Question of the week: Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday (the second Sunday in March). It used to arrive on the last Sunday in April, and then the first Sunday in April. Do you think daylight saving time arrives too early in the year?
Jeff Rogers, SVM editor
In my younger years – man, I hate saying that – I used to look at daylight saving time simply as either a loss or a gain of 1 hour of sleep. Turn back the clock in the fall? Great! Spring forward? Booooo!
I look at a lot of things in a different way now. Among them is the semiannual time change.
Today, I prefer springing forward to falling back. Moving the clock an hour forward or back doesn't really impact my sleep anymore. I get roughly the same amount of sleep whether or not the clock changes. And it's pretty rare for my Saturday nights/Sunday mornings to last long enough that the hour makes much difference. Man, I hate saying that, too.
So, why do I prefer springing forward to falling back? It increases the odds that I drive home to Freeport from work in Sterling in daylight instead of the dark. Those deer that frequent Freeport Road are much easier to see in daylight than at nighttime.
In fact, I just barely missed a deer with the car while driving home Wednesday night. In full sprint, it crossed the road right in front of my car. I had time to brake just enough to miss it, but not by much. It was dark. I didn't see the deer until it was almost in front of my car. If daylight saving time had started Wednesday morning, it would still have been light.
I rest my case.
Kathleen Schultz, SVM news editor
Jim Dunn, SVM editorial page editor
I grew up when daylight saving time started in late April. The grass was green, the trees were leafing out, the spring flowers were blooming. Then, with that extra hour of daylight suddenly appearing in the evening, it was an open invitation for extra outdoor playtime after supper for up to 28 kids in our neighborhood, according to one mother’s count.
I’ll digress a bit to describe some of those sunlit activities on warm spring evenings. Hide-and-seek was probably the most popular game, with “red light, green light” a close second. Later, touch football and baseball won more adherents. With a dozen to two dozen kids playing at any one time, there was always a lot of fun and laughter.
These days, the arrival of daylight saving time on a cold March weekend doesn’t seem quite as special. No leaves on the trees. No spring flowers. Just a lost hour of sleep.
I understand the economics and safety arguments behind expanding daylight saving time from 26 weeks a year to the present 34, but I’d personally rather see it begin after spring has sprung.