Westminster chimes


I love clocks.  I love the ticking that they produce; it has a calming effect on me.  I could easily be surrounded by many ticking clocks. Time is ticking away and it is day six of Daddy Boot Camp.

I had always wanted a grandfather clock and when my university offered one with an interest free payment some years ago, I took them up on it. 

My grandfather clock has performed amazing well; I have often heard that that is not the case.  The only thing is that the “moon cycle” aspect of it has never really worked properly.  I am not overly impressed with that feature, so it is not an issue.

We had the floors refinished in the living room, dining area last year and our clock lost a feature I really do like, the Westminster chimes.  For some reason, the chime mechanism was actually stopping the pendulum.  This first occurred when we silenced the clock when it was sitting in the kitchen awaiting return to the living room.  I don’t know what I was thinking, I should have started the clock in the kitchen and I didn’t.  That was a mistake.  I remember thinking that perhaps the different sense of “level” in the kitchen might not be the same, so why try to get it going there since it was temporary.  In any case, once moved back into position, I started the clock and it ran for several hours and then stopped.  Somehow I realized it was the chiming mechanism stopping it.  So I turned off the chimes from the switch on the face of the clock.  The clock then continued without a problem.  I experimented every so often with the chimes and each time, the clock inevitably stopped.

For some reason, yesterday I turned the chimes back on.  Within a short period the clock stopped.  I reset the clock and started up again.  Something seemed to “give” as I moved the clock’s hands into position.  I started it up.  It went all night.

I often enjoy hearing the chime from the master bedroom, on the upper level.  If I am dozing lightly in bed, I can tell what time it is when the clock strikes the hour.

“Lord through this hour,
Be Thou our guide
So, by Thy power
No foot shall slide.

In writing this morning, I wanted to be sure to get things right, so I looked up the Westminster chimes to make sure that they were the ones we had.  They are.  I found the preceding prayer that supposedly goes along with the chimes and find it an interesting revelation.

Is it a coincidence that the clock is now functioning  with chimes? I would like to think not.

Yesterday had its own set of ups and downs as we proceeded through the day.  Samantha provided a framework of normalcy as we played with her dolly and caught glimpses of her favorite movie from time to time.  Lunch was great but peppered with strategies Mikey and I had for “righting” the family’s situation, getting people to settle in to forgetting their differences.

We created one of the “glues,” that has always held an important part of the Koerner family tradition, during the day.  Mike made Chicken cacciatore with polenta, something he perfected when he worked in a California restaurant.  It was amazing.  I made two puddings from scratch:  chocolate and butterscotch.  Mike had asked why we didn’t have dessert the other day, something we love; I have a sweet tooth that loves to be satisfied. Without the boys in the house, we don’t always plan for it.  Dinner has always been a time of truly “breaking bread” in our household and quite the sacred time.  During the very busy years of the boys, we still always managed to have “family time” at dinner.  As it happened last night, all the boys were informally invited over for dinner. The eldest ended up taking some home since his poor wife is burning the candle at both ends to transition from her current job into the practice she is building and would have been back far too late. The next son was busy with his situation and Mike ended up taking dinner and dessert over to his place so that he could “steal the X-Box paraphernalia” to enjoy it here.  Our “fourth” son surprisingly arrived at dinner time, invited by Mikey.  He doesn’t need an invitation anyway, so it was a nice moment.

We all sat down to dinner and toasted (Mikey did it with water) the New Year and its accompanying good moments.  Our fourth son has truly pleased me, not that he has to, by quitting smoking.  In all of the trauma surrounding Mike’s return, “Daddy Didactic,” as I have sometimes been called, took him aside and said that in an offering of solidarity, could he please quit smoking and use it as a measure of support to Mikey.  He has quit and is quite proud of himself as he should be.  His smoking was a great worry to us so this is just one more gift.

Next item on the agenda is Grandma K’s 90th birthday.  I have a new tutoring gig at 10:00 am and plan on visiting my mom this morning with some flowers.  Tomorrow, since the family has a million directions to run in, we are celebrating her birthday with a homemade coconut pie.  She will love it.

Off and running…the clock just chimed…fingers are crossed…


2 responses to “Westminster chimes

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