The Backward Clock

A former colleague made a
backward clock much like the
ones used in barbershops which
were not backward when looking
in the mirror. Such a clock


hangs on our kitchen wall.
A conversation piece. When I
put new batteries in, I have
to use a mirror to set the correct
time. With barbershops closed now,

my husband wanted a haircut.
Out came the haircut kit which
I had not used in a long time.
Out marched the memories of my Mom
cutting my Dad’s hair in our kitchen


in Colorado. Until my children became
preteens and no longer wanted
a haircut by Mom, I used to cut their
hair too. The jingle “shave and a
haircut two bits” played in my head


as did the Burma Shave road signs
with jingles and advertising
we viewed on road trips out West.
So, Mom and Dad, if you’re watching
from heaven, I have carried on traditions!

Happy Mother’s Day 2020 to all mothers!

This entry was posted in backward clock, memories, Mother's Day, shave and a haircut, traditions, two bits and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Backward Clock

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    Regarding hair cuts, I can tell almost an identical story. My wife used to cut our boys’ hair until they went to high school and felt so embarrassed with the simplistic somewhat crude hairstyle that they refused to get any more haircuts from Mom. I like the barber’s clock, which would be a challenge to read time from for the uninitiated visitors in your home. I wish you a happy and relaxing weekend, Mary Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Peter, I managed a smile throughout your comment. Thank you for making my day! There’s nothing wrong with the do-it-yourself at home ones either except for the teen years. We managed to save a bit of money in the process. Our son discovered he did not like waiting for a haircut at the shop so he opted for mine if I “hurried up” and didn’t waste his time. Hahaha. I still find it difficult to read the clock unless I hold it to a mirror. The backward clock has had a few laughs and questions asked. Thank you so much for the weekend’s well wishes. Is this Sunday Mother’s Day in your neck of the woods. May you enjoy the weekend. Reading our snow squall weather report tells me I plan to remain indoors. Cheers. “”__””


  2. I love your clock. I would be the only one struggling to read it in our house. Both John and grandson David are left-handed and dyslexic.

    I used to cut John’s hair and John $, too, when he came along. I don’t remember why we quit doing it 35 years or so ago. John has already trimmed his sideburns and no doubt would be happy to have the old hair-cutting kit back. I haven’t said anything to him, but I noticed his eyebrows are beginning to have a life of their own. The barber must trim the eyebrows when he cuts John’s hair. Is that normal for eyebrows to be trimmed by the barber? I’ve never been in a barber shop!! Have you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, many thanks for such an informative comment today. Honestly, I don’t try to figure out the time. I have two left-handers too. We either hold up a mirror or take it off the wall to a mirror to read. I tried this morning knowing the actual time on a “regular” clock and compared with the backward. I can still do mirror handwriting too. Taught myself in 8th grade math class, but that’s another story. Eyebrows? Why not? I thought they didn’t grow back if plucked. Come to think of it, I have never been to a barber shop. My hair salon also includes men who come in for haircuts. Does that count? The haircut kit is a new one since I must have given my old one away. Cost is not much either. If you ever feel so inclined. Are barbershops open now in your vicinity? Not many openings where we are and don’t understand why not since our Wuhan virus numbers are way down. Snow squalls this Mother’s Day weekend. Enjoy! oxox


      • I sat here looking at your clock and figuring out the time. All I had to do was flip it in my mind. That’s funny that you were practicing writing backwards in math class. Is it a story your readers need to see???

        I still haven’t asked John about his eyebrows. I think the barber trims them. Surely plucking is for women only!!

        Our salons and barber shops are not open yet. As far as I know, the only relaxation of the rules is allowing churches to have outdoor services where no one gets out of a car. We have had 19 cases of the virus in our county so far.

        Snow on Mother’s Day! I never saw that in NY, although we had a blizzard once on Easter. We will have to cover our tender plants outdoors again tonight. John saw a forecast for 19 degrees, but it probably won’t get that cold at our house.

        Happy Mother’s Day!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, yes, flipping it in your mind works too. And if you have my photo on a handheld device, just put it up to a mirror to see the time. Well, my learning to do mirror writing was to keep myself occupied during an otherwise “boring” class to me at the time. Remember 8th grade? I loved school but not this particular teacher. Perhaps you will see a future post by me about that topic. Have you ever tried to do it? Before I could stop her, my hair stylist was snipping my eyebrows. I never let her near my eyes again. I don’t like to do that. I hope we stay with the May 15 opening of places. Our church has been open for individual prayer the entire time. 19 degrees? Close to the house, plants should be fine. Brrr. Happy Mother’s Day. ooxox


      • Unlike you, I had to be alert in a math class, because it did not come easily to me. Yes, I’ve written backwards, but I doubt I could do it now. I can’t read my regular writing any more. No one can.

        We covered an impatiens plant and another that I can’t remember the name of. Both were in a raised concrete planter. I took in plants in pots that were on my deck. The wind was fierce on the north side of the house.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, your comment was delightful. I was one of those students who finished my work early and was supposed to sit there quietly. I passed my quiet time that way. Some days I don’t think anyone can read my cursive handwriting anymore which I describe as half-German and half-American handwriting. We did not have to move or cover anything since we can’t normal even begin a garden until the end of May. Lucky you. We have about 3″ on the ground now too. Happy Mother’s Day! oxox


      • Next year I won’t get plants until after the middle of May. John bought these for Mother’s Day, neither of us thinking it was too soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, plants can fool you sometimes and are hardier than you think. Close to the house in a pot should be fine. We keep ours in the garage near a window where the sun streams in. Sometimes chilly even though the garage is “heated” with one vent. Hope the plants survived the freeze. Enjoy your Mother’s Day. oxox


      • I can kill anything in a week, reassurances notwithstanding.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, so funny. I do not have a green thumb so house plants do not do well with me. The garden is another matter. oxox


      • John keeps a few houseplants alive throughout the year. He provides benign neglect. I would over-water and drown the poor things.


  3. Love the “Backwards Clock” and your delightful poem, Mary Ann. My Mom was barber to Dad and my two brothers for many a year. Aunts and uncles would often come over for Sunday dinner and haircuts for their crew… Oh those memories! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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