Alarming, I Know…

I have a love-hate relationship with my alarm clock. I wrote this on Facebook the other day and several people responded, “I have a hate-hate relationship with mine”.

I totally understood what they meant.

However, if I didn’t have my alarm clock (and my husband didn’t either), my children would never get to school on time, my husband would never get to work, and I would be fast approaching winning the “laziest mother in the universe” award…which isn’t an award I have ever aspired to.

So I am forced to appreciate my hard-working clock-radio despite the irritation I feel every morning when it goes off.

For many years – approximately 24, in fact – I had the same faithful clock radio. My parents got it for me when we moved to Germany in 1986. It was rectangular and brown and could run on either 220 current (Europe’s standard) or 110 – all you had to do was move the little switch…and use the appropriate plug.

That alarm/clock radio went with me to college (where the snooze button got a lot of use) and then to the garage I lived in for a while after college. (That was the house where I opened the door one day to a knock and it was the police, wondering if the pot growing out back was ours. I, in my righteous, repressed horror, assured them that it wasn’t. They didn’t really think it was, as they were aware of the boys who rented the basement apartment…but they just had to check. I think my “Campus Crusade for Christ” T-shirt maybe helped convince them that we were good girls…that and the “I Love Jesus” bumper sticker on my housemate’s car.)

After I left that house and headed to Wisconsin, the alarm clock came with. It came with me to seminary in St. Paul a couple years after that, bringing me though a couple more roommates there and then to my “roommate-for-life”, who, being an engineer, enjoyed the 220 aspect of the clock as much as I did.

Finally, having moved to SW Minnesota, my alarm clock served me well through a rental house, the first house we owned, and now this house, where it woke me to my kid’s first days of school, my mother’s bout with cancer, and innumerable normal days that make up real life.

Then, one day, it woke me late. The next day even later, the next day even later than that. The end had, inevitably, come.

My husband brought me a new one. It has bells and whistles and even tells me when it’s daylight savings, via a little light that stays on for all 5 months, or however long it lasts. Why I need that little light, I don’t know, but there it is, grinning away in the dark, reminding me that one of these days I get to “fall back” and make up for that rotten “spring ahead” a few weeks back.

I don’t think this alarm will last 24 years.

I’m betting on about 5.

4 Responses

  1. Oh, my, what is happening? The clock on our kitchen wall, which my husband had before we married 30 years ago, is slowing, too. And making this weird, buzzing noise. I do not want to part with it. I’ve checked that clock millions of times when baking, before leaving the house, wondering when teens would arrive home, etc. I can barely stand the thought of parting with it and may just keep that clock as a piece of art.

    I can totally relate to this post, Gretchen.

  2. It’s funny how THINGS become a part of our lives, isn’t it? And even though we know they’re just THINGS…they’re still important. I’ve told my husband that if we ever have a fire, we MUST save the Christmas decorations….! I re-wrote most of this post at the last minute…I’m so glad it worked!

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