The Power of the People

Never mind the traditional excesses of Thanksgiving, the horrors of Black Friday or the panic of the pre-Christmas rush. For afficionados of the sport of people-watching, the up-coming holiday season is the best season of the year. With crowds of impatient adults and captive children navigating the stormy seas of covetousness and retail madness from now until New Year’s Day, amusement should be easy to find.

In fact, I’ve already been amused. During a swing through our local Target store, I found myself waiting in the checkout line behind a child and his mother. The boy appeared to be about three, and he was fussy.  Hanging on to his mother’s skirt with both hands, he circled around and around until he found a comfortable spot, sandwiched between his mother and the cart. 

Peeking out from the folds of her skirt, he looked past us to the vibrant displays of candy and merchandise across the aisle. Using one hand to point to something, he tugged on her skirt with the other to gain attention.  Busy sorting through her purse, his mother ignored him while the rest of us started paying attention. (more…)

Published in: on November 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm  Comments (95)  
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An Hour, A Day, A Life

 

When reminders about the end of daylight savings time began to crop up last month, the usual congenial grumping began.  Some people wished it never would end.  Others expressed hope the practice would be abolished.  Arguments broke out at dinner tables and over fences: is the practice left over from a more agricultural society?  Does it really save energy?  Should it be standardized across the country?  Does it help or hurt school children?

At least for now, Daylight Savings time is gone, but the transition back to Standard time always amuses me.  I have one friend who takes the reminder to set clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. so literally she sets an alarm to wake her at 1:45.  She doesn’t want to be late in meeting her civic obligation.  She’s done it for years, and for years I’ve given her a bit of a hard time about it.  She says she does it because that’s the way it’s “supposed” to be done, and if everyone would get up in the middle of the night and set their clocks as they’re told, we wouldn’t have so many people being late for Church or missing television programs on Sunday. 

I’ve never dared tell her about my approach to the end of daylight savings time.  If she knew, she’d be scandalized, and probably would be knocking at my door at 2:05 to get me moving.  She’d have to, because the fact is I’ve never risen in the middle of the night to change clock settings.  I don’t even reset them before I go to bed, as my mother does, or adjust everything, one by one, as I move toward the first early sunset the day after the change.

The way I see it, that hour we “gain” as we “fall back” is pure gift.  It’s a little chunk of time, just lying there at the edge of my life, and it’s mine to do with as I please.  Every year, I save my hour of re-claimed time until I need it, or decide what to do with it.  While everyone else is running around resetting clocks, I’m sitting back with my feet up and a smile on my face, secure in the knowledge of that hour safely tucked into my pocket.  When I decide I need that extra hour, I reset the clocks, and am back in synch with everyone else.

(more…)

Published in: on November 15, 2008 at 9:08 am  Comments (5)  
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