Sunday, November 15, 2009

Living on the Edge

During the many years that we lived in Land of 10,000 Lakes, we were more or less in the middle of the Central Time Zone. Now, however, we are close to the eastern edge of the Eastern Time Zone. This has several ramifications, most of which I experience without fully understanding them. In other words, I’m pretty much talking through my hat here.

However…. I hardly ever watch television any more. We just have “Limited Cable” – enough to keep from having to send Onkel Hankie Pants up on the roof, but that’s not the only reason. Chiefly, I have not been able to get used to the East Coast version of prime time, which doesn’t start till 8:00 pm. Things I used to watch at 9 are now on at 10, and the ten o’clock news comes on at eleven! Can’t be doing with that, so I just skip it.

Telephone conversations with my daughters in the Central and Pacific Time Zones can be problematic. I have finally internalized the fact that Pacific Time is 3 hours earlier than here, not later. It just seems counter-intuitive.

But of course the main thing is daylight, or at this season, the lack of it. Fortunately I do not suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or I’d really be in trouble. Postponing the end of Daylight Saving Time until November 1st seems to have made things worse, not better, because we’ve had less time to get used to the early darkness. Yesterday we got the tail-end of Ida rainstorm, and it was pitch dark outside at 4:15 pm. Rusty’s after-supper walk is always in the dark now (I hope for no pickup duties on this walk, since he seldom wishes to do his “bidniss” under a streetlight). Oddly, I find that the early darkness does not help me get to bed at a reasonable hour, rather it skews my perception of time so that I find myself staggering off to bed close to midnight.

I just checked, and according to the Weather Channel, we actually had 5 minutes more daylight here than Minneapolis (but 29 minutes less than Berkeley, CA). However, the sun rose and set about half an hour later in Minneapolis, giving the illusion of a longer day.

People in Downeast Maine (Eastport, for example), which is not only North but East of us, have it even worse. Many of them would like to see Maine adopt the Atlantic Time Zone, used by our cousins across the border in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, or just maintain Daylight Saving Time all year round. I have to admit that I also dislike the days in early spring after we “spring ahead,” because my preference would be always to get up with the sun, but sometimes I have to get up ahead of it, especially when DST has just begun. I suppose there is no solution that will please everybody. And now it’s time for bed.


Onkel Hankie Pants said...

Remember how dark it was in "the middle of the afternoon" in Berlin? That was around Christmastime, of course.

Auntie Knickers said...

Yes, my ability to survive a winter in Berlin when I worked nights, so that I went to sleep before dawn and arose around (or after) sunset, is what tells me I don't have SAD. However, Berlin is considerably north of us, isn't it? Yes, I just looked -- it would fall somewhere between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.