My Nana was a sweet and kind lady. Spending time with her was always a welcome respite from the chaos of my mother's house. I often spent Sunday with Nana. After church we had dinner, and if we didn't go visiting, I was allowed to sit in one of her overstuffed chairs and read a book from her enormous bookcase.
The things I loved most about Nana's home were her giant bookcase and chiming mantle clock. That clock was old when I was a kid, and it had a special look about it. I don't know if it was the finish, or the polish Nana used, but that clock had a kind of glow about it. That wonderful clock rested high atop the enormous bookcase, and with special voices, they spoke to me. I believed the clock and the bookcase had magical powers.
After dinner, I would choose a book from the bookcase and settle into one of the overstuffed chairs. As I began to read, I would hear Nana's clock chime one. I would slip away with Alice to Wonderland or search for treasure with Jim Hawkins or follow Hawkeye and Uncas through the forests. Nana's mantle clock quietly marked the passage of time, until supper, when it would call me back by chiming five. Reluctantly I would rise, return the book to the shelf and report to the supper table.
Every time I hear Westminster chimes, I travel back in time to that room in Nana's home. I travel back to a time when reading a book was an acceptable activity and it was okay for a girl to slip away into fantasy. When Nana passed away, the clock was given to me. It rests atop a bookcase in my home. That wonderful clock still calls me home for supper.