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With daylight saving time, lawmakers should take a timeout before fiddling with our clocks
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

There is much talk around our state Capitol about time. No, not the 40 days our state constitution allocates to the annual meeting of the General Assembly, but that other big question: Do we stay on standard time or daylight saving time?

Sometime I wonder whether we should change the time or change ourselves.

If you are reading this on Sunday, we have moved the clocks ahead one hour. Yes, we lost an hour during the night. 

But last weekend, we picked up 24 hours, when we observed the additional day of February for leap year.

I’ll be honest; I don’t like the time changing this early. If you are a regular reader of this space, you know that I’m a school bus driver. This means that it will be further away from sunrise when I pick up some of the children who ride with me. 

That’s not a huge deal, but looking out for pedestrian children is a bit more difficult in the dark.

For several years, some counties in Indiana did not participate in Daylight Saving Time. They were in the Chicago and Louisville suburbs. The rest of the state changed their clocks. In 2006, the entire state adopted daylight saving time.

There are a few counties in Alabama that do not change their clocks. It has a lot to do with their interaction with Georgia.

I live on a street that has lots of walkers and joggers. They get out around 5:30 every morning, regardless of the time change.

When I stopped commuting to Atlanta, I slept a little later. But now, my job requires me to be ready to walk out the door early. I have adapted.

During President Jimmy Carter’s energy program, the entire country went on Daylight Saving Time in the winter. Daylight occurred around 8:30 a.m.

My wife has family in Alaska. If you want some interesting daylight hours, visit there. In the peak of the summer, it really never gets dark. There is a little bit of twilight in the wee hours. But you can play golf at 11 in the evening.

On the flipside, on Dec. 21, there is only a little bit of sun during the middle of the day.

I’m sure that from the moment God said, “Let there be light,” there has been controversy as to how much light we get. Some cave drawings show reaction to the big ball of fire in the sky. 

I hate to say this, but we are never going to be completely satisfied with time. Somebody will gripe about the sun coming up too early or too late and the same about it’s daily setting. 

We now have fancy watches that are connected to our phones and, in turn, to some very precise clock.

I can remember when fine watches all came from Switzerland and had to be wound daily. I also remember when John Cameron Swayze would test Timex watches to find they would “take a licking and keep on ticking.”

It’s time, it’s just a number. Why do we have to mess with it?

When our lawmakers in Atlanta find themselves legislating time, maybe it is a sign they have too much of it.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.

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