WHAT TIME IS IT? – Rich Paschall

Does Anybody Really Know? by Rich Paschall

What is the most valuable thing you have? Do you think it is your house? For most people, a house will be the most expensive thing they purchase in their lifetime. Personally, I do not own a house, so this definitely is not it for me. Considering the amount of rent I have paid over the decades, I may have paid for one, however.

Is it your automobile? Certainly the costliest possession I have is the car that takes me around town and to my “day job.” Many people spend quite a lot on an auto. I saw a Corvette at the Chevrolet showroom recently while I waited for my modest Malibu to be fixed. Even though I thought it might be interesting to drive the Corvette just once, I wondered who would spend almost 90 thousand dollars on a two seat auto? It is not your practical car for errands or camp trips.  It does show you have a lot of money.

How about jewelry? There are some pieces of jewelry that cost more than the house I am living in. I guess if you are a rock star or high paid athlete you may think you need some expensive “bling.” Odell Beckham Jr. made his Cleveland Browns debut wearing his 350,000 dollar watch. Yes, I did mean to put in that many zeros. That will surely let all of us know he has a BIG NFL contract.

None of the above, however, is the most valuable possession any of us can have. What is it? You may have guessed the answer already by the title above. It’s time. I don’t mean it is the ability to tell the time with a 350 thousand dollar Richard Mille luxury watch, or a cheap Timex for that matter. I mean the quality and quantity of time itself. We don’t know the time, because we don’t know how much each of us has. No watch will show us that.

And I was walking down the street one day
A pretty lady looked at me and said her diamond watch had stopped cold dead
And I said
Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)

My roomie likes to ask me why I never did this or that, and I usually respond that I never had the time to do it. Many of us put off trips and various experiences with the thought that we will do it another time. “I am too busy now,” you might think. But then later in life you discover that time has passed you by and you will never get to a certain restaurant, make a particular trip, observe a special event. Life has turned into a series of “Time Passages.”

Well I’m not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on are the things that don’t last
Well it’s just now and then my line gets cast into these
Time passages

Often I will parcel out my time in small increments, as if I am accomplishing a lot by doing many things. I will work all day and get home around 6:30. I will work outside until it is almost dark, weather permitting. I will come in and eat and do the dishes. After that I will check my computer for email or ebay sales. Then if I think I have the time, I will designate an hour for watching television. I am usually up each commercial to do something. Then I set up the coffee maker, count out my pills for the next day, organize for the morning and …uh, oh. It’s past my bedtime.

No matter what I am working on the clock on the wall or on my phone or on my computer always creeps in to tell me I am behind schedule.  You can not escape the clock, no matter how hard you try. By adulthood it is just part of us. It started when we were kids, I guess, because we had to be home by 5 or home by dark or home by curfew. In an era before cell phones, when we did not have watches, this time related deadline was tough. Now it seems tougher.

If you like to sit and relax and just clear your mind you may find it hard to do. If you are trying to meditate, let’s say, you may still find yourself peeking at the clock.  In fact you may find yourself some morning thinking you “Should have tried to do some more” but “Feeling like I ought to sleep.” Soon you could be sitting crossed legged on the floor, trying to see if it is 25 or (twenty) 6 to 4 (AM).

In the end what do all the minutes of your life add up to? What do all your experiences mean? Where do all the time passages go? Does anybody really know?

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love


Birds eat on time IF I fill the buffet

Birds know what time it is. They don’t wear watches, but they know. Breakfast and dawn come together. Lunch when the sun is high in the sky and dinner before nightfall.

It’s good that at least one mealtime falls during my awake time! And as long as I can get to the bird feeder, the buffet will be open. I promised the birds.

Titmouse on the square – Buffet lunch!
Squared Chickadee and Warbler – The buffet is open for business.


Time in My Palm – Square for Becky B

Time in my hand again, this time the gold watch. Also an Elgin, but not an Elgin-Waltham. I get confused about who owned which company and when. Companies bought each other, consolidated. It is very confusing.

Garry posted the last piece on Facebook in the hope of finding an actual hobbyist who might be able to repair one or both of the watches. This gold one probably needs a new spring, a new crystal, and a good cleanup. It used to run, but finally just died. Old age, I guess.

Gold Elgin. Small and light with engraving on the back.

I had two left pocket watches I kept of the many I used to own.  This one is a solid gold Elgin. It’s much lighter and smaller than the silver one. It no longer runs and it’s very dirty. I’m sure the spring is gone, probably overwound once too often. Even when these watches were much newer, you had to be very careful how you handled them. They were, at their best, fragile.

Engraved gold pocket watch

The only caretakers left are hobbyists. The “pros” change batteries. The people who “take care of watches” know nothing about them. If it doesn’t have a battery, they are lost.

I love the feel of a pocket watch. This one is more delicate and might have been for a woman. It is also engraved.


HOLDING TIME – A Square for Becky B

Time in your hand? I used to collect old pocket watches, but over the years, I’ve given many of them away to people who could afford to repair them.

It’s very hard to find anyone who can fix a watch these days.

It seems like clockmakers have disappeared along with buggy whip manufacturers. And also, buggies.

Elgin (Waltham) silver railroad pocket watch

I have two left I just couldn’t let go. The one showing here is a solid silver Elgin-Waltham railroad watch. Big, silver, heavy, it actually runs … but it needs a new crystal and I have no idea where to find one. So if anyone just happens to know a hobby watchmaker, let me know.

The railroad man’s watch

The only caretakers left are hobbyists. The “pros” change batteries. The people who “take care of watches” know nothing about them. If it doesn’t have a battery, they are lost.

I love the feel of a big, heavy pocket watch. This one feels so delicious in my hand, I didn’t want to put it away. I polished it up and put it in a pouch to keep it clean.



From Bud to Blossom and Flower of the Day

The interval between the fullness of a bud and the opening of the blossom is a time for the season. The Christmas cactus continues to bloom and our time is cactus time!

As I watch the changing cactus, I realize that before there were clocks, there was the growth of the soil, the height of the corn, the flowing, and drying of waters. The movement of sun and moon as the seasons change.

This is all around us. Every breath we take is a tiny piece of our life.

The bud
The flower
Flower of the Day – FOTD – 12/14/2018


A New Square for Becky B

All the old mills had clock towers and this is an old mill valley. You can’t always read the faces clearly. Some are too high up and sometimes, my eyes aren’t all that great.

I assume it was to remind people to show up to work on time. Or they just liked clocks.

None of the mills are mills anymore. Some are senior centers. A few are mini-shopping malls. The wooden ones have mostly burned to the ground. The prettier ones have become Senior Residences.

The brick one is now the Senior Center in Northbridge. It used to be a place for hobbyists to display their wares. There’s a dam directly behind it and adjacent to it is Whitin’s pond, where the swans live.

The stone one is a senior housing area and it is absolutely beautiful!


A New Square for Becky B

Before we had calendars, the moon was our calendar.

The month was new when the moon was new and was growing old when the moon began to wane.  At month’s end, all was dark.

Full moons have names, too.

We know that the Harvest Moon comes at the time of the harvest and that the Wolf Moon follows a month (moonth) later. The moon makes our seas rise and fall — and makes us loony.

This was the full Harvest Moon on the first day of Autumn, September 2016.

Full Harvest Moon, September 2016