I have a houseful of visitors here in the Keys. I don’t understand that. In our more than 30 years in Vermont, we can count our out-of-state visitors on our fingers. Here in Paradise, visitors are numbered like grains of sand. Anyway, our friend Missy noticed that I was “up bloody early” today (Biff was still snoring then).
“No,” I told Missy. “It is the clock that has changed. I’m up at the exact same [solar] time I get up every morning.”
Thanks to the visitors, I was actually late-ish getting to bed last night and therefore late-ish getting to sleep. Late-ish is defined as early-ish by Daylight Savings standards but later in terms of the hour at which I planned to arise. The alarm makes sure I rise correctly no matter how long the temptations of the night before seduce me.
Farmers have lived according to the sun for as long as there has been fixed base agriculture. Although my great-grandfather was a dairy farmer — I grew up on the last few acres of his farm, then made a home on the last few acres of a former Vermont dairy farm — I do not farm. I prefer sleeping in and generally like to roll out of bed about 30 seconds before I have to go to work. It also means I can see the sunset, the moonrise, and the clocks strike midnight.
Clock setting is arbitrary, all because somebody in “the dawn of time” jammed a stick in the ground and decided that getting his farm workers up at 4 ayem was a good idea. Some of us don’t agree. Russia’s 11 time zones are all an hour ahead of the corresponding standard time zones and double that during DST.
Ben Franklin wrote satirically that Parisians should go green and save candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. He didn’t seriously propose Savings Time, though, no matter what you read on the Internoodle. That honor falls to George Hudson, an amateur New Zealand entomologist who wanted to collect insects in after-work daylight.
I don’t understand why we don’t just choose a time we like permanently.
Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, most Indiana on Eastern Time, don’t switch their clocks. Arizona remains on Mountain Standard Time year round. They, along with India, China, and Japan are the major industrialized states that are constant UTC+something 12 months out of 12, while the rest of us spend seven months of the year with “extra” daylight and nearly five months without.
Not even all of Arizona is exempt. The Navajo Nation does observe. The Navaho have the largest land area of any Native American jurisdiction within the United States with 26,000 square miles that covers all of northeastern Arizona, the southeastern portion of Utah, and northwestern New Mexico.
Changing the clocks irritates me but I’m not rabid about sticking on solar time except I have a regular morning phone call with one of the non-mainstream states.
A friend who lives there “finds it irritating that we have to rearrange our meetings every time all y’all flip to another time, and irritating that I have to think “Is it two or three hours different when I call my dad? Is it one hour or the same when I call my daughter or mother?”
My choice is to synch my own schedule rather than force the others on that call to rearrange theirs.
It just seems bloody early to start the morning to Sally. And to me.
For the record, my European web host thought this post went up at 13:00.