The Beauty of a Clock

A friend of mine on Facebook today mentioned an analog clock he and his wife have in a bathroom in their home. He mentioned how he could read it from the shower via a mirror.  My mind, as usual, went down a rabbit hole and suddenly I remembered hearing recently that many children and adults could no longer read an analog clock. At the time I thought that had to be wrong and hoped it was true. (I had also heard that children are no longer being taught cursive writing in school. Unfortunately, I have learned that that rumor is true. Breaks my heart, but that’s another subject.)

My husband and I have many clocks in our house, but the dearest, most valuable one to me is an analog battery clock set in a wooden frame that I bought for my dad many years ago at a pharmacy. His vision was rapidly declining due to macular degeneration and he could no longer read his watch. One day while waiting for a prescription refill, I saw a clock for sale for about $10 I think and immediately thought it would be perfect for Daddy. It even had the hands that glow in the dark at night, which would be perfect for Daddy when he awoke at 4:00 in the morning and got up to sit in the living room until Mother woke up. Of course, I bought the clock and I think it was Daddy’s Father’s Day gift that year. That same clock now sits on my bathroom shelf and I look at it many times during the course of an average day. Every time I look at it, I think of my dad fondly. He didn’t use it for years and years, but the time he did use it was precious to me.

I think the true usefulness and beauty of a clock is not in whether it is analog, digital or sand or even in the time it tells, but in the time that it keeps. Daddy’s clock, to me, will always represent the time I kept with my father in his last years and how special that time was to me. 

I have a grandson now, Milo, who is two years old. He has excellent parents who will, I have no doubt, teach him how to read an analog clock. Someday I will share with Milo the story of my little bathroom clock and how precious it is and someday further in the future, I will leave it to him so he can remember how his Grandmama Dee used that clock to keep time with her father and then used it to keep time with him, her beloved grandchil

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Remember…

How do the years pass so quickly? 
How does the love never fly?
How do we keep on going,
Whenever a loved one dies?

The love is a blessing,
I thank God for it all my days,
It’s wonderful to have it still,
Even after loved ones part ways.

When we all get to heaven,
It will be a great reunion,
We’ll hug, kiss, laugh and cry,
A regular feast of communion.

Until that day, though,
We’ll hold fast our love,
We’ll remember our loved ones,
Living long up above.

We’ll hug, kiss, laugh and cry,
The loves we make down here,
Until the day that we die.

Elaine Wood-Lane

11/24/16

L.D. WOOD REMEMBRANCE 11/24/15

Nine years ago today our family lost my father. He was 92 years old and we had been expecting it as he was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease and had not been awake much, for about a week. Nonetheless, it was still a shock when the nurse called me around 8:00 AM, the morning after Thanksgiving, to tell me if the family wanted to be there, we should come up to the nursing home. His nurse, Glenn, said he didn’t expect Daddy to last past noon. So, I called my sister so she and her husband could drive up from Brownfield. I called my sons as well and I had Alan with me. We all went up and sat by his bedside all morning. He wasn’t awake, but I felt that he was comforted that we were there. He died about 5 minutes after noon. (It was rather scary how accurate Glenn was!)

L.D. Wood was born on January 23, 1914 in Lubbock County, Texas and died on November 24, 2006 in Lubbock, Texas. He married Margaret Inez Gill on June 6, 1934 in Clovis, NM. He was a cotton farmer for 34 years and then worked for the Texas Highway Department as an Engineer’s Aide for about 12-15 years before retiring. He lived 30 years after retiring, but was so good with his money, that he was able to take care of both Mother and himself all of his life. I find that remarkable.

I miss Daddy for his wisdom, his wry and dry wit, his pretty blue eyes, and all of his love and care. He loved his kids enough to make us behave well, work hard, be honest, and love deeply. He didn’t put up with sass and he taught more by example than by words. He was the sort of man who went to the hospital when family or friends were sick. He called them when they went home. He took neighbors to buy groceries when they could no longer drive. He wasn’t perfect, by any means, as none of us are, but he was a believer in Jesus Christ and was a member of the Church of Christ all of his life.

I still laugh at things he did over the years. For instance, when we had to put him into the hospital for pancreatitis in his early 80’s, he woke up and looked at the end of his finger where a pulsoximeter was attached. (Those glow red.) He didn’t have his glasses on and he motioned me over to him. He whispered, “Elaine, I do believe the end of my finger is on fire. What’s wrong with it?” He was so serious and I got so tickled! I said, “Daddy, your finger isn’t on fire! That’s an instrument to tell us how much oxygen you have in your system.” He said, “Well, I’m breathing easily and alive so I guess I have enough, don’t you think?” LOL!

Anyway, I always get a little blue on the anniversary of my parents’ and siblings’ deaths. I suppose that’s to be expected. I don’t mullygrub for days or cry a lot, but I do get misty eyed. I am SO thankful that I had such good parents. They were salt of the earth and as I’ve grown older and seen so many examples of bad parents, mean parents, and downright evil parents, I have become more and more aware of how very blessed I was to have such good parents. Thank you God, for the blessing of my good parents.

Peace, love, and happy Thanksgiving,

Elaine

I thought I would share some photos of Daddy and myself taken as I was growing up.

Daddy holding me while Mother looks on when I was very young, but I’m not sure how old I was. My parents were older and I was a “surprise” so I always loved this picture. They both looked so happy.

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Me, about 1 year old, in our living room on the farm in Lovington, NM. I didn’t have a lot of hair yet, but Mother or Judy, my sister, always tried to put a hair ribbon in anyway.

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This was in our backyard at the house we rented in Lubbock, Texas after Daddy quit cotton farming. I’m about 3 years old in this picture and it looks like it was on a Sunday before church. Look at those little white gloves and hat Mother had put on me! You don’t see kids dressed like that for church any longer! Daddy always wore a hat to church too, but took it off for the picture. He was about 51 in this picture.

This was in the backyard of our new house that Daddy and Mother bought in Lubbock. That little sycamore tree behind Daddy eventually grew to be a very tall, large tree. I think I’m about 4 in this picture.

Nearly every summer of my childhood we went to Ruidoso, NM for vacation. No matter how many times I asked Daddy to take me to the river, he would get up and take me. Up and down the hill to the river and back. Poor man! He had the patience of a saint in that respect. I think this was probably in summer of 1969 or 1970.

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Daddy on a Father’s Day in the late 1960’s. He loved red carnations so we gave them to him every year. Mother always insisted he have his picture taken with his flowers. I think one year he finally said, “Inez, I think we have enough pictures of me holding flowers. Let’s not do this any more!”

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This was in 5th grade and was taken before Daddy and I went to the Girl Scouts Father-Daughter Banquet.

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I can’t tell you how many pictures we have like this of Daddy sitting in his chair over the years, either reading the newspaper, a book, or working on a crossword puzzle. This looks like the early 1980’s when I was in college, judging by the chair he’s sitting in and his snazzy eyeglasses. 🙂

Daddy, about age 90, and me. Some of our best conversations took place with me sitting on that old hassock next to his chair so he could hear me. I think that place right there is where I got to know my father best.

DADDY

Daddy was a good father.
He loved us and taught us
how to protect ourselves
and be independent.

He taught us the basic things
of life so we could make it on
our own and not have to ever
be dependent on someone else.

This included teaching us
car maintenance, budgeting,
basic plumbing, home maintenance,
and for me, helping me with what
was then “new math” homework.

Daddy is the one who taught
me how to overcome my
shyness and flirt with boys.
(He was good at flirting!)

Daddy drove me to my first
high school dance, even
when my mother disagreed
about me going.

Daddy always worked hard
outdoors in the elements.
His hands were rough and
calloused, but when he
patted us on the head to
tell us he loved us, there
was never a touch so tender
as his.

I watched my father go from
a strong, super intelligent man
to a tender, loving man who
took care of his invalid wife
for 15 years,
to a man with Alzheimer’s
who still had enough smarts
to disguise himself in an
attempt to leave a nursing home.

Daddy secretly helped others
whenever he could.
He called and visited the sick.
He stayed in touch with all
his cousins and siblings.
He worked hard at building family.

Daddy loved us.
He was proud of us.
He was tender with us.
He was tough with us.
He had the iciest blue eyes
in the world when he was mad.
I loved holding his hand and
telling him I loved him.

Daddy was a good father
and I thank God every day
for giving me such a good dad.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
6/21/15