Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Time Zones and Royal Weddings


Lectures at the senior hall are never a crap-shoot, meaning they book good quality speakers who talk about interesting topics. This month’s lecture was titled Michigan’s Great Time Confusion but it could have been labeled for any other state as well. We probably all know that back when travel was by stage coach, wagons and horseback time in America was set in what is known as Solar or Sun Time. But, I for one, didn’t know that most communities had one person in town that was appointed by local ordinances to be the official time keeper for its citizens. If you wanted to set your pocket watch correctly you’d walk down to the city hall or church tower clock to check their time. The keeper of the official town clock would use a Meridiem Chart that depends on the position of the sun in the sky, the date and their location on the globe to adjust the time a few minutes back or forward each day. It didn’t much matter if the towns half way across the state were running its official time twenty minutes faster or slower because there wasn’t much commerce done between them. 

Then the railroads and telegraphs came along and it wasn’t long after when they found themselves operating in 27 different time zones just in Michigan alone and other states faced similar problems. It was a nightmare for the rail companies trying to print and keep schedules, for travelers and for businesses shipping by train, so the railroad lines started pushing to standardize time across America. Thus Railroad Time was invented. Cities and towns and the schools, tradesmen and factories within them fought over whether or not to change to Railroad Time and in many communities they used both Solar and Railroad Time. Individuals fought about the time, especially at bar closing time, in courthouses and at train stations and housewives hated having to get their husbands ready for work on Railroad Time and their children ready to go to school on Solar Time. Towns voted Railroad Time in, then back out again and it got so confusing that the federal government finally stepped in and in 1882 the National Time Standard was established.

Then in 1918 Daylight Savings Time started, an act meant to help preserve coal during WWI that was used to make electricity so they’d have more coal available for troop trains and ships. It was so unpopular that the law was repealed later on making DLS time a local option until WWII came along and Daylight Savings Time was mandated year-around across the nation and it was called War Time. The chaotic transition from Solar Sun Time to Railroad Time to Standard Time was a complicated story to tell but our speaker used lots of newspaper clippings, railroad schedules, charts, photographs and court and government documents that he projected on a screen to make the lecture come alive. I loved it! 

Time zones were important the following weekend to those of us around the world who wanted to watch the royal wedding in Windsor. The actual wedding started “over the pond” at twelve noon their time, 7:00 AM my time. I woke up a half hour late but what I didn’t see at the beginning I caught in the replays afterward. And if I hadn’t already been smitten with Harry and Meghan I sure was after hearing the song they chose for their wedding, Stand By Me. “When the night has come and the land is dark and the moon is the only light we'll see, no I won't be afraid. No I won't be afraid, just as long as you stand, stand by me.” To use one of my all-time favorites---a song about enduring love and solidarity that’s been inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry for its historically significance---as their wedding song is a wonderful window into Harry and Meghan’s union. They seem genuinely happy and in tune with each other’s life goals and after my twenty years of dealing with brides and grooms when I was in the working world I can say that with real conviction. 

Forever more Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And that got me to wondering if Prince Harry actually has a last name for feminist Meghan to reject or accept changing hers to. Harry’s full name according to Wikipedia is: “His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales. And, no, Wales is not his last name…” After a frustrating google search I still didn’t have a definitive answer. But I did learn that it was her feminist choice to walk halfway down the aisle by herself, meeting tradition halfway to the altar where Harry’s father (standing in for hers) joined her. Pretty cool symbolism, if you ask me, and I noted that she didn’t vow to obey. I don’t get why any bride would make that vow in this day and age…and yet last summer I watched in shock as a young bride did just that. I’m surprised I didn’t stand up and yell, “I object!”  ©

26 comments:

  1. An interesting post! I was not aware at all of the background history. I like these kind of lectures.

    In Oz, when DST kicks in, the usual three time zones become five time zones since some states refuse to observe DST (reasons are manifold, and well, interesting!).

    I watched the wedding too (despite mentally telling myself its all bollocks. I find it interesting that Charles and his two sons all married women older than themselves, although Macron is streets ahead of them all. That said, I think its a personal choice and go whichever way.

    The American preacher had me sitting up and wondering if his draft speech had been vetted. It went on just a bit too long - its a wedding! as Mr Curry himself said at one point.

    Very brave of Prince Harry to break the royal "glass ceiling" as it were, particularly at this moment in history. And, therefore, all the more inspiring and uplifting. Dora R. was a study in poise and dignity.

    Lots of people commented on Victoria Beckham's non-smiling face. But, the Queen adopts a similar mien, and I don't hear any criticism there! And she was so pretty when young - time takes its dreadful toll. But she, and her husband, are in excellent shape in their 90s.

    Re wedding dresses, I think Camilla's wedding dress was the best. It was elegant then, and still looks good today - the hat was just beautiful! Diana's was frumpish, tho' her youth and beauty made up for it.

    PS Harry's surname is Windsor. To be precise: Mountbatten-Windsor (dad, and mum's surname respectively). Interesting history behind that name - happy googling! ~ Libby

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    1. I did find that back story and name and find it fascinating that the royal get to choose which surname to use but they rarely ever use them anyway.

      I don't remember Camilla's dress but Diana's was awful. A dress should fit a girl's personality and I think Meghan's did. I saw one last night on the sit-com The Middle that I absolutely adored!

      I wondered the same thing about the preacher, if they vetted his speech, but it was short for him. It sure seemed to raise a few eyebrows in England. LOL

      I was a bibliography of the Queen this past weekend. What an interesting woman! It covered why she never shows emotion which made sense.

      I did not realized the fact about the three of them marrying older women. Curious fact, for sure.

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  2. Thanks for the history lesson on time zones, Jean! That was interesting. I didn't get up to watch the wedding but did google it later to see who wore what - especially the stunning bride! At first I thought her gown was a little plain, but then I thought it was a fantastic choice because the gown, tiara and veil all drew the eye to her happy and beautiful face. Well done, Meghan Markle!

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    1. I left that lecture so pumped up I felt like I was in grade school again and couldn't wait to get home from to tell my mom what I learned. Mom gone so I had to blog it.

      That dress and veil did frame her face and the long shots taken from the side with the veil billowing out where amazing. I loved her reception dress too.

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  3. Jean,I too LOVED that song the choir sang as well as how they sang it. I have heard such negatives. I thought the whole wedding when not doing what was required, looked and felt like the couple. And you are indeed right, they seem in tune with one another. They truly look like they like and love one another. I don't see that anymore. More women are focused on the wedding and if they put that much energy into the relationship and the marriage as they do the clothes and party most would have a happier ending.

    Yes I knew the last name was Windsor but does she have to use it?

    I heard judge judy say yesterday that she is not a feminist. I HATE when women say that. What the hell does she think she is? She is no shrinking violet. She was the only woman in law school and because of the movement she got the chance to go to law school. I don't get women. Feminism is not a bad word, it just means equality. I wanted to scream at my TV when I heard that. I never liked her anyway but that put the nail in the coffin for me.

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    1. Prince Harry's last name is Mountbatten-Windsor but it's my understanding that the royal family actually gets to pick their last name from several family lines. It doesn't really matter because they never use them, not even to sign documents I read.

      I would have screamed at the TV too if I had heard Judge Judy say that! She had benefited by the movement more than most women. And you are right, Feminism is not a bad word!

      I'm so glad I'm not in the wedding business in this day and age because you're right, too many people spend too much energy on planning the wedding day and not the marriage/relationship afterward. Not that they didn't do it in my era, but that was then and couples should know better now.

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  4. The American press/media continue to refer to HRH Meghan/Duchess of Sussex as "Meghan Markle." I wonder how long that will go on.

    I also wonder how much longer the goofy inconvenience of Daylight Saving Time will go on. It seems so ridiculous and inefficient and archaic. Isn't it like something out of the Twilight Zone that we all stop and TURN TIME BACK AND FORTH?

    I still cannot get over it. FOR WHAT?!?!?!?

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    1. I think The Duchess of Sussex will always be Meghan to we Americans.

      Twice a year we have the DST debate across the nation. I'm on the oppose side of the issue than you are. I'd love DST year around but parents will always fight it because it puts their kids waiting for buses in the dark and the outdoor recreation lobbies will always fight to keep it because it puts more money in their pockets in the summertime when people have an extra hour of daylight after work.

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    2. My comment re: HRH Meghan was with regard to the constant usage of her FORMER LAST NAME, which I have seen/heard over and over again since her marriage. It's dumb. I think the media like it because it's alliterative.

      But that's not her name.

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    3. It will come. It hasn't even been a week. I have the opposite problem. I didn't change my last name when I got married but some people continue---after all this time and many corrections---to forget that.

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  5. Time forever goes on and on and on but I like the Daylight Saving Times idea. It allows me extra sunlight to golf, be outside, anything. It doesn't bother me. The thing that does bother me is 15:00 pm or 03:00 pm. The crazy 24:00 hour clock.When I taught it to the students, they just couldn't get use to it. What time is it to watch NCIS. Simple it's 8:00 pm but what is the other time. Lets think.LOL Enjoy your day no matter what time it is Jean, See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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  6. By the way, Harry's name is Windsor. If we were to just call his name like my name Paul Pietrangelo, his would be Harry Windsor. See ya.


    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Paul, I hate that 24 hour, military time too! I get it's importance in the military but I'm glad we don't use it elsewhere...except I think eBay is using it unless they've changed in the last year or two. I love, LOVE love daylight savings time and wish we could have it year around.

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  7. SOOOO many friends and acquaintances got up at 3:00 am to watch. I did not ... got the condensed version from several different sources. One friend recorded it so I can watch it with her (she got up to watch) but I don't think I could sit and watch THREE hours of pomp and circumstance.

    I vote do away with changing the clocks. It is especially confusing for people who live near state lines with one state NOT changing. My Mother-in-Law had that issue! I think all the reasons for starting it are no longer valid.

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    1. I could be wrong but I think coverage of the royal wedding might have been three hours but not the actually ceremony, which is what I was interested.

      The reasons for starting DLS are no longer valid but parents of school aged kids and the people with outdoor recreation businesses (fishing, golf, etc.) still fight like cats and dogs over it. They will always disagree.

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  8. I didn’t watch the royal wedding and I had no problem with time because I was in London. For me it was a total lack of interest! I think there was a fair amount of difference in the way the press was covering it here and in the US but I can’t say for sure because I wasn’t paying enough attention in either place!

    I also get annoyed twice a year when we change time. I would like to stay on one time all year to make things simpler.
    Regards
    Leze

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    1. Here, all the cable news programs covered the wedding. I think they were tired of wall-to-wall Trump and gun violence and it was a nice break.

      I could live with one time year around if it was Daylight Savings Time.

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  9. Their last name is Windsor. I'm glad she didn't have to repeat all his official names--remember when Diana goofed it up with Charles? The reason Meghan walked down the aisle alone was her father was going to and then there was a bit internet and news stories that were embarrassing to him, so he pled ill health. I wondered if her Mother would walk her, like we sometimes do here in the States, but apparently that is not proper for a Royal wedding. She's 36, divorced, independent woman, so I think she is capable of walking the aisle by herself.

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    1. Many sources say the last name is Mountbatten-Windsor and other say Windsor. Some day they don't use or need last names and I got so confused looking I don't care anymore. LOL

      It's kind of a fad now to walk part way down the aisle alone and meet your father---a feminist thing of joining an old with a new traditions---a symbolism of independence. The father giving the bride away was a symbol of ownership at one point in time but it's still a beloved part of the ceremony for most/many.

      I think you're right about why her father didn't show up. He was embarrassed about what he did. I felt bad for the bride but her mother sure seemed like a classy lady.

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  10. That was really interesting about the time zones in the early years. That had to be confusing. I had no idea so consider me happily schooled.
    It does make one wonder what her legal name is if she had to sign something important.

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    1. I really loved that lecture. Just when you think you know all there is about something as simple as Time, you find out you didn't know much at all.

      The other royals don't have to use a last name when signing documents, if you can believe Professor Google. I'm guessing that will apply to her as well.

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  11. I know squat about time -- just that I love daylight savings!

    I watched every second and I loved every second (more than once, too). As for the name, I think I'll have to check on that with Laura at Decor to Adore. Did you see her fabulous royals posts in the weeks leading up to the wedding? History of dresses, cakes, jewels, carriages, you name it over time. decortoadore.net -- one of my favorites! If anyone knows, it will be Laura! The last name might be Mountbatten-Windsor, as in the House of...

    OK -- here you have it from Huffington Post: "But if he needed to use a surname for one reason or another, he could use Mountbatten-Windsor. That’s the name Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip decided upon for their direct descendants back in 1960. Philip, formerly a prince of Greece and Denmark, adopted the last name Mountbatten when he became a naturalized British citizen ahead of his wedding to Elizabeth in 1947; as for Windsor, Elizabeth’s grandfather King George V declared that to be the family and house name in 1917. (Prior to that, the British royal family did not have a formal surname; rather, they used their house or dynasty name).

    According to Koenig, the hyphenated surname was created for male-line descendants of the queen who do not bear the HRH prince or princess title. That’s why most of the royals you’re familiar with rarely, if ever, use it.

    Some royals opt to use their territorial designation as their last name instead, as both William and Harry did when they served in the military; at that time, they went by William Wales and Harry Wales.
    After Harry and Meghan Markle marry, it is unclear exactly what their new titles will be ― though people speculate that they could be named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

    “Harry will always be a prince, that does not change, but how he is styled will change — most likely he will receive a peerage, which means he will be HRH the Duke of Something and his wife will be HRH the Duchess of Something,” Koenig told HuffPost. “However, Meghan will have the status of a princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland because her husband is a prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

    However, and this is Jeanie again -- we're out of the quote -- I'd heard that she was not to be called Princess Meghan. It's possible she might be Princess Henry of Sussex like Princess Michael of Kent. He is the descendant of George VI brother. So, I'm not sure.

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    1. I just checked out the website you mentioned about. What a wonderful resource. Got to back and poke around there a little more.

      Thanks for all the information on the last name question. Mountbatten-Windsor seems to be the consensus, but I still find it interesting that the last names of royals are not set in stone...like when the princes's were in the military and then kings and queens getting to pick last names and titles for younger people. Anyway, the royal wedding was a great diversion and it will be fun to see its influence trickle down to the average wedding.

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    2. P.S. I never in a hundred years would have thought I could love a wedding with the color lime green but those official photos with the bride's mom and the queen in green and the bouquets of the flower girls in greens changed my mind. Just beautiful!

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  12. As you know from my blog, I LOVED the Royal Wedding and everything about it. I still have it on my DVD and when I get overwhelmed by yet more craziness from D.C., I switch it on to calm my nerves. LOL

    Great research and info on time zone stuff....never knew any of that! Thanks!

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  13. Anyone who loves pop culture, I think, liked or loved the royal wedding if for no other reason that it was a great break from the craziness.

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