Monday, July 28, 2014


I tell my kids that they'll have to dig through plastic tubs to find the story of their lives. Unlike my sister and sister-in-law, I don't have Jill's and Brent's photos carefully sorted and grouped chronologically in neat photo books or scrapbooks.

I have tons of photos, chronicling their lives. They just aren't organized. I'm not proud of that, but it's a fact.

When we sorted through memorabilia at my in-laws' house after their deaths, our basement became the repository for even more tubs. One day, as I was looking for some photos, I found a couple of pocket watches buried beneath an avalanche of family photos.

I asked Randy about them, since I didn't remember seeing them before. One of them sat on the dresser in his Grandpa Clarence and Grandma Ava Fritzemeier's bedroom. He's not sure which side of the family it belonged to - Fritzemeier or Hornbaker. The other was from his Grandma Laura Ritts' home. Again, we don't know anything beyond that.
Clarence & Ava (Hornbaker) Fritzemeier and one of the pocket watches
Unlike me, Randy has never been a person who likes to wear a wristwatch. Before his cell phone became his de facto clock, he carried a pocket watch for several years. They were just pocket watches purchased at discount stores, not family heirlooms.

The old watches are utilitarian. There is no fancy embossing or design. The outsides are scuffed, and I imagine Randy's ancestors pulling them out of jean pockets and marring the surface as they clicked open the face and checked the time. Neither of these watches still works, but they now sit on the shelves in the office, where they provide a nod to the past.

Last week, as I was reading a daily devotional that arrives each morning in my computer in box, one of those watches caught my eye. The devotional said:

A Time to Think

Time is too slow for those who wait, 
too swift for those who fear,
 too long for those who grieve,
 too short for those who rejoice,
 but for those who love,
 time is eternity.
 –Henry Van Dyke, author, educator, and clergyman

Yes, indeed.
(The little books were also in Marie's things. They record family birthdays. I have them sitting in a grouping in my dining room.)


  1. I LOVE that quote it is so true and I am sure those watches give a lot of joy. Hug B

  2. Me too! I thought it was worth sharing to begin the week.