I’ve never understood daylight savings. Oh, I know what happens with the hour-change in time. I just don’t understand why! I read somewhere that the idea was proposed by Ben Franklin to save candles in winter and by some Englishman who wanted to play golf longer in summer. I also seem to recall it has something to do with milk cows in Indiana, although I’ve yet to see any breed of cow—Hoosier, Guernsey, or other—wearing a watch. I do remember Jimmy Carter, dressed in his cardigan while sitting by the White House fireplace, urging us to give daylight savings a try during the 1970s’ energy crisis. So, once again, the time for the “fall back” bookend of daylight savings time was nigh. My lovely wife, Grace, wasn’t jazzed by the whole thing, which she sees as a precursor to winter. I, on the other hand, just hate changing the time on all our clocks.
Advancing the time one hour at the “spring forward” change isn’t so bad but moving the clocks back an hour is a bummer. It is especially difficult with digital clocks. Mine don’t have “back” buttons. So, one has to advance the time twenty-three hours, then check the a.m./p.m. setting, and then the day of the week and the date to ensure both are still correct. I get tired just thinking about it. And, boy, do we have a lot of digital clocks—on the stove, the coffee maker, outdoor lights, sprinklers, radios, alarm clocks, and, well…you get the picture. I began doing finger exercises a week in advance of this autumnal drill.
As T-day neared, I contemplated my attack on the monumental task ahead.
“Have you started changing the clocks?” Grace inquired.
“I’m fixing to get ready to do it.”
“Well, time’s a-wasting,” Grace answered a tad more earnestly.
I poured some Maker’s Mark over ice and sat down to ponder the problem. Bourbon has magical powers to facilitate pondering. Sure enough, a few sips produced the desired epiphany. There was a way to change all the digital clocks at once! Eureka! I felt like Archimedes in the bathtub. As we turned in for bed last Saturday night, Grace asked, “You didn’t change the clocks, did you, dear?”
I answered swimmingly, “Not yet, but I will…and before dawn.”
“What the heck does that mean?”
“You’ll see,” I chuckled as Grace turned off the light.
My alarm went off at 12:55 a.m., and I sprung from bed ready to work my magic.
“What in heaven’s name are you doing?” Grace inquired, turning on the light.
“Changing the clocks,” I replied, rubbing my hands together.
“At this hour? Are you nuts?”
“They scoffed at Ben Franklin, too,” I answered.
“Go fly a kite,” Grace shot back as she turned off the light and rolled over.
I hustled downstairs—time waits for no one, you know—turning on lights as I made my way toward the utility room. I reached the electrical box at 12:59—one minute until the witching hour. Checking my watch, I began counting down the seconds until 1 a.m. A few seconds before one o’clock, I tripped the master switch, and the house plunged into darkness. A few seconds later, I threw the switch again, and the lights came back on. Just as planned, the digital clocks automatically reset themselves to 12:00 a.m. The flashing time was a beautiful sight.
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