An Idea Whose Time Has Come

WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Will Rogers said everybody talks about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it. This week, everybody seems to be talking about Daylight Savings Time, but nobody is doing anything about it.

Well, I don’t suppose I can do anything about it either, but I can add my brilliant analysis two cents worth. I can rant with the best of them. By the way, if we call it daylight savings time when we enjoy longer evenings, should we call the winter system moonlight wasting time?

The first thing about the standard time/daylight savings time business that’s never made any sense to me is when they make the change. Autumnal equinox takes place around September 22, and we make our fall time change the first Sunday in November. Vernal Equinox is around March 20, and we make our spring time change the second Sunday in March.

We stay on DST for about six weeks after equinox in the fall, but we only go onto it about ten days or so before equinox in the spring. To make sense of this, we should go onto DST around the first of February. What’s up with the present system?

Most of the tirade discussion this week has been about changing from one to the other. Everybody’s upset over losing an hour’s sleep Saturday night. What’s that about? At my age you don’t expect to sleep all night anyhow.

Actually, I agree that the constant changing back and forth is a pain in the rear, especially when we do it unevenly. (See third paragraph above.) During the winter of either 1972-73 or 1973-74 we just stayed on DST. No time changes.

The rationale was to save energy during the Arab oil embargo. That made about as much sense as cutting off your head and standing on it to be taller, but rationale aside, I enjoyed that winter. I was living in Oklahoma City, where it gets dark a bit earlier than Fort Worth in the winter, and I enjoyed getting home before dark.

For most of us, morning activities consist of stumbling to the coffee pot, having breakfast, showering and dressing and driving to work. These activities don’t really require much daylight. Having the sun shine through our windows at that time of day doesn’t add a lot to the quality of most of our lives.

In the evenings, though, when we get home from work it would be nice to have a a chance to work in the yard (okay, for those who know me, it’s my wife who works in the yard) or toss a football with the kids or do other things outside. A little daylight would be nice for these activities.

I’ve heard farmers complain about DST because it messes up their operations. How? I’ve never seen a boll of cotton or an ear of corn that could tell time. The wheat is going to grow when the sun shines, without consulting a clock.

About the only industry I can think of with a legitimate complaint against DST is drive-in movie owners. In the summer they can’t begin their movies until 9:00pm or so. But how many drive-in movies are there in the United States anyhow?

Any rational analysis would agree with me see that year-round DST would benefit all of us. Besides that, people in Arizona wouldn’t have to try to remember what time zone they’re in. They could stay in the same one all year.

What do you think about dropping all the time change business and just staying on Daylight Savings Time? Then we wouldn’t have to call it Daylight Savings Time. It would just be time.

 

clip_image002David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.

Contact me at davwalktx@yahoo.com or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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19 Responses to An Idea Whose Time Has Come

  1. Lynn says:

    I will tell you who suffers the most from the time change: parents of very young children! They have no idea they are supposed to sleep later…or deal with less sleep (depending on the direction of the change). And it takes much more than 24 hours to get them acclimated! I always dreaded the time change when mine were young.

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  2. hawleywood40 says:

    The changes don’t bother me much, although I joke about getting an extra hour of weekend in the fall and losing it in the spring. But I’d be for year-round DST … keeps things simple : )!

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  3. susielindau says:

    From what I understand, they do it so kids don’t go to school in the dark in winter. I am with you. We need to join Iowa and leave the clocks alone…

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  4. Marcia says:

    I honestly can’t relate to those whom it bothers. I’m excited to have more daylight in the spring and I don’t mind the change in the fall. The days get shorter anyway, so we wouldn’t gain much by keeping DST through the winter. Not having DST in the winter gives us earlier light in the morning which helps wake us up and get moving.
    DST saves energy by cutting back the use of electricity; there is a decrease in traffic accidents during DST.
    It takes roughly 24 hours for most people to adjust to the time change. I shake my head when I hear people complaining about losing an hour of sleep…go to sleep earlier or sleep later in the morning.
    If we got rid of DST, they’d complain about losing that extra hour of daylight in the evening. If we had only DST, they’d complain about how dark it is in the morning during winter.
    Sorry, David…*stepping off my soapbox now*. Great post!

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  5. Karlene says:

    Yeah… lets can this time change process. I’m on board for this flight!

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  6. moonlight wasting time. haha! Funny!!! good post.

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  7. I am on this campaign with you, David. Why the change? Who decided it was a swell plan in the first place? And, doesn’t it cost time-sensitive businesses a chunk of change to make that switch twice a year?

    BTW, I can not stop my marvel-meter from going into the green-with-envy zone over “about as much sense as cutting your head off and standing on it to make yourself taller.”

    I may steal it quote you on that one.

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  8. A valid argument, but is anyone listening? The time change doesn’t bother me but could you possibly look into getting us more of it? The older I get, the faster the world spins and a few hours more in a day would be most appreciated. Thanks!

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  9. Callene Rapp says:

    There is a bit more to farming than wheat or cotton and just waiting for them to grow.

    But yeah, I struggle with the spring change every year.

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    • Thanks, Callene. With a family full of farmers, I realize I’ve oversimplified this, but I try to keep my wordiness down. And none of the farmers in my family have ever convinced me that there’s an insurmountable problem.

      Those who raise livestock seem to have the biggest problem, but it’s related to the change, not the DST.

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