Saturday, November 2, 2013

Falling Back (and Looking for Instructions)

Greetings All:

In a few hours, daylight savings time will end.  It is the final farewell to longer days.  Come the workweek, I will experience the same shock when I walk outside and see it is dark for the first time.  No longer will there be an hour of available light for yard work.  Unless there is a light above your grill, good luck with over/undercooking whatever is for dinner.  It's not all bad.  Tonight, we all get an extra hour of sleep.  I remember one of my friends in college proclaiming with joy, "We get an EXTRA hour of bar time!"  And, just in the nick of time, I might add.  (Yes, that is sarcasm.)

Daylight savings time has been around for a while.  I did not realize, but cannot say I am surprised to learn that it was Ben Franklin who came up with the modern version of it in Paris.  Ben was quite a guy.  In between getting the French into the Revolutionary War and (ahem) delighting the ladies of Paris, he found time to write scientific works. 

Ben Franklin, public domain,
If you'd like to read more about this subject, please check out this link:

Daylight savings time, like just about everything in our society, is not loved by everyone.  Some say it costs money.  Others that it is not a real benefit and that there is not that much extra light.  Here's a scathing review of all that is wrong with daylight savings time from Alexander Abad-Santos but it's a good read:

I will save the philosophical and economic debates for others.  Instead, for this post, I will focus on the practical aspects of what this means for me.  It is the act of moving the clocks in my life back one hour.  As a testament to how plugged in we've all become, my iPhone and (presumably) computer will automatically update.  That will leave the microwave and kitchen range (easy) the battery clock in my office basement (some work but still easy) and a few others that I have forgotten.  The ones that will be a pain will be my digital watch and the clocks in the vehicles.  I already dealt with the watch and after several futile attempts (and uttering a few words under my breath ending in "er") I gave up and Googled the owner's manual.  I know that tomorrow I will go straight to the owners' manual and look up clocks to re-set those.  Why curse when you can  flip a few pages?  These are small and not terribly inconvenient tasks.  Yet for me, they are concrete reminders that not only is fall in full swing, but winter awaits.  I suppose it is why I look forward to the bumping of the clocks forward in the spring.  It's akin to the fun of setting up Christmas decorations and the melancholy duty of taking them all down while the "something bowl" plays in the background on New Years' Day.

Yes, the days are getting shorter.  Darkness falls sooner and the wind is no longer a gentle breeze but a biting sting to your skin.  The rain is not soft but cold and harsh.  And yet, there is still beauty to behold.  Not all the trees have given up their color treasures.  Like an honor guard in bright tunics, the trees stand straight and proud.  Take a moment to enjoy the display.  By next week, they will likely be bare.

I suspect that even as the eleventh month moves along, there are nice days left.  There will be some afternoons when the sun shines and the wind is nowhere to be found.  On those days, seek out a window or better yet, make plans to be outside and witness the retreat of the sun.  Some of the most beautiful sunsets are those belonging to fall.

In the meantime, happy clock-back setting.  While you are at it, always a good idea to check your smoke detector batteries or just go ahead and change them out now.  It will save you that torturous trip downstairs in the middle of the night as you seek out the just barely audible "beep!" that will keep you up all night.  At least you will not need to hunt down the instructions for that job.

Be well my friends,

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