williamallenpepper

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THE LOST HOURS

Daylight savings time started today. Started? Or ended? One or the other. Either way, it mucked up the clocks and made me lose an hour of staring at Twitter with my coffee cup.

In the fall, of course, everyone LOVES daylight savings. “Woohoo! Set the clocks back! Sleep an extra hour! Bring on the hookers and recreational drugs!”

Spring is a different story. People HATE the “spring ahead” part of “spring ahead, fall back.” Losing that hour sucks on an indescribable level that people usually reserve for whatever sports team did that thing in the game they didn’t like. (Pardon my sports-o-babble. I am amazingly athletic.)

Anyway, so I got up this morning only to discover that it was a LOT closer to lunch than it normally would be. That meant I had to guzzle my coffee faster and shovel in the churro waffles at a much higher rate. This would normally not bother me because, c’mon, CHURRO WAFFLES, but still, the daylight savings time thing had me in a funk.

“Go out and look up at the sky meaningfully like in novels when something supernatural and/or otherwise science-fictiony is about to happen,” my wife suggested. “That might help you feel better.”

So I did.

I stood there with my coffee cup, my faithful dog ol’ Roy at my side, which should have been a clue that something was up because I actually don’t have a dog. But alas, I missed the significance and required a hint that was a little less subtle.

I got one.

So direct that it hit me in the face.

From thirty-thousand feet.

When I regained consciousness, ol’ Roy licking my face, and determined that nothing in my head was broken, at least not physically, I looked around to see what had hit me, one finger on the speed dialer for my lawyer to tell him to start drafting the lawsuit. I dropped the phone, however, when I saw a mysterious treasure chest sitting in the slushy remains of this winter’s snow. Little wisps of steam came off it, further melting the snow, and rays of light were faintly visible through the cracks of the little box.

“What do you think of that, Roy?” I said.

“Woof,” he said, as if I might have expected something else.

The impact with my forehead appeared to have busted the lock on the chest and the lid came open easily. I was bathed in the glow from within and ol’ Roy barked, in fear or excitement, I know not. I gasped when I saw what was inside.

Time.

Just time. Lots of lots of it. All the hours lost to Daylight Savings Time over the decades since it was conceived. The hours were stacked neatly in that chest like little loaves of pumpkin bread wrapped in tin foil. Did I dare touch one?

I dared.

AND IT WAS WONDERFUL.

I had time again! I spent an hour reading a book I’d been meaning to get to, but hadn’t.

I unwrapped another hour of time and spent that playing with the kids.

I used another hour to have a conversation with my wife that didn’t feature a back beat of screaming children, honking horns or ol’ Roy horking up a dead bird.

Several hours to clear the DVR, replace the smoke alarm batteries, balance the checkbook and all the other petty crap that never gets done otherwise.

Another hour went to painting a picture. I suck at painting, but who cares? It’s a free hour.

An hour for, seriously, watching the wind blow and letting pass whatever thoughts flow by with it. Way better than therapy.

Eventually, the treasure chest was empty. I was right back there where I’d started, now with an empty coffee cup and cold feet because I hadn’t put on any shoes before coming out here. Ol’ Roy was gone too. I was a little sad at first. It felt like losing a lifetime’s worth of Daylight Savings Time hours in one shot.

But then I realized, time doesn’t fall out of the sky like treasure chests and, apparently, large bird-eating dogs. Time is all around you all the time. How you choose to use it is up to you.

Choose wisely.

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