Rural Living

About Time


by Margo Oxendine, Contributing Writer

Margo Oxendine

Itís five oíclock somewhere ... in my house!

Itís almost time to change our clocks.   

This seemingly simple task is rather aggravating around our house. I just made a careful count: I have 18 clocks, not counting the one in my car. I just walked around the house and checked. Not one of the clocks shows the same time as another.

There are three clocks in the kitchen ó a flamingo wall clock, one on the stove, and one on the micro≠wave. They read 1:00, 1:01 and 1:03.

In my home office, there are also three clocks. The one on my computer reads 1:05. The one on the wall reads 12:42. The keepsake clock my father got from Mr. Sikorsky ó the one with a little helicopter that flies around the numbers ó reads 10:36. It stopped years ago, but Iím not about to part with it; Daddy loved that clock. As they say, ďEven a stopped clock is right twice a day.Ē

If anyone asks me the time, Iíll simply say, ďShortly after one.Ē

The clock on the office wall is a cheap one. I bought it at a dollar store when the cheap clock from another cheap store stopped working after 17 years. This new cheap clock is four months old. It hasnít kept time properly for two months.

This can pose a problem. Even though there is a fairly correct clock on my computer, I have a habit of simply glancing at the wall to check the time. Because of this, Iíve missed a couple of appointments, or had to forgo a shower in order to make a meeting.

In my fabulous new bathroom, there is a hot-pink clock shaped like a flamingo. Her legs swing back and forth in a time-keeping rhythm. Yet she, too, is slowing down after just a few months. No problem. When I am wallowing around in a froth of bubbles, I donít really care what time it is.

In my closet is a black Kit Kat clock. It is adorable. It only worked for about 12 days. Itís quite cute, though, and since my mother bought it for me, it will stay just where it is, frozen in time.

I have just one clock that plugs into the wall. It is sleek and pink and of an Art Deco design. My sister bought it for me. It is an alarm clock, not that I really need one anymore. I am now old enough to wake up naturally at the crack of dawn.

The one time I did need to set the alarm, I discovered the pink clock is aptly named. It is the most alarming timekeeping device Iíve ever known. Imagine, lying deep in slumber. Suddenly, you are aware of a bright red light flashing throughout the room. Are the police here? Is the place on fire?

Just in case those thoughts donít propel you from your bed, the clock has a back-up feature. After flashing for a few minutes, a jarring, clanging ringing commences. The only comparison I can offer is, it reminds me of when I was a teenager, and my father would sneak in and hide a loud metal alarm clock inside a coffee can under my bed while I was sleeping.

In case you should need to rouse a sleeping teenager, folks, this method is sure-fire.

The clock on my car dashboard is 23 minutes fast. It used to fool me, but now I know and simply do the math as I race down the road. The occasional passenger, however, is unaware of this, and I forget to tell them. This explains their looks of discomfort and anxiety when we drive to an appointment.

The clock on my screened porch is two hours slow, but I wonít worry about that until April. By then, weíll have to turn all the clocks forward anyway.

Part of my problem is this: I literally have a face that can stop a clock. All my life, Iíve been able to walk past a clock or electrical device and make it go kerflooey. I guess I exude some sort of unseen magnetic field. My mother always joked about it.

I just now checked some of the clocks, and learned I have written this column in somewhere between 22 and 47 minutes; then again, if I check a couple other clocks, I may discover that I finished before I even began. Thatís quite a nice accomplishment, wouldnít you agree?

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