Clicking Our Clocks

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As for March weather, we should expect the unexpected. When I drive to Salem to the Farm and Dairy offices, I look forward to the sign at Mason’s Steak House which cheerfully states that there are less than 20 days till spring. Too bad that a numeric date doesn’t flip a seasonal switch that turns on mild weather as quickly as we turn our clocks ahead. In a few days, we will all have to adjust to the time change a little earlier than in years past. In a few weeks, we’ll find the mornings growing brighter and be glad for longer sunlight in the evenings.
While the clock changing controversy continues, no matter how we set the numbers, biological clocks don’t change so quickly.
Our livestock and pets, unconcerned by the terms of our timely trappings, will be expecting to be fed when they have been all winter and be ready to hit the hay when the twilight feels right to them.
Kids will want to snuggle in their beds as long and late as possible, deaf to their parents’ pleas to rise and get ready for school, and oblivious to the morning sunrise.
I’ve always been one who rises with the sun. Although I don’t mind lounging in bed when I have a chance, reading or just thinking about the day to come, I’m usually primed for breakfast and ready to start working on something while I’m fresh. Most mornings if someone would stick a breakfast tray under my nose the minute I’m awake, I would gladly greet it and dig in.
I’m pleased when I read articles discussing the benefits of a good breakfast and wonder where I went wrong with my kids. They rarely want to eat anything in the morning. A constant frustration for me is getting them to have breakfast before they go to school, and I usually fail. It’s clearly not a simple case of setting an example because they have watched me eat within the hour of my waking since they were tiny.
My girls have grown up in the commercial world of today where packaging, timing, and repeated exposure to the familiar help determine what we buy. Their attitudes about food are too often the results of marketing, both in how their food is prepared and how it “sells itself to them”, i.e., how it appeals.
When their dad or I bring home fast food breakfast sandwiches, it’s amazing how the kids’ attitudes change. They are up and moving quickly, eager to unwrap the much advertised “food that is worth getting up for”.
It’s also interesting how they rise willingly when school’s been canceled on a snow day. Their body clocks tick awake with the potential of an unexpected day off. If I stay home with them, I’m lucky to be infected with their good humor. One tough aspect of the adult world is having to conform to things that don’t come naturally. With kids and animals, they know what they like best to eat and they don’t punch a time clock.

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