Monday, June 14, 2010

Big Ben

Mrs. Roy's alarm clock is a Big Ben.  It is my small effort to use less electricity.  Mrs. Roy has to wind it every day to keep it working.  Big Ben does not plug in nor does it have batteries.  Big Ben is a wonderful thing.

Big Ben does not glow in the dark with an eerie green or red glow.  The little hands do glow for a while after you turn out the lights but it is very unobtrusive.  Mrs. Roy has found that it really is not necessary to know what time it is in the middle of the night most of the time and, if it is necessary, I just turn on the light.

Big Ben makes a big racket when the alarm goes off.  It has a wonderful metal bell and clacker that beat together to make a really loud noise but just for a few seconds then it stops.  Mrs. Roy doesn't have to hit the snooze button because there is not one.  Amazingly, Mrs. Roy rarely oversleeps now that I know there is not going to be a second alarm.  Big Ben expects me to be a grown-up about getting up and starting my day.

Big Ben is also a blessing to Mrs. Roy because I have some hearing loss that makes it difficult to hear the electronic beeps and tweets of electric clocks.  Big Ben's metal bell rings loud and clear!

If we look at our busy lives, we can all find ways to make small changes that use less electricity or less gas or less natural resources.  Do you really need an electric toothbrush or an electric blanket?  Would an old-fashioned razor work as well as your electric razor?  Can you chop those veggies yourself instead of using a food processor?  Isn't there some way to get the wrinkles out of your clothes rather than tossing them in the dryer for a few minutes?  If we all made just a couple of little changes, the world would be a nicer place for us now and for Mrs. Roy's grandchildren and their children when they grow up.

As mentioned earlier, Mrs. Roy has to wind Big Ben every evening.  While some people may think this is just one more thing to keep up with in an already busy day, there is something very satisfying about the ritual of winding a clock daily.  It gives me that Little House on the Prairie feeling; it's a small piece of self-sufficiency in a hectic, tech-driven world.  It helps Mrs. Roy slow down and remember how things used to be - and could be still, if only we remembered how.

Life is good.


  1. I (jokingly) reject your assertion that it is not necessary to know what time it is in the middle of the night. It is imperative to my mental wellbeing to be able to either gloat over how much more time I get to sleep or bemoan how little more time there is left to sleep.