Anthony didn’t manage to get his favorite clock to work – I can imaging how happy it would have mad him.
    My clocks a silence – so I don’t notice when they stop really.
    As a child I live with my grand parents and my grand dad – also winded the clocks on every Sunday … if they stopped the world really got silenced. So I know what you mean, but maybe only concentrate one or two clocks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: