By Lee Scott
“What time is it?” is normally a very easy question. You look at your watch and the information is right in front of you. We eat, sleep, and play based on our clocks, unless traveling, and then it is a whole different story. We discovered this while heading out west recently.
A good friend of mine just returned from a trip overseas and said it took a few days to get used to the change in time. This is understandable. But what if you are in America and traveling through time zones? This has a whole new take on “What time is it?,” because it begs other questions like: “What time is it at home?,” or “What time is it this minute?,” or “What is the time where we are going?”
Our first evidence of a time zone change happened when our GPS indicated that the six-hour trip was going to take four hours.
“What is wrong with that GPS?” my husband grumbled.
Then we noticed our cell phones had a new time. It is at this point that we looked at each other and said, “Uh oh, time change.” The restaurant we were planning on stopping at was not going to be open.
We had to adjust our thinking from that point. The lower 48 states have four standard times zones with most states switching to Daylight Saving Time, except for most of Arizona, which stays on standard time. But we soon discovered the Navajo Nation, which we were driving through, stays on Mountain Daylight Time to correspond with the rest of the Navajo Nation in other states. Oh man!
“What time is it?” became a challenge.
Our circadian rhythms did not even have enough time to adjust.
“It is only 6:30!” my spouse would say watching me get ready for bed.
“I don’t care. My watch and my body say it’s 9:30.”
Now for those of us traveling up and down the east coast, time zones are not a problem. We can drive up to Maine and all the way down to the Florida Keys and it is still the same time in Beaufort. McDonalds and Starbucks are still open at the same time as home. But our east coast traveling may be more challenging soon. Florida has requested Congress to approve keeping the Sunshine State on Daylight Saving Time all year long.
As for our dog, Brandy, these time zone changes had no effect on her. It did not matter where we were, she insisted on Eastern Daylight Time and wanted to be fed accordingly. Fortunately, I stayed on her schedule because, truthfully, I never figured out how to reset my digital watch.
Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She recently moved to St. Helena Island with her husband and two cocker spaniels. She enjoys boating, traveling and reading.