Not long ago, our country sprang forward when it made its annual time adjustment from standard to daylight saving time, and, as I have done so many times in the past, I overslept that morning.
Personally, I have nothing against daylight saving time and agree with its intended purpose of saving energy. I just don’t like what that one-hour adjustment of time twice a year does to my daily routine.
In the spring, I lose an hour of much-needed sleep and in the fall when you gain an hour, I wake up an hour before I am ready to get up. It takes me at least a week to adjust.
I know the directive is “spring forward and fall back” but it seems like it should be “leap forward and stagger back” because, even though it is only a one-hour change, it makes a significant difference in the beginning and end of my day.
The day before the spring-forward change, when I took our dog, Taffy, out for a walk at 6:45 a.m., the sun was shining. The day after the change, the sun was still way below the horizon at 6:45.
Then, come next Nov. 2, with fall back, it will still be dark at 6:45 but, the next morning, Nov. 3, the sun will be shining brightly — right in my eyes when I walk eastward.
Taffy gets confused too. These last few mornings — after springing forward — I’m sure she thought that I was taking her out too early because there was no sun.
I actually like it when daylight saving time is in effect because I like the later periods of sunlight. Some folks say that with daylight saving time, the days are longer but, actually, it just seems that way because the sun sets later according to the adjusted clock.
While doing a bit of research on the computer on daylight saving time, on a website called timeanddate.com, I learned that there are now 70 countries with 1 billion people that use daylight saving time as a means of saving energy.
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Changing time to extend daylight has been done for a long time. Within the last century, Germany adopted daylight saving time in 1916 at the beginning of World War I. Right after, Great Britain and other allied countries, to include the United States, did the same. They reverted to standard time in 1918 when the war ended.
In February 1942 at the beginning of World War II in the U.S., “War Time” daylight saving time was put in place for the duration of the war so there would be more daylight available for the war effort workday. The country reverted to standard time on Sept. 30, 1945 upon the end of hostilities.
In Napa Valley, during WWII, daylight saving time not only provided more daylight for war production but also provided more daylight for the summer and fall harvest of fruit and vegetables.
I remember “war time” in Napa Valley and, after more than three years of living with extended daily sunlight, it took a while for me to get used to less sunlight.
Another extended period of daylight saving time within our country was in 1974-75 to save oil because of the 1973 Arab oil embargo. There was a fuel shortage, and I remember long lines of cars waiting to fill their tanks when word got out that one of Napa’s service stations had gasoline.
For many years, the beginning and ending dates of daylight saving time varied within the U.S. Finally, in 2007, Congress adopted the second Sunday in March to spring forward and the first Sunday in November to fall back. Of the 50 states, only Hawaii and part of Arizona do not change times.
I think, if she had a choice, Taffy would move to Hawaii or that non-observant part of Arizona so she did not have to modify her routine every few months. I feel that way myself sometimes.
Email Jim Ford at email@example.com.