When it comes to an heirloom, almost anything can qualify. It could be grandpa’s diploma tucked away in a special drawer or grandma’s pot roast recipe waiting to be cooked again or even a simple and unexpected thing like the ribbon your great aunt wore on the day of her wedding. But, did you know that, in popularity, clocks are in the top ten?
What makes them so popular? Think about it. They’re practical: clocks are heirlooms you can use. They’re beautiful: that means your home will be imbued with fine craftsmanship and visual entertainment. They’re visible: that means they’re usually in a prominent place in your home where you can see them and refer to them often, “what time is it?” Then there’s the ticking, the music, the chimes, and the dancers, the log cutters, the dumpling eaters and the beer drinkers, the dogs and the vines and the red-shuttered cottages. All that becoming a part of the daily rhythm of your family life. Yes, an heirloom clock passed down to you is special, indeed. It honors your family, helps you to gain a richer insight into the days of your ancestors, and continues the traditions that began generations ago.
I could tell you about my own family heirlooms, but what I think will be of greater interest is what I had discovered many years ago and would later call my “heirloom extension phenomena.” What is that you might ask? Well, growing up my family regularly visited close friends. In their kitchen was a cuckoo clock and in the living room a grandfather clock. I still remember the beautiful and mysterious tones of the Westminster chimes and the charming cuckoo of the bird. These sounds somehow created a sense of stability and order in the atmosphere, and as a child I always looked forward to a visit to that home.
Years passed and the two clocks were given to their children and then just recently, to their children’s children. The stability and order those timepieces had lent to that home will now be passed on to the grandchildren’s home as they start their new families.
We had other heirlooms in our house when I was growing up, but not a clock. That’s where my “heirloom extension phenomena comes in. I can explain it this way: even though it’s years later, I seem to be experiencing and participating in their family history, in their heirloom story. And it’s all because of those wonderful clocks.
Starting Your Own
But, what if you don’t have an heirloom clock or an “heirloom extension phenomena” carrying the stories and memorable events of your family or extended family? Well, your story can begin now because traditions don’t have to be started sixty years ago. A new, finely crafted clock can become an heirloom in the making, a keepsake by which you’ll be remembered. And your children and grandchildren will be glad you decided to begin the journey of your story.
Now look around your house. Most likely you have an heirloom of some type. But, wouldn’t it be nice to have a clock?
BOTTOM: O’Neill Family