Farm Standard Time (FST)

Looking at the Blue Ridge Parkway from Maple Brook Farm, Virginia – July 2021.

We all know about DST. That’s where we advance our clocks one hour each spring of the year then fall back an hour in the fall to Standard Time.

Ever since I was a kid growing up on the farm back in West Tennessee near the Mississippi River I’ve been on what I call Farm Standard Time. FST if you will. I bought that same standard with me to the mountains here in Virginia back in 2004. Other than my time in the TV news business where, as my former TV weather colleague Dave Brown says, “You are a slave to the clock,” I’ve operated on FST.

Too many of us these days have become a slave to the clock and, hence, we miss most of life that’s in front of our very eyes. If the Covid debacle hasn’t shown that to you, I’m not sure what will.

Mind you, my life wasn’t always days on the farm here in Virginia. I had deadlines in a TV news job in the old days. But even then, I tried to carve out a gig that allowed me freedom to explore and not be under the direct thumb of some micromanager. For the most part I was successful in doing that. I traveled over several states hunting up stories I liked to tell except for the occasional plane crash or prison break, I was own my own doing my own thing.

Above, a sample of the life Yvette and I lived before checking out of the TV News business and a simpler lifestyle here in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Yvette and I met we knew TV news wasn’t the lifestyle we wanted, especially to eventually raise a family in. We went against the grain and looked to get out, everyone thought we were crazy. We knew we weren’t. Today some of those very people wished they’d followed our lead and left. After a fellow anchor found out we were leaving TV News she said, “But you won’t be on TV.” Our response was, “That’s the plan.”

Some folks can’t sit still and enjoy a thunderstorm in the distance. The sound of creek on a hot summer afternoon. The sound of crickets and birds. Dew on a cornstalk just as the sun is rising over the mountains. I admit, sometimes it’s hard for me to shift into neutral, but not very often.

My son Adam on an afternoon run here in the rural mountains of the Blue Ridge. He and I run together about 3 times a week. It’s been one of the ultimate father/son bonding times.

If we all took more time, really took the time to ignore the noise, turn off the TV and enjoy what’s right in front of us, life would be so much better.

Ditch the clock and get on FST.


Looking at the Blue Ridge Parkway from Maple Brook Farm, Virginia – July 2021.


About tommystafford

Recovering from life as TV news reporter. Airplane & helicopter pilot. Weather guesser. Farmer. Trail runner, dad & husband living in the beautiful Central Virginia Blue Ridge mountains!
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