I’m old enough to remember when we neither sprang forward nor fell back.
I was about 14 when they standardized Daylight time in the US. Well, the word “standardized” is a little tricky, since for some odd reason there are places that have successfully resisted all urges to go forward or back — which, by definition, sort of seems to define backward, or at least obstinate. I never actually think of Indiana and Arizona as particularly obstinate or backwards, except for their propensity to elect Republicans. But, that’s for another day and another blog.
My grandmother, Nana, was very well north of 70-years-old when Daylight Savings Time got imposed on her life. She would have none of it. In her mind and in her heart, there was Daylight Savings Time and there was God’s Time. She might eventually and reluctantly get around to changing her clocks, but she always operated on God’s Time. In fact, later in life she wore my grandfather’s old watch on one arm and I actually would catch her checking it to make sure she knew what God’s time was, no matter what zone the rest of us were in.
It wasn’t a religious thing to her. Daylight Savings Time was just not the way the world was meant to work.
I’d say, “Nana, we’re going to go to Monkey Wards (Montgomery Ward to the uninitiated) at two o’clock.” She would invariably reply with something like, “Is that at two o’clock God’s Time or that silly new time?”
Any suggestion that time was time mattered not. Irrespective of where we might be going or when we might be watching something on TV, it simply had to be defined in terms of happening either at God’s Time or at this perfectly pointless time the government had thought up. Her shows — As the Word Turns, Guiding Light, etc. — miraculously appeared at the same time on the Monday after Daylight Savings as the Friday before. She wasn’t sure exactly why, and I certainly couldn’t explain it, other than pointing to a clock and suggesting that whatever time it said was the time it was.
Every year for the next nearly 20 years, when fall arrived she would let out a terrific sigh of relief that we were back on God’s Time. All was well with the world again. Things made sense again. And, besides, she could finally get an extra hour of sleep.
So, as I spring forward this Saturday night — a process we actually begin quite early in the evening to compensate for that horrid lost hour of sleep — I will lovingly remember Nana and God’s Time. And, I may find just one clock and leave it unchanged this year in her memory.