Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cuckoo for my clock

Hello there! I hope you’ll indulge me today while I show you something new to our home. It probably isn’t too exciting to most, but it is a piece that makes me so happy I can’t even explain it. :)

It’s actually a kind of weird how it came about. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I have very little from my childhood. I have no toys, no Christmas ornaments – only pictures (that I treasure) and a small box of papers/trinkets from my entire childhood. All of it was lost along the way, (I touched on why a bit here), so everything that I do have means the world to me.

For some reason, a couple months ago, I started thinking about one item from when I was a kid in particular. It was a small cuckoo clock my parents got when I was very young – I don’t think there was a time when I didn’t remember it in our homes.

I have no idea why all the sudden I couldn’t stop thinking about this clock. I hadn’t though of it in about 20 years – it was the oddest thing. I had this deep ache for it though – it was just something that reminded my of my childhood. It was quirky and fun and symbolized good memories for me.

I thought about it for weeks and then dropped it. Until one day a couple weeks before Christmas when my Dad came by for a bit. We were sitting at the kitchen table and he starts telling me how he had a clock that he was going to have refurbished. My ears perked up and I asked him which one, and what do you know…he had that cuckoo clock I had been thinking about for weeks!! I thought it was long gone since the last time I’d seen it was in my Mom’s storage. All of that was lost a long time ago.

Could NOT believe it.

I had no idea he had “saved” it at one point years ago, and he had had it for about ten years – but it didn’t work and it was broken and dirty.

Seriously, freaky. I pretty much begged him for it, and I think he was surprised at how badly I wanted it. I just couldn’t believe that the one thing I had been reminiscing about for weeks was actually still around.

So for part of my Christmas Dad had it refurbished. He brought it down last week and I tell you what…I was just plain giddy:

switzerland cuckoo clock

I seriously could have cried. We hung it up and messed with it a bit (everything has to be just so for this to work properly).

I love all the detail in the wood (but not too much – it’s actually simple compared to some) and it was JUST as I remembered it. The roman numeral face:

cuckoo clock

And that little door for the bird to come out of course. :)

I anxiously waited for us to get it just right, and then Dad turned the hands of the clock to set it and that bird came out and did his “cuckoo”:

cuckoo clock

It filled me with JOY.

You know how when there’s a song from a certain time in your life, and you hear it years later and you almost feel like your in a time tunnel and you can close your eyes and there you are again?

Well, when I heard that cuckoo it took me back to a very happy time in my life and it was emotional, I have to admit. I spent that whole afternoon and evening hanging around the clock, waiting for that little bird to pop out. When it did I was JUST STUPID with happiness. I would do a little dance and would yell out to my son and husband, “DID YOU HEAR IT?? ISN’T THAT AWESOME???”

Of course they did…I just had to make sure.

Now when the Bub hears it and I’m not there, he makes sure to tell me how many times I missed the cuckoo. I love that he’s already in love with it and it will become a memory from his childhood as well.

lucerne cuckoo clock

Dad told me that my grandparents actually bought this overseas for him and Mom, so I talked to my grandma to find out more. She said they got it in 1977 (I was two), in Lucerne Switzerland. They bought one for each of their four kids, and as far as she knows, this is the only one left. Can you believe they traveled home with four of these in their suitcases?

My grandparents traveled often and to some truly amazing places, so I love that this symbolizes their adventures too. I’ve done a little bit of research on it and I believe it’s a Bucherer cuckoo clock. Like I said, it was a mess, so things like the chain and some of the woodwork were replaced and are no longer original. 

But it works and I feel like a kid when I get pull down those chains with the heavy pinecones on them every day, just like I remember my parents doing 30-(something) years ago.

It hangs on a skinny wall between our black doors in the basement – we have it down there so it doesn’t wake us up all night, and I just because I think it fits in perfectly:

black interior doors

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have this in my home – I’m so excited about it. I guess you could say I’m “cuckoo” for it. Ahhh yes…I went there. Did you have any doubt? ;)

Do you have lots of things from your childhood? Is there one item in particular that you miss and wish you had? Do you have a cuckoo clock that makes you dance around when you hear it every hour? :)

68 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved this post.. thanks so much because I grew up with a cuckoo clock too. In fact, my mom tells me that "cuckoo" was my first word. I have a clock too (looks almost identical to yours) but it does not run. I was wondering if you had any info on where I could get mine up and running? Thanks so much!
    Jo Gordon

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  2. That clock looks so good where you put it!

    My Grandpa has an old windup grandfather clock. I used to love listening to it go off every hour, too.

    I've kept all my barbies and their accessories, and gave them to my daughter! These include all five Spice Girls, and a ton of the Disney Princesses!

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  3. I had the same clock growing up, and my Mom still has it up. It makes me feel like I am really at home when I hear it too. Same one, crazy!!

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  4. That is so sweet. I love your story and I'm glad you get so much joy out of it! My mom kept a lot of our toys. She kept our Legos, Barbies (and Barbie dream house!), Cabbage Patch Kids and Maple Town Critters (now called Calico Critters). The smell of Cabbage Patch Kids brings me back to so many memories.

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  5. Jo, my dad took it to a jeweler that specialized in clock repair. If you search around I'm sure you could find a place to fix it up!
    Nessa, I LOVE the smell of CPKs too!! :)

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  6. Wow does your post bring back memories for me! I had a clock, I swear, identical to that one. I saw it at a clock shop with my mom one day and begged, begged, BEGGED for it. I think I ended up having to save some of my own money to buy it. My mom still tells the story. Apparently the first night they brought it home it kept me up ALL night. Of course I wanted it in my bedroom! So eventually I must have learned to sleep through it! Thanks for this post and my walk down memory lane! ~ Lisa

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  7. Aww, that is so cool. My grandmother had one like that, who knows where it is now. It looks so pretty hanging there in your basement. Have a good one.
    Audrey @ neverendingdecorating.blogspot.com

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  8. We had one when I was growing up that mom loved. She passed away 9 years ago and my dad remarried and moved.... I need to ask him if he kept it. Thanks for awakening a special memory for me. :)

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  9. So happy for you! It is so weird that you posted this! Just last week I did a post about the grandfather clock I recently received from my grandparents. It is so special to me. I swear my grandparents also had a cuckoo clock that looks a lot like yours. I was just telling my kids about it when we were trying to get our grandfather clock working properly. Glad you have that special little clock!

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  10. I can sooo relate! My grandparents had the exact same cuckoo clock. I always loved that thing for some reason. I have no idea what became of it. My husband and I have been on the look out for one like it, but haven't found it yet. What a great gift to receive! xo Kristin

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  11. My great grandparents had the exact same clock! That is just crazy! I remember standing in front of it waiting every hour to hear the little bird come out. :)

    I also have something similar that I cherish. It is a plastic Santa that my grandmother had at her house when I was growing up. I remember being eye to eye with him (he is about 2.5 feet tall). When my grandma went into an apartment and got rid of her stuff she asked if there was anything I wanted. I squeeled! She had given it to my uncle who then brought it over to me as he wasn't planning on keeping it!

    He's been out at our house at Christmas every year...can't imagine him not being a part of our Christmas decor with all the memories I have of him. :)

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  12. What a wonderful memory!! I'm so glad your dad had it.

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  13. ♥ your post. As I started reading (before I saw your pics), it brought to mind the cuckoo clock my parents had in our home growing up and then passed on to me within the past 3 years. Wouldn't you know, you have the SAME clock that I do. Heavy pinecones and all. Only difference is that my parents' is painted up a little with some yellow/orange/green hues. Not exactly my color scheme of choice, but you can't replace the sentimental value!

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  14. I had a Raggedy Ann doll that went everywhere with me when I was a kid - even when I moved into my first apartment after joining the Navy. Sadly, she disintegrated beyond repair. This last summer I was at the local Salvation Army and I found her! A brand new version of my Raggedy Ann! ~grab~ her dress is slightly different and she's made out of sturdier material, but it's her!

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  15. Your post is bringing back a lot of nostalgic memories for me too! I have been digging the attic every time I visit my parents.. I'm so glad you got your clock back and enjoying it!

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  16. Funny I see this right now, I was just looking at a little tin box that was full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups(which might have lasted the week)that the folks bought on the way to Mankato MN when I was five, and somehow I managed to hang on to the box for the thirty years in between. When you open it it still smells a little like peanut butter, and for the briefest of moments I can still smell the car we had those days, the houses that by now must be twenty years gone, see the people we went to visit (neighbours in the old neighbourhood) and the old neighbourhood with its tall houses close together, and hear the chain tapping on the Lincoln school flagpole just five houses down, the girls across Fulton Street chant, their jump ropes click in the street, and see our old neighbour's little black ragmop dog that always bit my brother but let me rub her ears.

    Have you ever noticed an heirloom can work both ways, though? My Mother had a glass-fronted book case, she kept full of turtles (she collected them)and various family memorabilia and it went everywhere she did; when she died it came to me-I was glad she gave it to me but bringing it in my house was a hard thing to do-it was the one thing that brought home the finality of her being gone.

    But your clock! It's a nice looking cuckoo-I repair clocks for a living, and lots of folks have heirloom clocks, and it makes me feel good that such a little thing as fixing them can contribute in some small way to something good. It is always good to hear about what makes the relationship between the owner and the clock what it is.

    With it sitting between those two doors I would almost recommend a light pencil mark on the wall along the bottom of the case so it it gets jarred out of level it's easy to just tip back where it belongs.

    Did the clockmaker tell you to make sure it get a good clock oil on it every three years or so? Cuckoos need to be looked after more than some clocks because the cases are more open-no sash over the hands and dial and holes for the chains and pendulum and bird means lots of dust can some in.

    Cheers!
    Chaz

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  17. I just love this and I so get it. too, too cool!

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  18. My great uncle (my dad's mom's brother) used to have a basement full of cuckoo clocks. When my brother and I would visit he would reset all of them so that they would all go off at the same time. It was awesome! I remember there were probably 40 or so. Definitely fun for kids!! And grownups too I imagine!! :)

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  19. I love things like this. :) How perfect that your Dad had the clock all along! Things like this from childhood just have an aspect of magic to them. My parents have an advent calendar that I was obsessed with as a kid, I think it was from Avon. I found out my mom still has it so she's giving it to me soon. :) The clock looks amazing between those doors!

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  20. My parents had this clock too. They might still. Seems to have been a popular model based on these comments. When I was little, the pine cones fascinated me. Thanks for the memories.

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  21. Oh I am absolutely thrilled for you that you have this clock. How fun and your excitement shows. My parents had one after I grew up, but my son loves it and he has it now. I do have some of the clocks my mom and dad made, so they are special to me. I am just tickled pink for you. It's so wonderful to hear someone so excited. Hugs, Marty

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  22. My parents had the same clock. I don't know where it is now, but when my own family visited the Black Forest in Germany, I made sure to buy a cuckoo clock!! Eventually I gave it to my oldest daughter. They are hard to keep running correctly every day.

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  23. This post is precious. How wonderful that you can have that clock in your home!

    We didn't have fine clocks when I was a child, mostly small electric ones with a cord...how I hated that. In those days few people had nice clocks.

    Now we have several large gallery clocks and a beautiful grandfather clock (Howard Miller). I have a thing for hand crafted clocks.

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  24. Awww, I am so happy for you! The clock looks amazing and now has even more meaning to it, for you.
    I don't have a clock, but I do have a beautiful (3 actually) cedar chests that my grandfather (RIP) made with his bare hands. He loved woodworking, which that love passed down to my father, which passed down to me. :) At any rate, one of the chests is my father's toy chest my grandpa made when my dad was a baby. And two used to hold their blankets at the foot of my grandparents bed. He even wrote on the inside of the lids. My kids have them as toy boxes in their rooms.
    I love them the most out of all the furniture in our home.

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  25. My parents had one just like this one, too! Fond memories of it as a child. We moved across the country when I was eleven and my parents sold everything before the move. Clock must have found a new home then. I've always missed it!
    Glad you have yours!

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  26. My grandparents had a cuckcoo clock like yours when I was growing up, too. I'm not sure who got it when they passed away. Your post brought back so many memories. I have a few things, though, like a book of the Night Before Christmas that's shaped like Santa that my Grandma bought for me on my first Christmas in 1958 (I was 1 month old). I also have all of the old family photos that my Grandpa almost threw away. My mom happened to catch him just before he tossed them into the dumpster and brought the box to me knowing I love all old, vintage things. I sorted them and at his funeral I gave copies to other family members who never knew that some of those photos existed.
    What I wish I had is all the character Christmas light bulbs my Grandma used to have. There was Santas, snowmen, Dick Tracey, candles, houses with snow, ones shaped like ornaments, Dennis the Menace, Superman, etc. I understand they're worth a pretty penny now, but I would just like to have them for their sentimental value.

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  27. What a great story! I, too, have an affinity for cuckoo clocks, actually for any clock that chimes. I understand how you feel about not having anything from your childhood, because it is pretty much the same with me for reasons that I won't go into here. I am so glad that you were able to talk to your dad about the clock while he is still alive and that you were given this deep desire of your heart.

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  28. We had that one too from about the same time period from the Black Forest in Germany. My dad got it there when he was stationed in the army in Stuttgart. It was probably his most expensive purchase as a private who didn't make a load of money!

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  29. Jealous!!!!! I so want one of these for my office.

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  30. That is so awesome! I love having things in the home that bring back great memories!

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  31. Sarah, I think the reason you couldn't stop thinking about that cuckoo clock is because you were both trying to find one another. :-) Happy that you did. It's a beautiful clock.

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  32. Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. It is a lovely clock. For me that item is the old music box my Grandma had from as far back as I can recall and when she passed, for a time, though it was promised to me, it was in someone elses possession... I ached for it as you did the clock. Luckily I was able to eventually get it and it sits on my mantle at this very moment, and it still works.. and yes it makes me giddy.

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  33. That's it, I'm going to beg my in-laws for the cuckoo clock they've stuck in their attic. It wasn't from my childhood, but it hung in my hubs grandparents and I thought it was so cool. I know it needs work - if you were happy w/the jeweler you used would you mind sharing? I'm a local reader. :)

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  34. What a beautiful post and such a meaningful reminder of good times to have in your home. I feel like it is so important to fill our home with love (not to sound too cliche :), which is clearly what you are doing. Love it!

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  35. You won't believe this....but today at a goodwill clearance center I bought the top part of a cuckoo clock, the pendulum, 2 weights and the back of the clock that had a paper label w/ German or Swiss co. name on it. Wish I could have found more parts of it! So cool

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  36. I have an identical clock! My great grandparents had one in their dinning room and it was great memories for me as well. My clock does not work anymore - I need to find a place to get mine working again - I love it!!!

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  37. Wow! Talk about some kind of Deja Vieux. For weeks now I've been thinking about a short-case "mantle" clock (wind-up with chimes) that is like a midget grandfather clock, except it doesn't have the chains -- and no cuckoo! It's been sitting wrapped up on a closet shelf for years, when one day it just stopped working. I thought I had over-wound it, but a few days, just for the heck of it, I did a little research on what I might be able to do to "fix" this wind-up clock (that was a gift to me from my Mom in the early 1980's) and learned that, evidently, there is no such thing as "over-winding" a wind-up clock. Really? That doesn't sound right to me but - whatever. I haven't pulled the clock down from the closet shelf yet - I think I'm afraid to do it, for some reason. But I really would love to get that clock working again. It's probably been sitting wrapped up on the shelf 10 years. Reading your post tonight, that's a kick in the pants for Moi.

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  38. My aunt and uncle had probably a dozen grandfather, grandmother, and cuckoo clocks in their living room. They were all set about a minute apart. That was a little intense, lol.
    About a year ago a blogger posted a pic of some vintage Fisher Price bath toys she had found at thrift store. It immediately brought me back to my childhood and I have been a little consumed with getting since. Although my parents kept many of our baby toys for grandchildren, alas, they no longer had these bath toys :( I can get them on ebay, but the are pretty pricey. I guess I am not the only one with fond memories :)
    This is the set, but it also included a large flat yellow boat: http://formyinnerchild.tumblr.com/post/13458060837/fisher-price-floating-family-i-remember-seeing

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  39. LOVE it and this post.. LOVE that clock and I can certainly see my friend why it is so special.. HUGS and have a blessed week

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  40. What a lovely post! It brings back memories of a cuckoo clock that my Grandma had. I love the design of yours and it looks fab in that room. I found one in a similar wood finish online with a huge stag head at the top. It was amazing, but maybe a bit too eccentric ;)

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  41. I loved this story because I too have a cuckoo clock that I treasure. It hung in my grandparents living room and I loved to hear it when I was a child (I am 70 now). When my grandfather died my grandmother sold or gave away almost everything and came to live with my mother. The only thing I asked for was the cuckoo clock -- but I didn't get it. I didn't know what had happened to it until about 20 years later when I happened to mention it at a family reunion. One of my cousins said they had it. My grandmother had given it to their daughter. The next thing I knew, I received a package in the mail. They sent me the clock. It now hangs in my living room and I think of my grandparents every day.

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  42. What a blessing that your dad still had the clock. Your story brought tears to my eyes- I must be getting a wee bit sentimental in my old age. :) Probably the things I treasure most from my family are quilts that my great grandmother, my grandmother, and even one my dad helped make for me.

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  43. I have the same clock! Even it's ticking is too loud for me, so we only run it when the grandkids come to visit. Even then we turn the little wire over the door so it doen't cuckoo at night. Another sentimental thing for me is a clock my grandparents had on their fireplace mantel that fascinated me as a child. It was an electric clock that had a little boy and girl swinging in it. I inherited the clock but it is broken and no longer works. Would love to get it fixed someday - I am looking for parts as the clock is missing the back, etc. Great post!

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  44. I read you every day but your cuckoo clock post made me finally comment. Im pretty sure I grew up with the same clock. It looks identical and my parents bought it in the early 70's while they were stationed in Europe. It looks beautiful and it's amazing that it still works.

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  45. This was such a sweet post! We had dear family friends that had a cuckoo clock. I have always loved them. I am so happy for you that you have it! Your son will treasure it too! My father passed away from a heart attack when I was 6 and my mother from cancer at 18. I have several things that were from my childhood that I love except one.
    When I was about 10, I feel in love with a canopy doll bed from the Sears Christmas catalog. They sold out fast so my Mom had one made for me. The mattress was a bed pillow. When cleaning out the house after her death, I decided I didn't want to keep it as I didn't have room in my apartment. AGGHH!
    I was so dumb! I eventually had a daughter who would have loved it too. Not to mention my precious 2 year old granddaughter. Where was my head?

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  46. HOLY COW!!! I just about jumped out of my chair when I saw your clock! My husband has the EXACT SAME clock as yours and he treasures it dearly. We used to hang it up in our various homes, but sadly the pendulum went missing in our last move 9 years ago. For the life of me I couldn't find what the pendulum looked like, but now that I see yours I know what the piece looks like. I have been wanting to replace it for years as a gift to him - now I might be able to get him a great Valentine's gift!

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  47. What sweet memories! And how perfect that your dad mentioned it at just the time you were wistful for it AND that he gave it to you for Christmas.

    I bet it will be a cherished heirloom in your family for generations.

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  48. My family has always had a love for old wind up clocks including cuckoo clocks. My dad passed away four years ago and everytime my two cuckoo clocks...cuckoo, it takes me back to my childhood as well. Actually yours looks so much like mine. I love the addition. xoxo

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  49. Oh, I love it so much! Like you, I don't have much from my childhood. My parents home burned down when I was in college. I had a stuffed sheep (you know, Mary had a little lamb...) that was lost in the fire. It was one of my favorite toys from my childhood. A few years after the fire, Target had a stuffed sheep during Easter, its fur was the exact same texture as my sheep and looked very similar. I called my mom, crying, in the aisle at Target. I promptly bought it and I smile and get a little weepy when I look at it still.

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  50. I love it! I actually have the EXACT same clock that my mom had saved! I remember it in our home all the time I was growing up just like you do! I just recently asked my mom about it and she gave it to me (along with another one that my dad brought back from Germany).

    Tania

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  51. awwwww....we had one of these too. :) Ours had pinecones hanging down. I need to ask my dad where we got it. I think that he still has it somewhere. :) So glad that you have your special treasure! Kelli

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  52. We have that exact same clock. My in-laws got it when they were stationed in Germany many years ago. For several years we had it hanging up in our home but currently it is sitting on a shelf. Maybe I will have to bring it back out!

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  53. I love it! It looks just like the clock my mom had in her house growing up...but her brothers broke it! Too many boys in that house!! ;D

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  54. Aww!' What a cool story! So interesting. I
    was thinking how Bub will love it too now. :)
    Love this. It looks great where you have it.

    Really something how you were focusing on it
    so much when your Dad was also. So glad it
    survived!!

    I have a clock from my Gma that I remember
    at her house. I'm delighted to have it, but it is
    currently quiet. I don't know how to get it to make
    the sounds. I could get someone to go over it,
    but it's ok quiet right now. I know what you mean
    about being transported by the sound though.
    And what about smells too, perfume, food, etc
    That can be kinda weird too.
    So happy for you! Chrissy

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  55. Oh, Sarah, that's so sweet! I just love it. :) I lost my dad to cancer when I was 16, so I have a tendency to hold on to some things b/c of the memories that they have for me. I do have some special pieces though.

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  56. This is one of the most beautiful posts ever. Home is where the heart is, and now the clock, too!

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  57. Right now, I am laughing, because two days ago my mother gave me my small health booklet (you know, this that we had to carry to the pediatrician for our injections) that she have kept since I was baby! Oh, I was so touched!!!It is good to keep even something small from our childhood.

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  58. I have this very same clock. I asked for one for Christmas my first year out of college and had my first apartment. Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting one. It's been in my closet for a couple of years because of a young cat that wouldn't leave the chains alone. Seeing yours makes me motivated to get it out and clean it up. I always loved the little bird coming out on the hour, even though my family was always annoyed that he interupted their TV watching.

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  59. When I was growing up, we too had this identical clock. I think my parents still have it but don't use it any more.

    Nice post. Glad you got back something important to your past :-)

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  60. I have nothing from my childhood but a few pictures as well. I actually don't remember much of my childhood which makes me sad. I do remember that we had a cuckoo clock like this one though. Thanks for bringing back a much needed memory. :)

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  61. I'm so happy for you!!! Looks great in your family room, too!

    I would love to have a doll from my grandparents house... Unfortunately one of my cousins got her but whenever i think of visiting them i think of that doll! I would probably be as giddy as you are about the clock if i ever saw her again,

    Enjoy your clock!

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  62. Reading this post just made me happy. So glad you have the clock, Sarah. What a lovely blessing for you!

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  63. My grandparents had a cuckoo clock in their basement. It fascinated all of us cousins to no end. It was definitely a "no touching" item, though! I didn't realize I missed it till I read your post. Thanks for reminding me!

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  64. I can totally relate to you loving the clock. My grandparents had the same exact clock and I remember it Clearly. Anytime I visited them I would love seeing the bird pop out. Unfortunately my grandparents are deceased and I have no idea where the clock is today. I would love to have the clock too. It's good memories, Enjoy!!
    Lee

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  65. Oh my goodness! This post brought back some memories :) Your story sounds like mine; I have almost nothing from my childhood except for a very few photos AND we had a clock just like that which I remembered recently after seeing a one on a decor blog. But there our stories diverge, sad to say. I have no idea where our clock ended up and my parents have been gone for many years. What is most fun about your post is that I am POSITIVE we had the exact same clock! In every detail I can see from your photos, it's identical! My stepdad's son brought it back from Germany when he was stationed there in the early 70's. So happy for you to have a piece of your history like this!

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  66. Oh my goodness! I was flipping through your fav posts and this one caught my eye. My parents have this exact same clock! Not just a kinds looks like one..... but exactly the same!! I cant wait to ask my dad the story behind it!

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  67. I love this clock and just actually bought one tonight. It reminds me of my Grandfather whom I miss dearly He had one in his home that I just loved to listen to. It hung in his living room and he would sometimes let me pull the weights back to the top. It made me smile when I saw it. I paid hardly nothing for it. Which made it even better. But it really needs cleaned. I have it hanging up now and it is keeping time. the chain is clean and the weights are also clean. I think I will take mine to the jewelry store and have it cleaned. My parents had one also. but my little brother demolished it one day We will just say it was not a good day in our house that day. We never saw it again after that. but my fondest memories are the ones with Grandpa. I was just so thrilled finding it and getting it home and hanging it up. It is in my craft room and I spend a bunch of time in there. my guys don't like noisy clocks. lol. I think it is relaxing and soothing. But my memories are what make me not mind that beautiful sound of the little bird going "cuckoo, cuckoo!!"

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