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Trying to save the unsavable

March 6, 2014
Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

On Sunday, March 9, we'll all have the chance to take part in the national nonsense of turning our clocks forward to initiate Daylight Saving Time.

The illogical practice, first tried during WWI, was designed to adjust time in order to save fuel. The idea was to reduce the need for artificial light. Although the DST concept was dropped in 1919, it was reestablished early in WWII, stopped again for a while, but eventually adopted as the Uniform Time Act of 1966.

That bit of history may explain how DST came about, but it can't clarify just how anyone first imagined time could be manipulated at will for mankind's convenience.

Anyone who gives even passing thought to the subject, realizes that resetting clocks could never save even a second of time.

I'm sure most of us find the practice both inconvenient and confusing. On March 9, if we've followed instructions and set our clocks forward, few of us will be able to convince ourselves that 6 a.m. is really 7 a.m.

Every time we go through this twice-a-year manipulation ... when we set clocks forward in spring, and backward in fall ... it takes a couple of weeks before the average mind can somehow accept that the sun is waking up an hour later.

Personally, I think it would be a terrific trick to be able to save a little time. Think how handy it would be to put aside a few minutes here and there. We could tuck them in a little box and stash them in a dresser drawer.

Then, on some afternoon when we've dawdled a bit too long in the garden or read an extra chapter in a spellbinding novel, we could retrieve our stash of minutes. Taking out a half hour would give us an influx of extra minutes, put us back on schedule and erase any lingering guilt.

But, as we all know, time is as easy to save as the twinkling smile of a child or the fleeting beauty of a sunset. Unlike those two treasures, you can't even catch a photo of time.

No, by its very nature, each moment is a NOW experience. It can be saved only in memory.

If folks like you and me find this "time saving" practice illogical and confusing, think how this must affect people whose schedule is dictated by nature.

Farmers, for instance, must announce to their milking herd, "You girls know it's now daylight saving time. So you just hang in there an hour longer. But don't worry, we'll get to you a little faster when fall rolls around."

As silly as the system seems, at least one group has come up with a way to make good use of the time-setting practice. Leaders in the fire services throughout the country have designated these spring-forward, fall-back days as permanent reminders to check the batteries in smoke detectors. Making sure these little units are in working order is a big step in saving property and lives.

Those CAN be saved. But time?



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