My Time is in Your Hands

We love clocks. Our home is full of them. Some of them actually work. Others could if they were wound. Some will only and always be "correct twice a day." They have come to us over the years as gifts, to commemorate an anniversary or trip and handed down from family. But, by far, most of the clocks are garage sale finds. These unwanted relics have found a new place in our home where, though they are seldom wound, they are still occasionally dusted.  
This clock is labeled Wuersch and was purchased on a trip to California early in our marriage.
There are an amazing variety of clocks with sizes from very small wind-up alarm clocks to a large grandfather clock in our entry. Some have a loud tick, others strike on the hour or play a melodic chime. Should I awaken in the middle of the night, I do not have to wait long to get at least a hint of the time, as some chime every 15 minutes (a fourth of the melody at a quarter after, half of the melody at half past and three fourths of the melody at a quarter til.) We try to set the chimers just a little off from each other so they don't all chime at the same time. Still, we have often missed a critical part in a movie or TV show because chiming clocks drowned out the voices. For accuracy I check the computer or microwave clock.

What is it about clocks that we love? The friendly round faces? The beautiful melodies? The reminder of the brevity of life? The faithful ticking? On this quiet Saturday, when not much has been accomplished on the cleaning or organizing list, but amid some leisurely reading and contemplation, I share some photos of our clocks along with some favorite quotes regarding time.
This clock was made in England. The well-worn face shows no brand. The photo is a poignant reminder that little boys grow up, quickly. 
 Time is free, but its priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it, you can never get it back. 
--Harvey MacKay

Beethoven's 5th is one of the chimes.
There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

   a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
   a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
   a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
   a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
   a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
   a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
   a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace
 --Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 
This wind-up sunburst wall clock was purchased at an estate sale for $3.
From one point of view, the whole of life may be seen as a taking away, as one long and painful series of subtractions. We are forever being called upon to pull up stakes, to release our hold upon the things and places and people we have loved and even upon each precious second as it slips through our aging fingers. 
-- Mike Mason
The Mystery of Marriage

This Seth Thomas is one of our oldest clocks. It has been refinished. 
Don't mindlessly drift through life on the American narcotic of busyness. If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you. Seize the corner of His garment and don't let go until He blesses you. He will reshape the day.
--Paul Miller
A Praying Life
The Plymouth clock was Mike's first old clock purchase. The black clock is a Big Ben wind up clock whose alarm is so loud that it can wake the soundest sleeper. It's the alarm you can set when you absolutely must get up. It may take a few minutes, however, for your heartbeat to return to normal.
 Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be, if we only knew what we wanted? Why do we waste our time doing things which . . . are just the opposite of what we were made for?
--Thomas Merton
quoted in A Praying Life
This 50's or 60's electric light-up alarm clock still works well. 
Teach us to number our days,
   that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
Psalm 90:12
An eclectic collection of clocks, coffee pots, cameras and table games. 
“Fight for us, O God, that we not drift numb and blind and foolish into vain and empty excitements. Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity.”
―John Piper
The Sessions clock Is simple, but lovely.
Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.
--Jim Elliott
The Waterbury clock was my grandparents. It is faux marble. The center clock is a Howard Miller purchased to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The Fleetwood 8-day wind up alarm clock works well.

Some of My Favorite Friends are Family: A Winter Salad

There is no better gift at Christmastime than the presence of those you hold dear. Especially if they are not frequent visitors and must come from a great distance. Then your time together must be treasured. Of course you can't just sit around and eat. Or maybe you can. It sometimes seemed like we did. Over the days that we had together we enjoyed soups and Christmas goodies, vereneke, hotdogs and s'mores roasted over a bonfire and a lovely Birthday luncheon just for the ladies (the men went out for pizza). 

The Birthday luncheon was a surprise and not just for the birthday girl. Since her birthday was on Saturday, that would be the logical time to have our luncheon, but Thursday evening we learned that the bonfire and pizza lunch had been switched. And that meant that our luncheon would be on Friday instead of Saturday. That wouldn't have been a problem had the luncheon been all planned out, but I was counting on having all day Friday to figure out the menu. Still, with the help of many, a lovely luncheon came together. 
Are you horrified to see a jar of peanut butter with a knife sticking out of it on our elegant table? It was actually sunflower seed butter and it was wonderful! But somehow no one thought about placing the butter in a serving dish.
 The menu included:
Ham salad on baggets
Cucumber/mint sandwiches
Pasta Salad
Crackers with Strawberry Cream Cheese Dip and Sunflower Seed Butter
Apple Bread and Butter Sandwiches
Winter Tossed Salad

Should you wish to make a Winter Salad with grapefruit, oranges, pears and lettuce, I think you will enjoy it very much. Like most salads, it is accommodating to various amounts of ingredients.
 Winter Salad
1 grapefruit
1 orange
1 pear
1/2 head of lettuce (not iceberg)
1/2 bunch parsley, optional
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup feta cheese, optional

3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup canola oil

For Salad:
Wash, dry and tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Snip parsley leaves, if using. Wash and thinly slice pear. Cut grapefruit lengthwise (see photo) and cut around the peel to remove the fruit. Cut between membrane into segments. Do the same with the orange. This is rather juicy business. I use a separate bowl and allow that juice to drip on the pear to keep it from browning. Arrange on lettuce and include the juice. Top with walnuts and cheese, if desired. Drizzle with dressing. Pass the remaining dressing with the salad. 
Some of my favorite friends are family.
Salad Dressing recipe originally from Shepherd's Garden Seeds. For a printable version of the recipe click here.