Mom was a stickler for being on time. She’d managed with a couple of alarm clocks, a watch and a bus schedule to get us anywhere we had to be, either the doctor’s office by 1pm or downtown for shoe shopping and back to the house in time to fix dinner that evening for her family.
Each evening before going to bed, she’d walk over to the television set and clutch the alarm clock in her hand, then carefully wind it up and set it back in its place. She loved the ticking of these Baby Bens, with the easy to read dials. She preferred lighter colored dials in her later years, because they were easier to read from afar.
When I returned to the Bay Area, she happily used to call me each weekday morning to make sure I awakened on time and was “up”. For some reason, she didn’t think I could rely on my home clocks. (Actually, her making sure I arose early enough often guaranteed I’d stop by for coffee on my way in to the office). Mom kept a chalk board in the kitchen with my name written next to the 6AM wakeup call notation.
This was right up Mom’s alley; still taking care of her children. She’d never want to hear that her daughter had arrived late to work! Even after I remarried, Mom asked me if I wanted her to continue to call me in the mornings. My Rogue thought the whole practice rather cute, so he’d answer the phone on occasion and assure her that I was awake, getting ready for the day, and then spend a short minute chatting with her.
I found it amusing to observe how in later years, she voluntarily became the official time keeper for old friends as well; they truly relied on her to make that reminder phone call telling them to set their clocks back in Fall and forward in Spring. Of course by this time, we’d all been schooled on changing our clocks before retiring on that particular Saturday evening.
Her punctuality and clock-winding regimens come to mind especially at Daylight Savings Time. There are days that I wish I could turn my clock back again to relish just a few of those wake up calls, the hugs and the kisses, and the hot cups of coffee ready and waiting for me …