Growing up in the city I experienced space constraints that wouldn’t be the typical experience of the suburban child. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t anything of which I was really aware (until I visited people in other towns) or anything that I in any way dwelled upon. It was just that I was very accustomed to living in close physical proximity to many people at once. We lived in an apartment building; the rooms were small and the bathrooms smaller. But I also had my grandparents on the first floor of my building and most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins within walking distance. This was the way it was.
One of the things that I remember most about visiting my grandparents’ apartment – as I often did on a daily basis – is that they had this wonderful grandfather clock sitting in the corner of their front room. I cannot imagine to this day how they got that clock into the apartment much less made it appear to be such a congruous part of its surroundings, but it just always seemed as though it belonged there and only there. The size of the apartment surely added to the overall scale of the grandfather clock; and in my mind, it was – and still is – this giant structure that was beautiful when it was silent and awe-inspiring when it chimed in the hour.
Today, I – like the many city-dwellers that came before me – have migrated to the suburbs where I enjoy far more floor space than I could have imagined existed as a child. And yet I am still drawn to what is familiar; what makes me happy. And so, upon buying this house – this home that dwarfed my childhood home and mocked me with the empty rooms left to decorate – I immediately purchased a grandfather clock and put it in my front room in honor of my grandparents and in honor of those things that never change.