Numbers and Daylight Savings Time

The view Sunday morning into the backyard.

Saturday was over before I knew it, it counted in so many ways: thirty, two, twelve, forty-four, ten, and negative one. All of these numbers are significant because they are related to an event during the day. Yet, the most important number of the day is the rollback of Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. It is always a sad time, yes we do gain an ‘extra hour’ of sleep Saturday night, but we lose daylight in our day.

This morning I set my alarm for 5:15 and I finally rolled out of bed, after hitting the snooze button several times, and got moving twenty minutes later. The sun was edging up over the eastern horizon and beginning to stream into our room casting faint light to let me know that morning was here. In Standard Time the day will begin earlier and end earlier as well.  Negative one means we lose an hour of time playing outside, working in the yard, or driving home from school. The amount of daylight doesn’t change but when it happens, the day shifts. I normally rise early, well before the sun, but this morning we, the sun and I, were both up at the same time. Ivy and I could clearly see around the yard this morning. The sun rose at 6:32 AM and tonight, it will get dark close to five with sunset officially at 4:39 PM, far too early. It also means that until mid-February I will probably be driving home in the dark. But more importantly, it means we are close to ten – ten hours of daylight. Sometime this week, we will cross over to less than ten hours of daylight. It means more time spent inside or if we’re outside, it means more time in the dark.

Saturday was spent carving through chores and an errand. I saw the dentist and had two cavities filled. The left side of my face was numb for a few hours and it felt odd drinking a glass of water with only half my face. Beth reminded me of my Bell’s palsy incident over twenty years ago and laughed. I remembered it, too and thought how frightened I was when half my face did not ‘work.’ Fortunately, I recovered and all of my face has worked since, much to my chagrin. 

Ivy enjoys the sun, nesting in a leaf pile

It was a beautiful day and the temperatures rose into the 50s. There was hardly any wind and it made being outside in the bright sunshine raking leaves time well spent. While I was at the dentist, Beth and Olivia got outside and started working on the yard: Beth mowed the front and Olivia made a pile of leaves in the backyard for her and Ivy to play in. Ivy nested in the pile enjoying her leaf nest and letting the sun warm her.  Most of the trees have let their leaves fall, with the front yard mostly complete. We concentrated on the north side and the back yard. I raked my way around the yard, bagging as I went. Friday night’s frost had zapped many leaves and they were wafting from the canopy to the ground one leaf at a time. It was easy to rake and soon we had very large pile in the backyard. By four in the afternoon we had cleaned flowerbeds, raked, and bagged twelve bags of leaves and yard waste. William and I will be hauling the bags to the street Tuesday night for garbage day Wednesday.

We had the Wheaton Tiger game at seven and Ivy needed to run. Our yard is not fenced, though we have thought about an invisible fence, we haven’t decided yet. We have to keep Ivy on a leash or a tether in the yard. When she gets loose in the neighborhood she takes off: there is just so much to see, sniff, and explore. I really can’t blame her, but I worry that she’ll get lost, or worse, hit by a car, so we keep her on leash. When we can, usually on the weekends, we take her to the dog park in the forest preserve not far from home. We load Ivy in car and she can sense where we are diving and whines, yips, and barks the entire drive. Once we arrive and let her free she runs, sniffs, and explores. Also, it is time for her to meet and play with other dogs. Seeing Ivy run, jump, and play is joyful to watch. Though we are only at the dog park for a half hour, it is thirty minutes well spent and Ivy rests the entire drive home. She’ll sleep while we are at the football game tonight and have a very restful night.

Olivia helps Adam cleanup after the game!

The Wheaton Tiger’s second round game is against the Wheaton North Falcons, who they beat 44-14 earlier in the season. The Tigers having been playing well all season and have not lost a game since Labor Day weekend 2009. Kickoff is at seven and we dress warmly for game. As usual, Olivia dresses in her Tiger outfit. We arrive in time for the National Anthem and we find our place along the north end zone fence, where we can see all of the action. Wheaton is a very good team and looks to repeat as state champion in their division. It is fun to watch if you are a Tiger fan, but not fun for the team on the other side. Tonight, the Tigers dominate again and hold the cross-town rival Falcons scoreless. The game ends with a goal line stand and the Tiger’s second team defense denies the Falcon’s first team offense a score on fourth down and no time remaining on the clock; stopping them at the two yard line. The final score is forty-four to nothing. Once the game ended, Olivia jumped into the tractor with Adam and I helped collect yard markers in William’s place. I can see why he enjoys it. Next week, will be the last home game of the season and it will be a rematch of last year’s state final. We will be there rooting for the Tigers and enjoying a great game.

We came home to find Ivy anxiously waiting for us. Olivia climbed into bed and fell asleep, I walked the dog, and Beth relaxed. After Ivy’s short walk she was ready to go back to bed too, and curled up on the family room on the floor. I changed the clocks in the bedroom, set my alarm for 5:15 and started reading a new book. After a few minutes the work and excitement of the day had me and I turned out the light drawing a close to the day. It was a great day, it counted in so many ways, but the forecast for tomorrow will be million and six times better: Making the Day Count, one day at a time.

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