Metro-East Living

One week was long enough. Let’s move the clocks forward again.

At some point, you’d think I’d adjust to turning the clocks back an hour every November.

It happens every fall. After the World Series. Before Veterans Day. Accept it. Adjust. Put the shorts away. Get ready for winter. Why does it matter if the extra hour of daylight is at the end or beginning of my day?

If we gained an hour of sleep, why do I feel all day like I need a nap.

I feel the clock changes, biannually.

Spring forward; fall back.

Kiss my grits.

Roll my eyes.

Grumble to myself.

Write about it.

I’m an evening guy, so naturally, I prefer my extra hour of daylight after dinner.

An extra hour of daylight in the morning. Close the blinds, please.

This past week, I’ve grumbled about how a month ago, I was riding my bike at 8 p.m., rushing to finish the trail near Scott Air Force Base before full darkness set it?

Now, when it’s 8 p.m., it’s time to go to bed, and I’m grateful for the 7 p.m. TV newscast.

Yawn a lot.

Coffee for lunch.

And there’s no baseball. No daily scores, stats or highlights. OK. I get the game is slow. And there are too many strikeouts. And the analytic nerds are ruining the game by measuring launch angles and speed of the ball leaving the bat. Call me gramps. But I like tailing fastballs inside on the fists to hitters crowding the plate wearing protective arm guards. Shortstops should play between second and third base. Umpires should continue calling balls and strikes.

I love hockey and football but baseball is the national pastime.

Spring training can’t arrive soon enough.

The end of Daylight Saving Time 2019 was particularly confusing for me. Last Sunday, I was driving home from Asheville, North Carolina, after visiting my daughter for the weekend. My time zones were out of whack. I had different times on my watch, cell phone and car clock. When I got home, I confirmed it was 8:20 p.m.

What’s that old Chicago song? It seemed like midnight because it was dark so early.

I’ve been reminded all week that we gained an hour of sleep. That makes sense. Starting last Sunday, Nov. 3, it’s been a struggle to keep my eyes open past 8 p.m.

It took me a few days to confidently determine what time it is, really. I’m getting to all my wrist watches reset, one by one, as I wear them. I have a lot of watches. Shoes, wrist watches and bobbleheads. We all have our levels of nerdiness, right?

What’s bothers me now is I know there’s more grayness coming.

If you sketched winter in the Midwest, it’d be captured accurately in charcoal.

Gray.

Dark.

Grayer.

Darker.

And a few patches of white space to depict snow.

I’ve read about the history of Daylight Saving Time. Ben Franklin. Woodrow Wilson. World War I. Ronald Reagan. Farmers, school bus drivers, and something called the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Daylight saving time in the U.S. started as an energy conservation trick during World War I and became a national standard in the 1960s. The idea was to shift the number of daylight hours into the evening. If the sun sets at 8 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., we’d presumably spend less time with the lights on in our homes at night, saving electricity.

Sounds outdated. Today, we are too occupied with our cell phones — day and night. It doesn’t matter if the lights are on or off as long as our battery’s charged.

OK. We gave it a full week. Now I’m ready to return to Daylight Saving Time. I’m tired of leaving home when it’s dark and getting home when it’s dark. I’m tired of being tired at 8 p.m.. I’d rather be riding my bike.

Terry Mackin writes a monthly column for the Belleville News-Democrat. He is a former BND reporter who now works as a spokesman for Illinois American Water.
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