two thousand twenty
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Of Geese, DST and Windows

Calendar spring is less than a week away although it's been meteoroligical spring for a time. The recent warm spell has melted all the heavy wet snow that buried us less than two weeks ago. The bird activity is becoming more apparent, the seasonal mud is prevalent and soon we will shift our clocks into Daylight Savings Time.

As much as I look forward to spring and all it brings, I don't much care for DST. Getting up around 4 AM and trekking to our dairy barn for morning chores is much easier to look forward to and accomplish when dawn is at hand. In my life there isn't much purpose in having daylight until 9:30 PM or after because going to bed seems fruitless. I don't sleep well when it's not dark.

And closing my blinds is not an option. Although not particularly claustrophobic, I prefer to be able to see out my windows. Isn't that what they're for? In explanation, after my husband died I spent several years driving over the road in a tractor-trailer and trying to sleep in a space barely bigger than my linen closet. By times, it was difficult at best especially when my partner snored incessantly and I had nowhere to go to escape it. He insisted on closing the curtains between the sleeper to close out the light pollution at truck stops or delivery site parking lots, which made the space even smaller.

As an owner-operator with our own authority, I was always aware of things that went bang, crack or thump in the night and hoped those noises were not made by people who might accidentally or otherwise damage the truck or hijack our loads. Not being able to see what was happening when I did hear suspicious noises made me uncomfortable.

Also on those trips requiring us to work as real team drivers, I chose to sleep at night and drive during the day when I could see the sun and everything it makes possible - scenery, traffic hazards, life, etc. In addition take it from one who knows, sleeping in a noisy moving truck at night is next to impossible. On the other hand, I would not have traded places with my partner as he tried to sleep during the daytime, the keyword here being tried.

That said, this morning, walking to the barn before daylight was interesting. Clouds block whatever little light that might reflect from the waning moon and the snow that just last week brightened my way has all but disappeared. Since I've walked the route almost daily for decades in the dark, I set my automatic internal GPS for the intended destination and away I go. Luckily my porch cat decides to accompany me this morning and she leads the way, meowing as she goes. Fondly I think she wants to be sure I make it to the barn safely, but in reality she wants to be sure I return to give her breakfast!

As we cross the 300-yard space between the house and barn, I can hear the wild geese honking on Mud Creek flats as they prepare to take off to God-knows-where for the day. Their voices are music to my ears after the silence that greeted me each morning all winter. As the brown melt water creeps over the flood plain in its annual attempt to drown all living things thereon, I eagerly await the real sounds of spring - the peepers. Their perky little voices give me the boost that makes starting the day so much easier, even though after DST takes affect, it will once again be dark during my early morning commute on foot.

When the time change system was first developed during WWI, it was supposed to be a way of cutting the costs of waging war in both money and lives, and perhaps it did. However DST was disengaged after the war, then reinstated for WWII because it worked so well the first time and should again. So, where did the proverbial "they" get the idea that because it was helpful during wartime that it should be inflicted on the country afterward and forever? To my way of thinking, in this day and age with night vision aids, radar, GPS and all of the newest technology being used in war zones, and it is no longer necessary to light soldiers way at night for fiscal or safety reasons, we should put one time measure into affect and leave it alone. Okay, my rant is over for today.

I return to the house in a light early spring shower. Once inside the kitchen I glance toward the sliding glass doors that open to the east deck and noting the spatters left behind by the rain. I catch a glimpse of the forsythia shoots on the kitchen table that I harvested last week to force bloom. About half the buds are open and they greet me all welcoming and bright yellow. Yep, spring is just a few days away and it will soon be time to wash those glass doors, the twenty-two windows and three other glass doors in my antique house - just another seasonal job that keeps me humble in Upstate New York!


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1 Comment to "Of Geese, DST and Windows"

  1. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Interesting history about the implementation of Daylight Savings Time as a military strategy. It seems that after WWII Daylight Savings Time persisted in support of a 9-5 working world with room for commutes and school buses.

    You may have a point that DST might well be adjusted back to a single time measure these days, as our "working hours" in non-agriculture careers are also becoming more round-the-clock type of work...with telecommuting etc. providing for odd hours. That and by nature humans are diurnal creatures, so perhaps we'll all be a little more in sync if we let light do its thing without shaping it to fit our man-made systems.

    Those Canadian Geese!

    Posted on Mon Mar 15, 10:58:00 AM EDT


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