I crave constants in my life … maybe it is a sign of getting older, or being less tolerant of the disorderliness of life in general.
I do know I am a creature of habit and hiccups in my routine really upend me.
I like my basic creature comforts too … nothing fancy, but having the power on when it is a late November day is nice to have.
I returned from today’s walk, having enjoyed the mild, 52-degree temperature, and was in the processing of shedding my coat, when poof – there went the lights and the room was bathed in darkness. “Well, great – just great” I muttered. I knew there were many people already without electricity from last night’s winds, but the winds were calm when I was out walking.
Five minutes passed.
Then ten, or fifteen more minutes.
Clearly, it was not a transient thing, so I grabbed the flashlight to retrieve the lantern to put near the phone to call DTE. A series of prompts ensued, then the robo-voice took my information and reminded me to unplug items that might be damaged when power was restored. DTE could not determine the timeframe for power restoration, as there were many others in the queue from last night’s wind damage.
Nearly two hours later, happily, the fridge and lights came to life, plus the digital clock on the stove verified it was back with a peep.
Ahhh … the basic creature comforts had returned once again, sooner than expected, so kudos to DTE!
Soon, the callback from DTE told me that an upgrade to equipment had been performed … hmmmm. Service was okey-dokey before? But, I was very thankful it was back so quickly, especially when so many others were no doubt still in the queue to get their power restored.
But there is still something amiss.
Every home owner has those unique noises or quirky characteristics that are unique to their home.
Like the maple corner cabinet in the kitchen which occasionally creaks and groans and every once in a great while, the bottom door will just slowly swing open all on its own … ghosts?
Or that one creaky floor board under the hall carpeting that has made the same noise for five decades now. It is rather loud, but it just wouldn’t feel right not hearing that obnoxious noise when I pad down the hall in my moccasins.
My parents used to complain about that squeaky board when they were sleeping in on a Sunday morning, and I’d be scurrying up and down the hall, getting ready for my job at the diner, where I worked weekends and Summers through college. I was up at the crack of dawn and had to be on the diner floor by 6:45 a.m., or before shift change.
Yup, that noisy floor board tormented my folks for years.
Me too, because that silly squeaking floor board gave away my tardiness when I arrived home really late on weekend nights as well. My parents, normally sound sleepers, not only heard me Sunday mornings, but they would awaken to hear me tiptoeing down the hall, knowing I’d get their disapproval for my late hours, so I’d be trying my very best not to step on that board to alert them of my late hours. But, alas – usually I’d hear them stir; I was foiled by that floor board once again.
Another constant in my life for decades has been the kitchen clock. The numbers on that schoolhouse regulator wall clock are so big, I can see them without my glasses and the Westminster chimes sing sweetly … one gong at the bottom of the hour, and hourly strikes at the top of the hour.
With the time change on November 6th, I put in a fresh “C” battery. Somehow the new battery knocked against the cabinet which contains the chiming mechanism. Suddenly BOING!!! A plastic piece, the size of a nickel flipped out of the back of the clock, followed by several skinny copper pieces.
That didn’t look good at all.
And the clock has been silent ever since.
Well I missed it.
I’m a news hound and like keeping up on the radio news broadcasts throughout the day … without that clock, which I set to go off two minutes early, thus reminding me the top of the hour was near, I’m just sunk.
Even if I can see the clock in plain sight on the task bar of my computer – there is no “alert” … no two-minute warning.
After several days of silently turning over into a new hour, and my stewing over the demise of the chimes, suddenly, I remembered the wall clock in the living room was a chiming clock. The only bugaboo was that we unhooked the wires connected to the chimes many years ago, after two clocks with Westminster chimes, striking twelve times at midnight simultaneously was often the cause of losing precious sleep.
I didn’t even look for the manual, because I am not the little old clock maker, nor his assistant.
Thus, after the holidays, a trip to ye olde clock repair shop will be in order. A horologist will bend his head over it for a quick looksee and say “why on earth would someone have pulled the wires out of the chimes mechanism on this fine timepiece?”
I will, of course, remain silent and shrug my shoulders.
So, I learned that new word and thought I’d share it: horologist. No, it’s not a person who studies the art of cultivating fruit, vegetables and flowers; instead, it is a person who has studied the art of making watches, clocks and other time-telling devices. I found that word on the PCC Watch and Clock Repair website.
Perhaps I’ll ask for the two-for-one special, and fix the kitchen clock as well, to repair that copper wire that went BOING, much like what happened when you played with the little spring in your Bic Clic pen back in the day.
Yup, you know you are smiling because you played with that spring too. BOING!!!! In one second, your clicker ballpoint pen was rendered useless.
I may be rendered useless too, if a pair of clocks are chiming in the wee hours of the morn … I have a few more months to think about it.
Yup, a hiccup here and there and then life rolls merrily along again … or does it?