O'Neill: Living on line between two counties poses challenges
MARTIN, S.D. -- Living on the line between two counties, Bennett and Todd, can be confusing, and living on the line between Central Time and Mountain Time has given me more than a few gray hairs.
MARTIN, S.D. - Living on the line between two counties, Bennett and Todd, can be confusing, and living on the line between Central Time and Mountain Time has given me more than a few gray hairs.
You know how Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time? Well, at the O’Neill ranch, we don’t bother with that little detail, either. The consensus here is we’ll live on Central Time in the fall and winter, and follow Mountain Time in the spring and summer.
We get more daylight that way, and can be outside working longer before we think it’s late. Very sneaky.
When I first moved here, I messed up more than one phone conference or meeting schedule because of time zones. The worst thing that happened was showing up an hour late at the school in Gregory to talk to middle schoolers about social media safety. Thankfully, the staff was understanding and happy I was safe. Since then, I try hard to note the proper time zone.
One of the first things we tell people who stay with us is to not use their cell phones as an alarm clock. Depending on what part of the house you stand in, your cell phone may bounce between Central and Mountain time zones.
When my grandkids from the eastern side of the state come to stay in the summer, it takes them a few days to adjust to staying in bed past 5:30 a.m. We are not terribly early risers here. But, after going to bed an hour later than they are used to, they slowly change their internal clocks. Just enough adjustment so when they go home, their parents have to adjust, too.
My husband told me once that our entire neighborhood foregoes Daylight Saving Time. I’m not sure that’s true, but I do know that when I plan a holiday meal, I better state the time zone if I want family to get here when the meal is hot. One Thanksgiving, I told my husband’s family 12:30 p.m. for dinner, and we had to call to remind them that I meant “fast time” (Central) not “slow time” (Mountain).
I guess the cattle and the field work don’t have clocks. Generations before us adjusted to the amount of daylight available and did their work and socializing around a clock that wasn’t changed in the spring and fall. Maybe that’s one good reason to have season changes here in the Midwest. It gives us time to rest a bit more when it’s colder and darker outside. After a Memorial Day weekend that included too many hours sorting and moving cattle to pasture, a late fall day when darkness comes about 6 p.m. didn’t sound so bad.