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Monday, March 14, 2011

Daylight Savings Time

Spring is, as you may have guessed, my favorite season of the year. The flowers, the warmth, the longer days all make me feel as though I have been brought back from the edge of darkness. I love the sun staying out longer. Being able to pull out the grill after work, (when I had a job), throw on some burgers and not have to use a flash light to finish cooking them. The sunlight is infectious. It gives me a sense of well being, a weight lifted from my shoulders.

Then, daylight savings time sets in. Daylight savings time is a good concept, thought up by Ben Franklin. His reasoning was to keep people from wasting the daily sunshine by sleeping through it. He also considered the idea of setting off a cannon at a certain time every morning to wake people, again to keep them from sleeping through the sunshine. Of the two, I believe daylight savings time was the better choice. If someone shot off a cannon every morning, I'd have to hurt them.

We are a very fickle people when it comes to daylight savings time. The first week of it is when we have our most mixed emotions about it. First we lose an hour of sleep the first night of it. It occurs on a weekend, so many Americans at least have the next day off, but most do not. Those that have to work that first Sunday have a hard time of it. They may even forget to change their clocks and end up late for work that day. That lost hour of sleep making them groggy and a little cranky. It doesn't end there. Even those that don't have to work until Monday have trouble resetting their inner clock to the new time. Suddenly, it is dark in the morning again when getting ready for work. That, itself, is disconcerting. Coffee is just not enough to jump start the morning. We feel all jumbled up inside, trying to get through a normal day.

Somehow, we get through the day that seemed longer than normal. We get ourselves together and leave for home. We walk outside, and there it is, the daylight we are saving. It lifts our spirits. We consider what we can do outside when we get home. We enjoy our drive home and look forward to the evening. We stop at the drive thru for supper so we can have a little extra time to bask in the sunlight. We play with the kids or take the dog for an extra long walk before we eat. We spend a little extra time looking at the sunset. We enjoy daylight savings time. Until tomorrow morning, when it will be dark again when we have to get out of bed. We are a fickle people.

Willie and I took advantage of the first day of daylight savings time yesterday. We raked  leaves, stinky ginkgo fruit and other debris from our back yard gardens. We found many plants slowly scraping their way to the sunlight. I imagined what I would plant as the weather warmed. Impatiens, snapdragons, daisies and alyssum flowed through my mind the way a spring flows through a forest.

Willie found new homes for some of our favorite statuary, including the windmill that Joshua made in high school and the butt frog that he hated. Willie started his yearly Where's Waldo with his beloved Iowa Hawkeye rock that the kids had gotten him one year for his birthday. He moves that rock from place to place every year trying to find the perfect place for it. I don't think I have ever seen it in the same place for more than a week at a time. We got a lot done yesterday, and rewarded ourselves with a trip into Danville to Penn Station. Willie ordered his favorite chicken teriyaki sandwich. I decided to be a little healthier than normal and ordered a grilled vegetarian sandwich. I felt I needed to, I had made big old cinnamon rolls for breakfast and ate two.

We got home, and what Willie likes to call "a good tired" overcame us both. Willie started a fire and we settled down to watch movies we rented on the way home. Our first day of daylight savings time was a success.

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