Did everyone make it through the Daylight Saving Time transition without any bloopers, like showing up late to work, church, or your kid’s state final basketball game? I have to admit, I love springing forward. Doing so accentuates the other tangible signs that winter’s almost over, like the crocus peeking through the crusty remnants of the last snow or the flying V’s in the sky headed north. Longer days signal the Earth’s emergence from hibernation…maybe not mine, but definitely the Earth’s.
Born and raised in the heartland, I heard Daylight Saving Time came about so farmers had longer days to get the wheat harvest in. Made sense to me, and decades later, I couldn’t understand why farmers still needed all that light now that combines had massive floodlights on them. Imagine my shock while poking around on the internet to get information for this post when I found out:
- Daylight Saving Time came about to save energy.
- And, there’s no “s” on the end of Saving.
Back in World War I, when European countries began fighting long before the US entered the war, Germany decided extending daylight would help save energy. Factories wouldn’t need to turn lights on in the morning, and people would be able to either work or stay outside longer in the evenings…so they wouldn’t need to use energy in their homes until later. Saving energy meant more resources and more money for their war machine. Of course, additional work hours also meant higher productivity, another bonus for a nation at war. Other European countries involved in the war followed suit, and in March of 1918, so did the US. Today, the US Department of Transportation oversees the delineation of time zones and the country’s adherence to the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
Hawaii and Arizona, as well as the US Territories, do not use Daylight Saving Time. I lived in Arizona for a few years, and my parents have for over thirty. Let me tell you, the last thing you want during Arizona’s blazing hot summer is another hour of sunshine.
Personally, though, having Mom and Dad in a wonky time zone really messes with my head. When I want to call them, I have to remember if they’re in the Mountain or Pacific Time Zone. If I miscalculate, I might interrupt them during lunch, a car race, a basketball game—you name it. It’s a serious offense.
Just last week, Florida’s senate passed an act to keep their state in Daylight Saving Time the whole year. So, in the contiguous US, they’ll always be Daylight Saving Time, Arizona will never be Daylight Saving Time, and the rest of us will still change our clocks (and smoke detector batteries) twice a year.
I understand the Arizonan position, but I prefer later days in the summer, too. There’s something nice about coming home from work, eating dinner, taking care of household business, and still having time to watch the sunset. For some reason, I want to live the same clock my ancient ancestors followed, one organic to the patterns of life, not some artificial one predicated on economics.
I just want to keep things simple. Which is why I use this clock in my home now. Happy Spring! -KD