My annual tradition is to use the first hour of daylight saved with the ridiculous mandated “spring forward” time change complaining, moaning, whining and frothing up about a year’s worth of righteous indignation.

Every year. Every spring. Every gosh darn spring. Why?

Why? I want my hour back, that’s why.

I don’t want it at the end of the day. I want it where it was. Right there an hour before the alarm goes off when the sleep is as good as it can be – peaceful, comfortable, with the dent in the pillow just right, the covers perfectly warm.

I want the day to progress on God’s good schedule, not a manufactured “oh let’s all set our clocks an hour ahead so we can save daylight” shot-in-the-dark theory. Really? What kind of tom-fool logic is that anyway?

I said it last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. “You can’t save daylight for crying out loud.”

There may be a million things you can save, from bubble gum wrappers to dryer lint, to soap slivers. If you could save a million dollars, you’d be a millionaire. Note to self: Start working on that.

But you cannot – repeat cannot – save daylight.

Maybe it’s possible to save the world. At least that’s a noble goal we each might attempt.

But daylight can’t be saved. The sun comes up in the morning. The sun goes down in the evening. God had it all worked out so that as the seasons pass, the hours of daylight and the hours in the night expand and decrease almost imperceptibly so that in the summer the days are longer and in the winter the days are shorter.

And all of that is completely OK. What’s not OK is to arbitrarily reschedule the hours of daylight and dark with an on-demand time change. What’s not only not OK, but infuriating to me, is that it’s semantically called “daylight-saving time.” Because – and not to be redundant – not one second of daylight has ever been saved.

Now, the theory’s out there that in Benjamin Franklin’s time when daylight-saving time was first contrived, they saved on wicks and candlewax because of the perception the daylight lasted longer in the evening, but Ben must have thought that was nonsense. He’s the guy, you know, who came up with, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And I believe it was also Ben who said, saving daylight is like cutting one end off of a blanket and sewing the cut end to the blanket’s opposite side and pronouncing the blanket had just been made longer.

Daylight-saving time is one of those inventions whose time has never really come. My mom told me the practice was used during the 1940s, when World War II was raging, but then it must have been dropped for about 20 years, because I remember its introduction – again – in the late 1960s when I was in high school. You think I’m being righteously indignant now. You should have seen me as a 16-year-old.

I was in rare form then.

I just don’t adjust well to change. For a while, I will continue to begrudgingly think what it is in “real” time every time I check the clock. When I see it’s 8 o’clock and I haven’t had supper because it feels like it’s only 7, I mutter unkind things. When the alarm sounds, I can’t help but reason the idiocy of it all. I mean 5 is early enough, but 4 a.m.? Who wants to get up at that hour?

Will I ever adjust? Well I guess I will. I always have. At some point during the growl and grumble stage, I’ll remember my dear father’s wisdom and counsel on the subject.

“There comes the time, Cane, when you have to let go and get on with it,” Dad would counsel me every spring. What he said is timely, I know, just like I know this level of mad isn’t good for any of us.

Oh, and come that first Sunday in November, that blessed and wonderful Sunday morning when the prodigal hour returns, and we have a 60-minute gift of an extra hour to burrow down in the covers and sleep? Well that will be just fine. I will happily welcome that extra hour.

And sing its high praises.

And maybe, just maybe, I won’t have a thing to complain about for five more months.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Candace Cooksey Fulton is a freelance writer, formerly of Brownwood, living now in San Angelo. She can be reached at ccfulton2002@yahoo.com .