Wednesday, February 11, 2009


On Sunday afternoon, I was feeling bored. It was beautiful outside, and I decided to walk to the grocery store instead of driving. Right next to my local Hy-Vee is a Goodwill store, and I often stop in here to see if I can spot a good item at a bargain price. I usually don’t. But this Sunday, between the framed pictures, and the furniture, I found a gem! It was a black wrought iron clock – beautifully built. It was also a Howard Miller clock. I don’t know very much about clocks, but I knew enough to know that this was a clock of a rather good make. I grabbed it up and looked for any tell-tale signs about why it might have been given away to Goodwill. None presented itself. It was in perfect condition - not a scratch or dent. So, I walked to the sorting room and asked an attendant if he had a couple of batteries so I could see if the thing worked. It did. I was still skeptical – maybe it did not keep very good time. It was marked at $3.99, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I could always re-donate it later if I found it faulty.

So, holding it in my hand and went to browse the second-hand books. As I was looking at the books, a voice behind me said, “That’s missing a piece.” I turned around. An elderly gentleman was smiling at me and pointing at my clock. I was surprised. It looked okay to me. He must have sensed the confusion in my face. “The pendulum”, he said. “That clock used to have a pendulum.” I turned the clock over and looked at it. The man pointed at the spot for the second battery. “It only takes one battery to run the clock. The second one is for the pendulum. Maybe you could buy one and replace it.” I smiled and thanked him, and asked if he was the one who donated the clock – how did he know all this? “I used to be a clock-maker”, he said. It sounded sad. I thought clocks were dished out my automated machines. “That was long ago” he added, “We went out of business years ago. I am retired now.” Where could I get a pendulum, I asked. He told me I could find one at a clock-store, or online. “That is a good clock. A great bargain.” I thanked him, and bought the clock.

Then, I did some research online. I was looking for a pendulum, and it is surprising how few clock parts are available online. Anyway, I typed in “wrought iron pendulum” into Google Images, and there it was – my clock, plus pendulum. It turns out, this Howard Miller clock is called “Paulina”, and retails at $61 on sale. I called Howard Miller today, and it turns out each Howard Miller clock has a serial number. I gave them mine, and asked for a pendulum. And they are sending me one – no charge, and no shipping fee. I was astonished. What an amazing chain of events! My Paulina has to be the best Goodwill bargain I have ever got. She also keeps perfect time. :-)


Aarti said...

Nice! Free pendulum! I'm glad u tried :)
Nice to see u post after so long - i almost reported u missing ;)
Whats up? So when do u know where ure going?

Azalea said...

Hee hee. I've been a bit off... creative juices not quite up to par. I wrote that post because I felt like I had to write something to get it out of my syste,.

Match Day is the 23rd. I hate waiting that long. But I'll let you know as soon as I find out. Fingers crossed for ...

Mystery said...

Hey Girl..I love that clock. You have good taste in antique looking stuff. wonder you find me interesting.. hehe

Azalea said...

Hello J, Thanks for the compliment. Anyone would find you interesting - antique or not. You are impossible to not like. The clock is available online - maybe they'll ship it there if you want it. :-) TC