We just moved into a new place and I was excited to go and get some of those little things that make our place homey. You know – a kitchen towel, bath mat, that sort of thing that transforms this place from the house of Molly McSuburb into the Rodda home.
I set out on my mission. I wandered through the Bed section, weaved throughout Bath, and finally I found it. There in a quiet corner of Beyond, I found what I was looking for.
This incredible clock stared down at me from the wall and I knew that I had to have it. It was perfect. I scooped it up, almost ran to the checkout counter, and once I was in the car I pulled it out of the package and proudly presented it to my family.
David just looked at it and raised an eyebrow. He saw the 50% off sticker, shrugged his shoulders, and mumbled something that was a cross between “cool” and “alright”. The kidlets were a bit more enthusiastic with their responses, but “nice” and “special” weren’t exactly the words I was looking for.
But I didn’t care. We came home and I grabbed one of the countless batteries in our junk drawer. I set the clock to the correct time, showed David exactly where it was to be placed – not an inch higher or lower – and then stood and stared with delight at the newest member of our family.
David just looked at me and smirked. It was a smirk that I have come to know very well over the years, and the correct translation of the smirk is, “Dude. You are totally crazy.”
So, why do I love my clock? Well, first:
It’s a clock.
I absolutely love clocks. More precisely, I love knowing what time it is. Always. I have a clock in every room, wear a watch, and constantly have my phone on my person, all for the sake of knowing what time it is. When we travel and change time zones, I set my watch ahead before we even arrive at our destination, just so I know what time it is where I’m going. If we are driving across the time zone line I stare at my phone just to see the time change before my very eyes. When it does, I cheer and then start in on a monologue about the wonders of time zones.
I know people who will take note of certain times, such as 1:11, 12:34, or 1:23. I used to do that… but when you glance at the clock as much as I do, every time can start to take on some significance. For example, right now it’s 3:43. Look! A palindrome.
Anyway… this is starting to get a bit awkward so I will just move on to the second reason I love my clock:
It Has Orange Tones
It is pretty much common knowledge that from the time I was in middle school I have loved the color orange. However the origin of my love of all things tangerine is slightly less well known. It all began with the woman who is now my sister-in-law. When I was a teenager a group of us used to go and hang out at her apartment every Sunday after church. I would always want to change out of my “church clothes” and so I would borrow her clothes. Her favorite color was orange, and so everything I would borrow was orange. I guess I should actually change the word “borrow” to the word “take” because eventually my closet was filled with orange clothes that I never returned. Add in some orange Chucks, orange tights, and an orange and white car, and I quickly became known as “That Girl With All The Orange.” That’s right. Someone once came up to me and said, “Hey. Aren’t you that girl with all the orange?” I don’t know if it was the hat, backpack, socks, or sweatshirt that gave it away.
But as lovely as the hue may be, it is not my favorite part of my clock. Here is what makes me clap my hands every time I behold its beauty:
It’s Covered in License Plates
We are a road trip family. The first date that David and I went on was a road trip. We were working in Northern California and my family lived in Southern California. We had 24 hours off and I wanted to see my parents, so we took a 14 hour road trip in the 24 hour break. And we haven’t stopped road tripping since. We have driven up and down the West Coast more times than I can count, and have driven across the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
In our trips we have found cities we love (Memphis!) and cities we aren’t so fond of (Kansas City). We have found parts of the country that are breathtakingly beautiful (The Ozarks and New Mexico) and some areas that aren’t our particular brand of beauty (I’m looking at you, Elko). We have listened to so many types of music, including every song ever recorded by Five Iron Frenzy, in chronological order, thank you very much.
But mostly during our road trips we have talked. We have made our Top 5 lists of pretty much everything, from movies to food to San Francisco Giants moments (the top moment being Brian Wilson pitching that final strike to win their first Series, naturally). During road trips we came up with the names for our children, shared our dreams, and devised outrageous plans.
As the kids have grown our conversations with them have gone from discussing the trees and animals outside to discussing civil rights, the death penalty, and drugs and alcohol. I cherish these times we have had in the car, and I look forward to so many more miles spent listening, talking, laughing, crying, and learning.
So when you come to visit me in my new place, I will proudly show you around. I will show you the sweet rocking chair porch, my parlor for my own particular use, and our Florida room where we can sit and watch the Southern storms. But then I will lead you to the clock. I will simply motion to it, and step back so you can truly take it all in.
And I know. I know that you will smile politely, all the while thinking, “She’s totally crazy.”
But I don’t care. Because it’s my home, and in my home an orange license plate clock is a thing of beauty. And if you don’t agree, then you’re the crazy one.