Saturday, March 12, 2011

Making You Feel Nine Feet Tall

Today is the final day of Standard Time until the fall. We "spring ahead" late tonight/early tomorrow morning and commence Daylight Savings Time. When I was a child I wondered whose bright idea it was to set the time for leaping forward and thereafter falling backward at 2:00 a.m. As an adult I realize that the tavern keepers' lobby has more influence than I could have readily imagined.

Being Americans, a nation whose very foundation was built upon our inability to get along with and to play well with others, not every corner of these United States has agreed to embrace Daylight Savings Time. With the exception of the Navajo Nation, it is not observed in Arizona. Neither is it observed in Hawaii. Considering the amount of sunlight that happens in those two places on a regular basis, their decision to opt out can likely be viewed as an act of selflessness. They are allotting more sunshine to the rest of us. Besides when one lives in a place where during the summer the daily temperature is "INFERNO" does anyone really sit around bemoaning the fact that there is not one more hour of sunlight? Likely not.

Until fairly recently, the State of Indiana had a somewhat uncomfortable and flexible relationship with Daylight Savings Time. The Hoosier State only agreed to observe it statewide in or about 2005. Imagine the fun it was traveling and/or trying to conduct business in Indiana prior to the enactment of that particular state law. Indiana has 92 counties, which are split (courtesy of its location in America's heartland) between the Eastern Time Zone and the Central Time Zone. While telling time in Indiana was apparently a pretty chaotic undertaking prior to the state's embrace of Daylight Savings Time for all of its residents, it does not sound as if it is much of a picnic these days either. Given the division in the state between counties in the Eastern Time Zone and those in the Central Time Zone, when the clocks are set ahead overnight in Indiana, tomorrow morning residents in 74 of its 92 counties will awaken to Eastern Daylight Time while those in the remaining 18 counties will arise to Central Daylight Time. Mercifully, everywhere in Indiana it is still 1952.

The one-night/one-hour sleep deprivation notwithstanding (I smile just thinking of the good natured disputes I have had with Rob/Margaret for years over the impact - or lack thereof - that the time change has on one's person twice annually), I enjoy the forward leap. Much like you and the rest of the world, from early November until early March I never see my house in the daylight during the work week. While I have no plan to alter the departure portion of the equation - and shall be commuting to the office in the wee small hours of the morning for as long as they give me an electronic fob that unlocks the door, I get a bit of of a pick-me-up from the knowledge that starting Monday night I shall be home while it is still daylight more often than not for the next six months. Winter runs down my battery. This year has been worse than most given the harshness of the weather. A bit of additional daylight is akin to a B-12 shot.

And that ain't no jumpin' jive.


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