The longest day
I now understand why they made a 24-hour day. Twenty-five hours just doesn’t work, or more accurately there’s more time than what’s good for us.
Of course, that’s not how most people view the return to standard time. Rather, it’s touted as an opportunity for an extra hour of sleep or a leisurely breakfast before going to church. Some broadcasters made it sound like we had all won the lottery, like we made money enabling us to do with as we liked.
That thought evaporated when I rolled over and looked for the clock on the nightstand. The room was dark. The house, especially Ollie whose rhythmic breaking I could hear, was asleep. The red numerals came into focus. The clock read 3:45. Then it struck me. I hadn’t set back any of the house clocks. It was really 2:45. I rolled over, hopeful of sleep. That didn’t happen. Already I feared a longer day, although I had yet to get up.
I started a mental checklist of all that I planned to accomplish. Surely that would put me to sleep. It didn’t.
Carol can be an early riser, but I had her beaten. Quietly I slipped out of the room, uncertain of where to start. Email is always a good place. I roused the computer from her sleep. She was ahead of the game, her clock updated, and row upon row of unread emails lined the screen. It was daunting. I scanned the pages of senders and subject lines, but there were no revelations.
When I checked the computer clock it was 4, really 5 under daylight saving, so close to being a respectable time to being up. Carol stirred. She headed downstairs to read. Ollie was the only smart one. He slept.
By 5 a.m. standard time, I was ready for breakfast. After all, my internal clock was still on daylight savings and, besides, I was looking for something to do. It was, however, too soon for Carol. I went back to culling emails and preparing for the week ahead.
By 6 the sky was light. It felt and looked like rain. I figured I wouldn’t be raking leaves, although as it turned out that would have been possible. I crossed it off my list.
Surely it was time for breakfast now. Carol agreed, although if I was to get parsley from the garden for an omelet, I was instructed to use the front door. Listening, I had my answer. Our cardinal was tweeting and when that happens, Carol obeys with sunflower seeds. Indeed, he was waiting for his handout at the back porch.
It was too early for the Sunday Journal, but I checked for it anyway on the way for the parsley. I snipped off several bushy sprigs and returned to the kitchen. Carol was frying up some tomatoes. I grated some cheddar and watched as a slice of butter melted in the frying pan. Breakfast was fast and simple. We were done and cleaned up before 7.
We were ahead of ourselves. The tasks from packing away summer clothes to removing screens and washing windows came off the list. The sense of accomplishment made for a brighter day, but then there was that compelling drive to use every minute of that extra hour. What more could be done?
By 2 p.m. I hit the wall. I was running out of steam. Carol suggested a nap.
A nap in the middle of the day? My constitution wouldn’t allow for it.
This extra-long day was too long. What was I to do with this time? I couldn’t waste it on a nap. And then the realization hit me. We’d gained an hour of light in the morning at the sacrifice of an hour at the end of the day.
I’d get my extra winks at the end of the day.
That was my plan.