Most people who come to know me are immediately impressed by my beauty, style and elegance. They make me feel so warm and welcomed, and when they touch me they touch the very depths of my soul through their long, lingering caresses, but they know they must be gentle, and so they are. It has been said that they find it hard to believe that I have sustained this style and elegance, because my journey to this place was so long and arduous.

A grandfather clock like this one is one of Shirley Penrod’s keepsakes from her time living in Germany. Julio Ricco/

If you have a bit of time, I would ask that you allow me to tell you about my journey, and I can assure you that in the end you will understand everything.

It all started about 30 years ago; I was young and fresh and had much to see and more to learn and was looking forward to new adventures, although, at the time, I had no intimation as to the number of adventures that would actually be in store for me and the miles it would take before arriving at my final destination

From the beginning, I was pampered and handled with extreme caution. Then, over time, as things progressed, the preparation began for my future, and what a future it would be. I was cleverly shaped and molded in preparation for my debut, lovingly crafted for my entrance into the world. Those who would be responsible for my simple beauty worked over me painstakingly, with great patience and loving hands, so that when I was finally ready to become, I was attractive to one and all and there would be no obstacles preventing me from fulfilling my life’s work.

My first trip was from Germany to Massachusetts. It was a long and tiring flight, in which I was jammed into an uncomfortable space. But, as luck would have it, I did arrive in good condition and none the worse for wear. In this place, I was quite comfortable for the next 12 years and made all those who cared about me quite happy. But nothing lasts forever, and after 12 years, it was time to move on and so, once again, another long journey until arrival at my new home, where I would stay for 15 more years.

Here, I am 27 years old and have done a fair amount of traveling and am ready to settle down in this beautiful place where the sunrises are the deepest crimsons I have ever seen; where its reflections on the water reveal yet still more of its spectacular beauty, and appear to have been painted by a master of art. And here, too, where the sun in all its golden brilliance lowers ever so slowly until it reaches the rim of the water and passes into slumber for the night, only to reawaken once again as the deep red sky each morning.

But remaining is not to be, and once again I make ready for what I hope is my final destination. Another trip, yet not as far as the others, and again, I arrived in very good condition. I remain here now and will probably do so for the rest of my life, content to be fulfilling my intended purpose in life, as is my destiny, in all my magnificent charm and beauty, all the while my pendulum swinging easily to and fro and my chimes ringing ever so softly as my owners enjoy the beautiful sounds emanating from me as my inner workings softly peal its chimes, like clockwork, in the style and manner for which I was fashioned all those many years ago.

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