Saving Daylight?

We’ve just done it again–put ourselves through that semi-annual ritual of confusing ourselves by somehow saving daylight–or the reverse. Un-saving daylight? Is any of this even possible? And whose daylight would we be saving and for what? Changing the clocks by one hour twice a year on two weekends no one can remember is an archaic activity that someone with some power needs to fix.

Didn’t the original idea have something to do with giving farmers more light at the end of the day during the summer instead of at the beginning? Let’s assume that this is close enough to the original reason to be the one we accept for our purposes here.

It would seem logical that since so much of the population is not working on farms or in fields that a new system be considered. Just think of the hassles that could be eliminated if we didn’t have to go through all that angst every spring and every fall when we, start to wonder, “Is this the weekend that the time changes?”

And even if we could figure out when that elusive weekend was set to occur (that’s another question–is it in fact ‘set’ or is it just chosen at random?), then there is always the question–is it one hour forward or one hour back? The tribulations we put ourselves through–and for what?

Maybe there should be a national special election–one that doesn’t make us do that whole electoral college thing. (Now there’s something else that has outlived its usefulness.) But wait–Congress had one of those just this past summer–at least they passed a bill into law. But instead of eliminating this time saving game, it extended it. What in the world were those Congressmen thinking and did they ever figure out why we’re doing this in the first place?

Given that we’re stuck with this burdensome piece of antiquity, it’s always more helpful to have light at the beginning of the day rather than at the end–at least for me. That could be because I’m a morning person and for me anything after 12:00 noon is on the decline.

Living where I am now in a relatively southern location of the northern hemisphere, we don’t get as drastic a seasonal shift in daylight hours as do those in the north. And living on the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone, means that it is hardly ever light here before 6:00 a.m. It’s like being on Central Time’s daylight and Eastern Time’s hours, if you see what I mean. For me that is a disadvantage. At certain times of the year–just last week, for example, mid-fall, before the time change–it was nearly 7:30 a.m. before there was a shred of light in the sky. Now that’s depressing!

In the spring the problem is that just as it is starting to get light at an early hour (around 6:00 a.m.), we do that time change thing again and we are back in total darkness until 7:00–so frustrating! If I were among the unfortunate souls that had to commute from a distance to work, I would really be unhappy about having to make that drive in the early morning dark–especially knowing that that didn’t have to be the case if we weren’t having to play this time game for 6 months of the year.

As it is, I am unhappy that if I want to get in my 3-mile walk in the morning, for probably 9 months of the year, I’m forced to do it in the dark–because it doesn’t get light until 7:00 a.m., or after. If we weren’t flipping into daylight saving time for half of the year, that situation would definitely improve.

I remember meeting a Montana cowboy who refused to change times along with everyone else. He operated on “God’s time” and that was that. So, if he had an appointment at 10:00, he knew that according to his watch, and according to God, he would need to be there at 9:00 in order to be on time. It seemed to work for him and I think he had a point. Wonder how we could put his kind of thinking to use to better serve more people.

Maybe each state should hold an election of its own and that way primarily agricultural states that perhaps do benefit from going onto daylight saving time could go on saving daylight. Other states that had more urban areas could decide to not go on to and off of daylight saving time. (Notice there is no longer an ‘s’ on the end ‘saving’–something we’ve just learned we’d been doing wrong since the beginning. Why didn’t someone say something before now and who was it that finally spoke up?)

Or perhaps it would be fairer for states to be divided into regions–agricultural regions on one system, urban areas on the other. Sounds a bit confusing having to try to keep track of what part of each state was on what time, but there are already states divided by time zones so we know it can be done.

Or is this a problem that only a few of us are bothered by? I think there are more than just a few. Maybe the time has come to take a count. Where do we vote?

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