400 days



This post has a personal element, as, it seems, many of mine do. I curate and sell a collection of mostly my family’s things, so I guess it is understandable. A customer recently made some inquiries about a clock I am selling. Her questions, while so reasonable and impersonal, hit such a cord with me and I could not help but be filled with a certain nostalgia, for my own past, and a wonderment at how personal some small businesses (like mine) really are. When Maggie (name changed) asked: “I have a couple of questions about the kundo clock. Is it in working order and do you know if it keeps good time? Does it come with a winding key? And is the dome glass or plastic?”, one would think my automatic thoughts on it would be purely professional and practical.

Yet, they weren’t.


I wanted to answer: “Maggie, it was in perfect working order and kept good time until February 7, 2010, when she died. “She” was my mom. All the clocks stopped shortly after that, because I had no idea how to keep them all running, and now, I am selling most of them, as I think they should go to homes where people can make them run properly and appreciate them more than I can. I am sure my mom had the winding key and it is somewhere in with all the stuff I have to sell, but I will have to find it now. I’ve never used it, so I can only hope I can figure this out. The dome is glass. I would know this without touching it because I can remember nearly knocking it over as a child and being scared to death I would break that fancy looking clock and make my grandma very sad. I’m selling this pretty thing because it is too fancy and “old fashioned” for my modern aesthetic for my own home, but now that it may be leaving me, I can’t help but want to gussy it up and make it prettier so someone else will love it like my grandma did.”


It’s a Kundo Wind up 400 day Anniversary clock. It will run til the anniversary of the day you set it. Pretty cool considering it uses no electricity. Just fast forward 400 days – put it on your calendar. To even think – “I know what I will be doing 400 days from now - winding this clock”… seems so alien to me in our “live in the present moment” culture. Imagine if we knew when we only had 400 days left to do something or to be with someone. I keep thinking of the last time my mom wound that clock, not knowing that I would be the one to watch it stop, and had I known then what I know now, for some strange reason I would have kept track of the days it kept keeping time and when it stopped and subtracted those days from 400 just to know what day she had last wound it, expecting to wind it again. I don't know why, but for some reason, I wish I knew that day.


Seems to me, this clock is a treasure, really. Set it, put that date on the top of a sheet of paper and make a list of all the things you want to do before the 400 days are over, tuck that paper near the clock. Then be reminded as you watch the pendulums move, that time is always moving forward;we are just time's passengers on this journey; 400 days can be over before you know it, so take a look at that list and get on with doing what matters to you.


I sat down and began shining it, and it started looking a lot prettier. The glass dome doesn’t have a scratch. It’s in almost perfect condition. I should just sell it as is. I’m not a clock expert or a clock repair gal.  Yet, I do want to find the key and I do want to see if I can shine it up some more. I deactivated it for a day on my etsy store to see if I can find that key and make it prettier for Maggie. I don’t even know if she will end up buying it, but I want to give her first dibs if I find the key, because without her inquiry, I wouldn't have pondered these things, saw the real beauty in this clock or written this post. She wants it for her mom, whom I doubt would give a hoot about my "carpe diem" type of blog. Maggie's mom just misses the Kundo clock her own mother had, and Maggie is just looking to replace those happy memories for her a little bit. I can relate to that.


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