Home on the Range

Tonight I have a wonderful guest post for you.
And yes, it’s a bit of a surprise.
It’s a story about love, family and the cherished possession of a special little girl.
These days, that little girl is a charming, witty and wise beyond her years woman that goes by the nickname A-mum.
And though we’ve never met, we’ve become very dear friends.
Nanny’s Nook is a place where virtually anything can happen.
Even magic; a destination you will visit tonight.
Moe has blessed me with an intensely personal piece and I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am to post it here.
My deepest thanks, Moe. (and to Kelly for first introducing us)
Enjoy folks, this is a real nice one.


Home on the Range

I was very close to my paternal grandfather.
Although I was very young when he was killed in a car accident, the 7 short years we had was long enough to form a very strong bond.
I was the youngest of 3, and could do no wrong in his eyes.
I was his little angel.
One of my earliest memories is sitting straddled on his lap with my head on his bare chest and running my fingers through the thick hair that covered it.
Every spare minute I could find was spent with him, playing, talking, laughing, just loving each others company. Even today I can close my eyes and smell him.
Old Spice. Yep, when I smell that I think of him still.
My apologies, I digress.

He and my Nan lived with us in our little 3 bedroom house, and had for as long as I remembered. (I was about 3 at this stage)
They had one room, my brother and sister were in another, and my bed was in Mum & Dad’s room. Now this bedroom was at the front of the house, and there were street lights directly outside the window, which would make the room a lot lighter than it should be and I used to have trouble going to sleep.
One night my dad had left the radio on, quite unintentionally, but he realised the music playing had sent me off to sleep without any of the usual whining about the outside light.

The next morning he mentioned it to Granddad at the breakfast table.
I actually remember the conversation you know.
The exact words Granddad used were
“If it’s music she needs to go to sleep, it’s music she’ll have, nothing is too good for my little girl. I’ll fix it Jack, don’t you worry about that…I’ll fix it”

He went out that very day and bought home a present for his little girl.
A musical clock.
I can, to this day, see that clock in my minds eye.
It was around 20cm wide, and about 10cm high and deep and the most wonderful, rich cream colour you ever saw.
It had a little dial, with a green dot and a red dot.
You turned the dial to the green dot, the tune played once, turned it to the red dot, the tune played twice, and the only tune it played was Home on The Range.

How I loved that clock! I loved it so much that when I went to stay with my Aunty, I had to take it with me or I couldn’t sleep.
If we went on holidays, the clock came with us.
It was my pride and joy.
I couldn’t sleep without it, so it didn’t matter where we went, the clock came with us! Nothing meant as much to me as that clock!
I would turn the dial to the red dot every night as I got into bed, and would be asleep before it had played through the second time.

On January 26th 1964, my grandparents were coming home from seeing relatives down the coast, and their car left the road and hit a tree.
My Nan was killed instantly and my beloved granddad lingered 4 days with multiple broken bones, massive internal injuries and a skull fractured in 11 places before he was mercifully taken by the angels.

God, how I remember the grief that consumed me, so clearly!
It was a physical pain. I cried for days, and was totally inconsolable; wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t go near anybody, hid in corners, refused to go to school.
Until Mum thought to turn the dial of the clock to the red dot.
It hadn’t occurred to anybody to do this, even me.
I had locked myself in a cocoon of pain and grief.

The strains of Home on The Range sung to me from the bedroom.
I went in, picked up the clock and went to bed, pulling the blankets over my head.
Every time the clock stopped, I would turn the dial to the red dot, and I kept doing it for hours on end. It was almost like, if the clock was playing he was there with me.
I had to keep playing that tune or I would lose him forever!
Just a naive little girl who thought a song could keep him alive, not wanting to believe he was already gone.
Even now as I type the tears are falling, remembering the pain and loss I felt every time that clock stopped playing.

I continued to play it of a night for many, many years.
The dial always got turned to the red dot.

When I left home, it was under less than ideal conditions. I went to look for my beloved clock, but couldn’t find it. I was devastated!
Neither my father, or step mother, have ever admitted to hiding it, but I have my suspicions.

The last time I was down south and saw my dad, he told me he has something very special for me, but I wasn’t having it until my 60th birthday, or he passes away, whichever comes first. Needless to say I’m hoping it will be my 60th, and the ONLY thing I can think of is my clock.
I’m hoping it is, I just don’t know, and I still have a little while to wait.
But I will.
Hope is sweet.

Even today if I hear the tune, or the song, I cry like that little girl who grieved so badly for her beloved lost grandfather.
She lays dormant inside me, listening for her special tune.
Then she lives.
Someone said not long ago they thought perhaps there was magic in that clock.
They could have been right.

I firmly believe each and every one of us have a guardian angel on our shoulder.
I really hope it’s my Granddad looking over that very special little girl in our family, and that he sees her as his little angel.

Anything is possible, surely?

19 thoughts on “Home on the Range

  1. Just wanted to say how very much I enjoyed reading this, Moe.
    It’s a side of you that not many see and it’s wonderful.
    Thanks again for the honor of posting this very special story.
    I want to see a picture of this clock someday, okay?



  2. you’re more than welcome michael..i’m glad you enjoyed it…it took a lot out of me i have to say, but the end result is, i think, well worth it..
    you;re dead right, it’s not a side of me that many people see, but it’s always been there…my whole life…many are surprised it even exists because i bury it very deep, but every now and again it comes out, generally when it comes to family…no surprise there i guess…
    who knows? i may get it back and bring it with me when we visit? just have the tissues ready if i do though!


  3. What a beautiful story-it made me cry.I never knew my grandfathers because they both had passed away before I was born. I do see the strong bond my my own daughters have with their grampa and know that they too have special things that they will also cherish as time goes by. I hope that you have a wonderful birthday -I hope you get that clock back.


  4. This was really lovely, and poignant. And I enjoyed reading it. Thank you so much for sharing such a sweet piece of your life, your memories.


  5. Hey Moe,
    What a beautiful story. I really understood the thought that if you just kept replaying the song that he would be with you. I’ts amazing how small things can mean so much and be so representative of someone who means a lot to us.

    Beautiful story, luv. I’m sure he’s sitting on your shoulder right now. Proud as punch.


  6. Pam: i still cry every time i read it, even now…thank you for reading, i know between michael and hannah they keep you busy enough, so i do appreciate it more than you know
    Jess: Thank you so much..i’m glad you enjoyed it
    Annie: even now when i hear it, that little girl looks for him and is almost convinced she can see him…although my sleep has brought him to me the last few days while i’ve been finishing this…he just stands and smiles…maybe he approved hey? i’m pleased you enjoyed it…whilst it was difficult, i did get some satisfaction seeing it done….


  7. that was a wonderful story and I’m glad I got to read it. I, too, had a very special granddad. With his very special smell! Thanks for writing that.

    And Michael, (I guess you get the credit for it) that’s such a SWEET little-girl picture!


  8. Music and fragances..they are just so powerful when combined with memories aren’t they? A small melody, or a whiff of a perfume and we are transported back in time to happier, or sometimes not, days..
    Nicely written mum.


  9. lolly: i thank you for the time you took to read…i’m glad you got something from it too 🙂

    red: i didn’t think that was possible sweetie! but the “wow”? i like that bit

    kel: indeed, they are powerful…there are similar things remind me of your nan too sweetie..i know this is the mst you’ve ever heard about your great grandfather..perhaps i need to change that? as for the writing, thank you…


  10. thanks evyl…it’s not often this side appears…well, on the blog anyway…in life it does with right circumstances, but i find it hard to express on the blog…i tend to struggle with the words and not sound like i’m disturbed….


  11. I was absolutely transfixed by the story and transported to that little girl’s world of her beloved grandfather and the magical clock. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful , Moe. A very fine piece of writing; I could tell it came straight from your heart.


  12. ob…i’m not sure how i managed to miss this comment but i apologise profusely…
    my thanks for your kind words…it did come from deep in my heart…and as hard as it was to write, i love the end result myself…
    “a fine piece of writing”…can’t find the words to tell you how much that means….
    thanks again 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.