Some years ago a the owners of a house a few blocks down the street from us moved out. The house did not go up for sale. No one moved in. A mystery. Before long the property's condition began to deteriorate noticeably. First the yard. Then windows started to break. Shingles fell off the roof, gutters sagged and broke, etc. It became a real mess and an eyesore for the neighborhood. And the sense of decay was made more stark because it seemed so incongruent given the home's coquettish style and the lot's inherent grace. And then the rumors: all of this because of a particularly nasty and bitter divorce. It was said that if you went up to a window and looked in you could see that the place had been purposely trashed by one of the feuding spouses. Eventually someone got the placed boarded up. And there it stood for a long time. We actually joked about buying the place, but even had we been serious we had no one to contact. As it turned out, an older couple did find out who to contact. They bought the place and fixed it up beautifully.
This little bit of neighborhood history is brought to mind because this morning I was walking by this house with Waldo and was impacted by a detail that I'm sure I've observed many times. But today it kind of hit me on the head like a brick. Near the top of the walkway leading up to the front door, perched atop an elegant iron stand about seven fee high is a very large clock. (And I noticed it's a functioning piece of equipment set to the correct hour.) "Welcome. And by the way, the clock is ticking!" I've walked by thousands upon thousands of homes, and this in the only one Ive seen with a huge clock out front, like a sentry offering a gesture of... welcome? Warning? Irony? Unique, in any case. And I found myself thinking about The Clock, the one you can never rewind. Perhaps I'm fooling myself, but I think I'm making some progress in terms on accepting this universal fate. (The photo above is not from our neighborhood, but rather from Detroit.)