Archive for March 17th, 2010


Time Machines

   Posted by: Michael Bernier   in Yesterday's Memories

Do you own a wristwatch? These days, it seems more and more people don’t, relying instead on their cell phones and computers to give them the time. There are some people who say the wristwatch will become obsolete in 50 years, or even less. Of course, 50 years ago there were people saying we would all be getting around in flying cars by now…and we know how right they were about that.

I like wristwatches. I have several, most of them battery-powered quartz watches, but I do have some that are mechanical; in fact, my newest one is the most old-fashioned of all – a wind-up watch. If you’re around my age, more than likely you learned how to tell time with a wind-up wristwatch your parents gave you for your birthday, or that Santa brought you for Christmas. That’s how I started, proudly wearing a “big” shiny Timex on my wrist. You don’t see new wind-up watches very often these days; usually they are made and sold in far-away places such as China or India. My new wristwatch was made in India by a company that has been using the same design since the early 1960s. It’s very simple and inexpensive (about $12), but at the same time it’s a prime example of the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I think of wristwatches as little “time machines” (no pun intended) that help us look back and remember people and places and events. I have one that was given to me as a Father’s Day gift when my youngest child was not yet a year old. He’s 13 now, and while the watch may have some scratches and dings on it, it’s still there reminding me of the days before my son knew anything about computers or video games. And, it will continue to remind me when he heads off to college in a few years. Likewise, this new wind-up wristwatch reminds me of my own youthful days, when my life didn’t have all the complexities of maintaining a house, earning an income, and raising a family. Another one I have was given to me by my mother-in-law shortly after my father-in-law passed away, and brings back memories of his kind and gentle nature.

How about you? Do you have your own “time machines”? Perhaps yours is also a wristwatch or a piece of jewelry passed down to you, a well-worn stuffed animal, or maybe a hat or other piece of clothing. What memories are they holding for you?