2/17/10

The Cuckoo clock mystery

No, this is not a picture of the solution to the mystery. The mystery remains unsolved. But, this is my substitute and it comes with its own story. Welcome to way back Wednesday.


When I was a kid we spent considerable time at my Aunt Lucille (in southern, that's pronounced Aint Seal) and Uncle Roy's house. We went to their house during the summer to gather vegetables and freeze them and we went in the winter so my Dad could hunt in their woods. There are even Cmas pictures of my family at their house, though I don't remember it because I was so young. I remember always being admonished not to take too long in the shower and always to make sure the toilet didn't stick so we wouldn't run the well dry. And, I remember that her dishwater ran through a pipe and out the wall and watered her flowerbeds. They lived on a hill made of red dirt and iron ore rocks and the water had a very iron taste to it.

Anyway, Uncle Roy's mother's house was across the highway and it had not been maintained and was falling down. My Mom took us over there to look around a couple of times, but normally, we were never to go there. The road wasn't busy, but people drove on it fast and sometimes Uncle Roy kept feral hogs in a pen behind the house and they always told me that if I fell in, they'd eat me up!

Now, we all know that the fastest way to get a kid to go into a falling down house is to tell them not to go there. So, of course I went. I wandered around the old house, but not for long. I knew I'd be in trouble if I got caught. When I walked through the front room, I looked in the fireplace and nestled in a bed of leaves was a cuckoo clock. I remember this as if it was yesterday. The clock had blue detail painting on it and the cuckoo was sticking out of the door and it was blue, too. I can see the clock, the fireplace the oak leaves and the sun streaming through the boarded up windows and shining in stripes on the floor. I wanted that clock, but was too afraid of snakes to reach in and take it out. Besides, how would I explain where I got it? But, I didn't forget it.

Later...years later...I screwed up the courage to admit that I'd been in the house. And, I got the courage to ask if I could have the clock. My Aunt and Uncle had no idea what I was talking about. I can remember that they and my Mom talked about it and no one could figure it out. My Mom walked me over there and we looked in the fireplace and dug around in it with a stick. But, no clock. No sign of it or that it had been burned or taken.

Was there ever a clock in that old fireplace? Was it a vivid dream that I've remembered all this time? I mean, I can't remember what I dreamed last night. Could I remember a dream about a clock for some 37 years?

Only the shadow knows.

But, now I have my own cuckoo clock. We went antiquing last week (to take Rob's teeth for a test drive in a place where no one would recognize us). Way in the back, and down the steps and around the corner and back in a vault of a little antique shop, we found this box that said "Cuckoo clock $6.95 As-is". Now "as-is" usually means "it's broke". But, it looked like all the external pieces were there so at the worst, I could take out the broken clockworks and replace it with a battery operated one from Hobby Lobby. But, when we got home and I opened it up, the works looked great! I checked the internet and found out how it worked and within 15 minutes, I had it hanging on the wall and running. Took a couple of days for us to get it regulated to keep correct time, but it does now. And, the cuckoo comes out and bobs up and down and his beak opens and he says "Cook-cooo" once for every hour and once on the half hour, and there's a tiny chime. Drives the cats nuts.

This is no rare antique, but hey, for seven bucks, I'm happy. And it isn't brand new either. According to what I later found on the internet, probably 50's-60's and it is stamped as made in Germany. It's all solid wood, although a cheap wood, but not pressboard or plastic. The only drawback I can find is that it has to be wound every day :-b.

Take care and have a great Wednesday. I've only been back at work one day and I already feel more rested. Lane

6 comments:

Becky said...

Great story! Glad you are resting....even if it is at work. Have a great day.

P. said...

What a great story! I love the clock, and the fact that it works is amazing.

Susan L (lily40au) said...

I love your story. I haven't thought about childhood things in so long and you're made me realise I need to get some of those stories down ... a project I started and haven't finished.

Riet said...

That is alovely story and I love the cuckoo clock. Nice nostalgia

lw said...

I think it's probable that the original clock in the oak leaves/fireplace was actually there. I do wonder, because the house wasn't being used, if someone outside the family was using that spot as temporary storage for stolen goods. That would explain seeing a valuable clock lying there that no one else remembers.

For me, winding the clock every day would be a show stopper. I'd head for Hobby Lobby and get the modern works.

Quiltluver said...

It's a pretty clock. I wouldn't mind having a clock like that but I wouldn't want it to chime every hour!