North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

By Katie Bourg
Senior Daze 

Older eyes need that extra sunlight

 


In the week just past, I have seen several articles in the paper denouncing Daylight Savings Time (DST). Even an editorial. Well, I’m here to tell you I don’t appreciate any effort to do away with DST.

I have lived with both conditions over the years. When I was young I went to school in the light grey of the morning. I came home to a nice playtime before dinner and sometimes a little more after. If I was a little more resistant to arising in the morning, well, I always was anyway.

During the second World War it was determined that an added hour of daylight in the late afternoon would lead to more production in the businesses where we needed it. So they called it “War Time.” Several years of this found most of us adjusting and enjoying the extra evening hour. When I became old enough to join the work force I liked the long evenings. A move to the rainy Northwest didn’t change my mind. I could still get home before dark.

For reasons I never understood I lost that extra afternoon hour when the war ended. I was told the farmers didn’t like it. That it had something to do with milking their cows. There was still milk on the shelves of all grocery stores. No cow ever spoke up against the move back to the dark night. I never heard a single ‘moo’ for or against it. And I didn’t find it any easier to get out of bed. Actually, I still have that problem. Messing with the clock doesn’t insure me a better attitude in the morning.

But I’m old. I don’t like change much. Neither does Charlie the Cat. We both have bad dispositions in the early hours. Making Charlie wait to take his morning romp results in his pouncing on me before I’m ready. He’s a DST cat and I’m a DST people. Within weeks the morning light will be streaming through our bedroom window and wake us anyway.

The real problem, and it is a problem, is in the afternoon. A very high percentage of older people do not have the same eyes they had when playing hide and seek. Any activity that we might enjoy, even dining out with friends, is diminished by Standard time. If we are responsible, we know we must be off the street by four o’clock or be caught in the dark. Our eyes don’t see as well in the dark. We are being incarcerated in our own homes during the best social hours.

I hear it every day from someone. “Gotta get home before dark.” And anybody that thinks that TV can take the place of relaxing and socializing over a pleasant meal or watching the end of a movie in a theater just doesn’t understand the situation. Every spring I wait and long for that extra hour. And every fall I feel cheated all over again.

Like I said, I’m old. You are going to be. Think about it.

 

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