Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Timely Confession...

I am a recovering amateur horologist. I am also lazy, so I have two or three old cuckoo clocks in my workshop that I am eventually going to get around to. In addition to those, I have an old Seth Thomas mantle clock that we got from a friend of my wife's family that I used to have running, but sadly the movement stopped working. The wear on the gears essentially meant that the movement probably would never work again. When it did run, it kept perfect time and had a wonderfully resonate 'bong' that rang out in the hour. Since that time I have had the movement in a box in my workshop and the body of the clock resides over the fireplace. I recently started doing some research on the clock and looked on Ebay to see if I could get a replacement movement. Low and behold the above one showed up. Today I finally pulled the trigger on purchasing the movement. My plan is to do a careful restoration and cleaning of the clock body and install this refurbished movement.

The lesson here is a bit deeper I think. Years ago I thought that kayaks looked cool and that owning one would allow me to get some much needed exercise and fishing opportunities. Even though I had the means to buy an inexpensive one, for some reason I kept putting it off. Years passed then one day while wondering through my local 'Dicks Sporting Goods' something clicked. In an uncharacteristic fit of self indulgence, I bought the Swifty.  The rest, as they say is history, and with a growing fleet of kayaks, I have a hobby that doesn't really cost me that much, dramatically increases my quality of life, and, with respect to kayaking,  I wish I had 'indulged' myself much sooner in life.

The purchase of this movement is along the same lines. While not pennies, this movement was relatively cheap to purchase. The clock itself is probably over 100 years old, and hearing it cheerfully bonging out the hours will add to the texture of my family's life. With the refurbished movement, it will probably function for another 100 years and hopefully will be a heirloom for my children's children. There is a lesson there on the push and pull of indulgence and self denial. One is a sin, then other is a shame. Finding a balance there is perhaps one of life's most important lessons.

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