Tag Archives: clocks

No time to lose

Does anybody really know what time it is?

For a town known to be a center of power, much of our nation’s capital went without at the time of our nation’s birthday.

The Friday before Independence Day, el derecho huffed and puffed and took down trees, power lines, homes and cars in one big bad blow.

We lost power for four days. There isn’t much about this weather event that hasn’t already been said.

But, after losing power again yesterday, something struck me. Without juice, it’s hard to tell time.

We rely unduly on our mobile phones, our televisions, cable boxes, VCRs (yes, I still have two of those), stoves, microwaves. Even our electronic thermostats tell us what time it is. As a result, many people don’t even wear watches any more. I wear mine for adornment as much as I do for information–and only when I go out.

On a recent dark day, I walked about the house, upstairs and down, looking for the time. My cell phone was dead; even an analog landline was of no use since Ma Bell cut our time lines last year.

I remembered that we received six clocks—none electric—as wedding gifts 27 years ago. It was comforting to rediscover that some if not most of those are still around. Then I remembered the trusty timepiece my husband brought into our marriage, a relic from the 1950s, when his father sold shoes for a living.

As time slips away, so does our ability to tell it.

Does anybody really care?

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