Thursday, March 6, 2014


Or maybe you don't . . .Daylight Savings Time arrives this coming Sunday, March 9, at 2 AM. I will not be up to welcome it. I am never up at 2 AM, unless insomnia has hit.

One good thing: I don't have to "spring forward" on the clock before I go to bed. I have three timepieces that do it for me: an atomic clock; my computer; and my cell phone. I can, the next day, at my leisure, advance the hands or digits on the electric range, microwave, car, my watch, and two small battery-operated alarms I use from time to time. We--my dog and I--have a time keeper in every room, just in case we need to know what hour it is. (Joy, as you might have guessed, doesn't care about numbers; she knows mealtime, going out time, treat time, and bedtime. Much simpler. She doesn't have much use for DST either.)

The only 2 o'clock I know is PM.
But the main reason I never welcome Daylight Savings Time is that I don’t like it. My early morning walks out of doors, starting at 6:00, are postponed until mid-May when the sky is light enough to show upheaved sidewalks, downed branches from the previous day’s storm, and abandoned tricycles/golf clubs/tennis shoes/fast-food wrappers/umbrellas. (Before you ask, no, I do not live in a major city with striking garbage collectors. I live in a small town where independent living is considered one of the perks, and if I want to leave my tricycle, out on the sidewalk, well—it’s my sidewalk.)

Back to my ongoing struggle with DST. Here in northeastern Indiana, mid-March life is still a little uncertain, vis-à-vis weather conditions. We can wake up to a skiff of snow, blowing snow (near-horizontal), rain-mixed-with-snow, rain on its own, wind, no wind, and any other combination or permutation thereof. In my personal world, I solve that problem by walking on the track at the YMCA. As I say, this goes on until mid-May. And because DST lasts until November, I start going back inside around late August. Believe me, walking on a track isn't nearly as entertaining as being outside looking at other people's tricycles, and blooming bushes, and waking up their dogs (not a problem if there's a fence around the yard).

Another reason, secondary to weather conditions, is that I am at my best in the morning—give me a sunny day, a previous good night’s sleep, my usual tea/yogurt/tortilla & cheese wrap breakfast, and I’m a dynamo. Until about 2 PM. Whatever mental energy I had begins to wane, and I’m good for very little.

Now, factor in Daylight Savings Time—the one-hour shift means I’m reasonably viable up to 3 PM (formerly 2 PM). But the clock says 3 PM and I know I'm not much use after 2 o'clock. Usually it takes me several months to learn to ignore what the "real" time is. Sun time.
After my rest I’m up at 4 PM (not 3)—time for a cup of tea and I’m rarin’ to go again. Not because I got a second wind, but because the evening light is going to last and last and last. Light is obviously a big factor in my alertness and well-being.

Joy the Dog, now 17 years old
Last year this time, I was working on a healing quilt for a man who has cancer. I took notice of the outside light, gauged that I had another hour to work, and kept on sewing. When I got to a good stopping place, the dog reminded me that she was ready for bed. It was still light outside. So I took her out, gave her a bedtime treat, and watched her wander off to her bed. I sat at the sewing machine for another half-hour.

What I’m having to admit is this: I now have two distinct periods of mental and physical energy—my usual AM one and the evening couple of hours. Without DST, I’d have only one.


But I do have one serious question: What happens to the daylight we save?

[If you care to find out more, you can surf and read articles about the guy who "invented" daylight savings time, in 1895, and that it was implemented in 1916 in various places in the world. There's even a map showing where in the world DST is in use, has been in use occasionally, and has never been in use.]
* * * * *



  1. Good post. I hate DST, and this year I get to do it an extra time. We will spring forward here in the Panhandle this weekend, and then in three weeks when we come home, we get to move up yet another hour. I will catch up along about November. Sigh.

  2. Good grief! You really got a double dip...just remember, in November it all goes away (for a few brief months).