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Odds, ends, and longer days

How can it be that I left my humble home at 8:47 am on Sunday morning (March 14), drove 17 miles to Ahoskie without stopping (except for the new 4-way stop in St. John [more about that intersection later in the column], at the traffic signal near the Ahoskie Inn, at the traffic signal at First and Academy streets, and at the traffic signal at Main and Catherine streets) and arrived at the News-Herald office at 10:08 am?

Welcome to Daylight Saving Time once again! My typical 20-to-21 minute travel time increased by 60 minutes on Sunday as I added one hour to the clock in my vehicle.

We all knew it was coming….at least those paying attention.

Here in the United States, Daylight Saving Time always begins on the second Sunday in March at 2 a.m. and ends on the first Sunday in November at 2 a.m.

However, there’s talk about leaving the time this way permanently here in our state. If so, we would join 15 other states who have laws on the books that make DST year-round……no more “springing forward” or “falling back.”

Those states with year-round DST are Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Two states do not observe DST: Arizona and Hawaii.

Indiana use to be on that short list. About 15-or-so years ago, I attended a company meeting in Niles, Michigan. We flew into South Bend, Indiana, and then made the short drive to Niles (approximately 10 miles). We lost an hour traveling north (Michigan observes DST), but gained it back the next day when returning to South Bend for the flight home.

Other than the annual start of Daylight Saving Time, another sure sign that Old Man Winter is on his way out is that daffodils are now in full bloom. Those bright yellow flowers attached to their green stems are a welcomed sight against what is basically a still colorless environment.

Spring officially arrives this Saturday (March 20). From that point forward we’ll see our landscape show some life as the colors of the season slowly emerge from their winter hibernation. However, Spring also brings misery for allergy sufferers like myself. Perhaps some of that sinus torment can be lessened this year as I continue to protect myself against COVID-19 by wearing a face mask.

While on the subject of the COVID virus, I received by first vaccination on Thursday of last week. Kudos to the staff at Ahoskie Comprehensive Care (ACC). They called me on March 9 and set the appointment for two days later. I arrived at ACC about 10 minutes prior to my 5:15 pm appointment. After being screened and checked in, I was finished at 5:40 pm, to include the mandatory 15-minute wait time after receiving the injection to ensure I didn’t have an allergic reaction.

The shot was painless; the only side effect was a sore arm the following day. That soreness was gone by Saturday.

Hooray……the U.S. Senate has approved President Biden’s America Rescue Plan, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans.

I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of receiving a check from old Joe as I’m still awaiting the arrival of the previous 600 bucks as promised by old Donald.

Here’s my take on most all national politicians….put them all in a bag, shake well, turn upside down and see which one is the first to fall out!

As promised earlier, here’s my latest episode at the kind’a, sort’a new four-way stop sign in St. John. I travel through that intersection twice a day, and it amazes me that the majority of the motoring public doesn’t have a clue on who has the right-of-way at a four-way stop sign.

Coming to work last week, I arrived at the intersection (from the Menola side). At the same precise moment, a NCDOT (white) pick up truck arrived from the Ahoskie side. The DOT truck had its left-hand turn signal flashing (kudos to the driver for even thinking to do that simple task).

I was keeping straight, meaning I had the right-of-way. Thank goodness I paused to look to my right for any traffic possibly coming from that direction because when I took my foot off the brake and started my forward motion, the DOT truck was turning in front of me.

It appears someone needs to brush up on their DMV driver’s handbook.

And, finally, happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

According to history.com, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.

Hailed as the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people.

We celebrate today by wearing green on March 17, holding parades – some featuring folks dressed as leprechauns, and perhaps partaking in a meal of corned beef and cabbage.

For me, I’ll spend March 17 at work after surviving the trip to Ahoskie, via St. John, and hopeful that it doesn’t take over an hour to get here!

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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