Whose idea was Daylight Saving Time, anyway?

Maybelle’s Fireside Stories

Why, if ol’ Maybelle wasn’t scratching my head so hard this morning, my scalp looks like a cat got at it, don’tcha know. And it’s not because it felt itchy. It’s because I felt so perplexed about something – Daylight Saving Time (DST), in fact – that my hand flew straight up to my scalp and scratched it like a flea convention had landed.
Why Daylight Saving Time you may ask? Because it’s marching back here on Nov. 6 and I’m not happy about it. There, I’ve said it. In fact, my whole body, toes to the tip of my white spongy hair, cringes just thinking about those dark days ahead. It’s bad enough that the light coming in through my cottage windows in the late fall and winter will be more of a din than bright light. Ol’ Maybelle’s forever ambling over to switch on a light, ‘til I realize the light is already on.
On top of that, what light we DO get in the winter disappears as early as 4:30 p.m. It’s spooky, eery, and downright depressing to come home in the dark after being out for the day.
So, here’s the question that’s burning a hole in this ol’ gal’s bonnet …
What happened to all the daylight we’ve been saving? And where have we been saving it? There must be a bank somewhere full of daylight. But then, what kind of a bank holds daylight, especially one hundred and fourteen years of it?
Why, if Thunder Bay wasn’t the first city in the whole world to enact DST on July 1, 1908? That’s right. Now, just think about all that light that’s been saved every single year since then. And what ol’ Maybelle wants to know is, is the bank that’s holding it bursting at the seams with all of the light we haven’t used? Why, to folks who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), every fall and winter, withdrawing some of that saved light and sticking it back on those winter days just might be the answer.
Now, SAD is no laughing matter. It’s a type of depression that has to do with the changes in seasons. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall, continue into the winter months and go away during the spring and summer. And guess what? Come on, guess, (drum roll). The treatment for SAD oftentimes includes light therapy.
Ding. Ding. Light.
In Canada, the main purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. So, I say, why not have DST all year long? That way we can keep our days as light and bright as possible year round.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Farmers need Daylight Saving Time. But, a little research opened ol’ Maybelle’s eyes, don’tcha know. Why, farmers have been the strongest lobbying groups against DST since its inception. Changing hours is actually a disruption for the farmer. Imagine telling a dairy cow accustomed to being milked at 5 a.m. that their milking time needs to be moved an hour because the truck is coming to pick up their milk at a different time. For the farmer, plants and animals, it is the sun and seasons which determines their activity.
No wonder so many folks travel south in the winter. It’s not just because it’s warmer. It’s also because it’s brighter. It just cheers them up.
So, what’s ol’ Maybelle going to do when the days get darker? Well, I’m going to bundle up and spend as much time outside in the daylight as possible. Take walks. Go snow-shoeing. Breathe it in. Stick it to my brain.
Maybe, I’ll put a hammock in my living room …and some phony palm trees and sunlamps, the safest ones I can find. That’s it! I’ll get down south right in my cottage, don’tcha know. After all, dear reader … where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Maybelle’s Fireside Stories is written by Jerelyn Craden. “Maybelle’s Cure for What Ails You,” 21 of Maybelle’s best short stories is now available at www.amazon.com.