A young woman inherits an old house and a clock from her grandmother, and when she follows the instructions in the will, the clock opens to reveal her true legacy. Emily Olsen passed away and left her two granddaughters alone in the world. Her daughter had succumbed to cancer when Catherine was 12 and Alice was 14. She was the girl’s safe harbor, now she was gone.
Catherine stumbled through the funeral, dazed by loss, but her older sister Alice was cool, calm, and collected. The only time she showed some emotion was when Emily’s lawyer asked them to drop in the next day. That night, Catherine cried herself to sleep in her small apartment, and Alice talked to her boyfriend about what inheritance Emily might have left for her granddaughters.
“Listen, back in the 50s, the family had oodles of money!” Alice said. “I know Gran Emily’s gambled most of the family fortune away, but there must be SOMETHING left!” Never forget where you come from, and you will always know where you are going. So Catherine went to the meeting at the lawyer’s office expecting nothing, and Alice was expecting a windfall.
Mr. Kalton, the lawyer, explained: “Emily’s will is very straightforward, especially because her estate is very small.””Small?” snapped Alice. “What do you mean? How much?”Emily Olsen left her home, the house at 42, Farlow Road, to be shared equally between the two of you. I’ll read you an excerpt that I think is relevant: ‘Along with my house, I leave you the clock that has marked all the important moments of my life.
“‘My dears, never forget where you come from because our greatest legacy is always our origins, and those special moments ticked away by that old clock will open a treasure trove.'” “Seriously?” asked Alice. “Was Gran Emily senile? Counting moments on that ratty old clock? Treasure trove of special moments? What about money?”
Mr. Kalton frowned. “There is no money, Alice,” he said. “Emily lived on her pension.””So it’s just that dilapidated old house and that ratty old clock?” Alice cried. She turned to her sister who had been listening in silence. “You can have it all, Cath! I don’t want it!” “In that case,” Mr. Kalton said. “Please be so kind as to sign a document declaring you turn over your part of the inheritance to your sister.”
“With pleasure!” Alice sneered. She signed the declaration and flounced out of the office. Catherine shook her head and wiped away her tears. “I love that old house,” she said. “It’s where I grew up. I want to live there! Gran Emily is right. There are memories in every corner of that house, and all my best moments I lived there, with her.”A week later, Catherine hired a contract.
It was while she was mixing the paint that Catherine’s eyes fell on the old wall clock. “That’s got to come down!” she said to herself and went to fetch a ladder. Catherine struggled to take the clock down because it was a lot heavier than she expected. She placed it on the kitchen table and remembered what Mr. Kalton had read in the will: ‘Those special moments ticked away by that old clock will open a treasure trove.’
“Remember your roots,” Catherine reminded herself. “So, where am I from? Starting at 42 Farlow Road! 42…” Catherine pushed the minute hand to 42 minutes, heard a peculiar click, and began renovating her grandmother’s house. Because her budget was limited, she performed certain things herself, such as painting the kitchen.
She slowly brought the second hand into line with the minutes and heard another click. Her heart began to beat faster and harder as she pushed the hour hand into position. The front of the clock opened with a third, louder click! Catherine noticed the glint of gold and the shimmer of diamonds inside! The ancient clock was definitely a treasure trove!
On the kitchen table were the gems that had been worn by the Olsen women for generations. Catherine knew she couldn’t bear to sell any of her diamonds, rubies, or emeralds! Catherine went back inside the antique clock and discovered a bundle. There was a large wad of cash inside, but the banknotes were very ancient.
The whole amount was $12,000. She did some internet research and realized that those dollars, some from the 1800s, may be worth up to ten times their face value. “Oh, Grandmother!” Catherine explained. “You’re still watching out for me. I’ll never forget who you are, where you came from, and how you nurtured me!”