Daylight Saving Time began March 11 when 2 a.m. Sunday did not occur. Instead, clocks jumped from 1:59.59 a.m. to 3:00.00 a.m.
The idea of Daylight Saving Time causes two problems:
• Waking up in darkness.
• Having to reset clocks to start Daylight Saving Time in March and to revert to Standard Time in November.
I no longer care about waking up in darkness. I rely on my Circadian rhythms to wake me up each morning. That results in my sometimes not waking up until midmorning or later. But what is the point of being retired if one cannot occasionally sleep until midmorning?
I do, however, detest having to reset clocks twice a year — which is why I heartily applaud Florida's Legislature for its brilliant idea. Florida, it decided, should stay on Daylight Saving Time all year around.
Hooray! A sensible plan.
Now, if only Congress will be sensible. (Quit sniggering; it could happen, couldn't it?)
Congress regulates our timekeeping. It is Congress that gave the Lower 48 four time zones. Congress also decided that individual states or localities could choose to stay on Standard Time, thereby creating great confusion for those of us who have to go back and forth between time zones.
Folks in and around nearby Mexico Beach deal with the problem every day. The dividing line between Eastern and Central time zones runs northward from Mexico Beach, putting Mexico Beach (mostly) and points west on Central Time, while Port St. Joe, Apalachicola and points eastward are on Eastern Time.
My aftermarket GPS gizmo automatically changes the time when we drive to Panama City (Central Time). But the clock in our truck does not automatically change. So as we drive, we confront two different displays as to what time it is.
This regularly befuddles me. Are we an hour late for a luncheon appointment? Or will we need to walk around Walmart for an hour to pass the time because we arrived too early?
I hate that confusion. I also detest having to reset the clocks inside our vehicles.
Resetting the clock inside my wife's Hyundai Elantra is simple. On the dashboard near the clock are two buttons: "H" and "M." Pressing "H" advances the display for hours. Springtime requires one push. Fall-back time in November requires 11 pushes.
The truck, however, has a whiz-bang mini-TV screen that displays radio, Sirius, backup camera, clock, and, for all I know, Vladimir Putin's Russian re-election campaign speeches. I have owned the 2014 Ford F-150 for some months but have not figured out the half of what that screen can show.
Actually resetting the clock turned out to be almost as easy as resetting the one in my wife's car.
But finding the directions buried deep inside the owner's manual was as disorienting as wandering through the trackless swamps of Tate's Hell State Forest.
I got the truck's clock reset - by blind luck. I have no idea as to what buttons did the trick when I pushed them. In November, I intend to synchronize a future service call with the fall-back to Standard Time so the dealer can do the deed, sparing me the anguish.
Florida might spare us the trouble, forever.
The Sunshine State wants Congress to OK its staying on Daylight Saving Time all year long.
Again… hooray! This makes sense even in my home state of Pennsylvania. It should be applauded everywhere in the Lower 48, with the possible exception of California.
Why not California? California, of course, howls in protest at anything that is not its own idea. Florida, by contrast, is being sensible about time.
If Congress does agree, Florida itself could stay on Daylight Saving Time with minimal disruption. Florida is a peninsula. To its east, south and west, there is mostly water. Only to its north would the change impact border areas of Georgia and Alabama.
If Pennsylvania, by itself, tried to stay on Daylight Saving Time all year long, just imagine the outcry from New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and California. Those states border Pennsylvania. Their border-area residents would face the same agony as Apalach residents face when driving west of Mexico Beach.
I think Florida has a good idea: Stay on Daylight Saving Time all year long.
Let's make that good idea even better: Have the entire Lower 48 stay on Daylight Saving Time all year long.
Staying on Daylight Saving Time would brighten the supper hour and give us more useable beach time. There is also a cost savings on electricity use for lighting.
Much of the opposition to Daylight Saving Time does not come from the time itself. Instead, it is the maddening need to change clocks twice a year that aggravates people.
End the angst, I say! Follow Florida!
Daylight Saving Time forever!
Denny Bonavita is a former editor and publisher at daily and weekly newspapers in western Pennsylvania. He winters in Apalachicola. Email: email@example.com