At this most glorious time of the season when the kids are back in school and the nip of fall is in the air, we will all now sit back, relax a little and ponder what our wily winter wizards will soon have in store for us.
I know with all the modern technology now available at our fingertips, the weather forecasters can keep us in the loop on most days, but then again, there are still many of us who still faithfully follow the fearless and quite reliable forecasts of the grand Old Farmers’ Almanac. It publishes four times a year, and many people still wait until it comes out to plan their planting, harvest, holiday and other family and weekend plans for the future.
This delightful little magazine has been around since 1792 and is a handy dandy reference book containing weather forecasts, tide tables, planting charts, and astronomical data. Also included amongst the pages are many interesting and quite often funny articles and illustrations featuring a number of family topics including: recipes of yesterday and today, gardening tips, sports, astronomy, farming, and much more. The Almanac, which is the oldest continuously published periodical in North America, also features anecdotes and a special section that predicts trends in fashion, food, home decor, technology and living for the coming year.
To calculate and predict the weather with accuracy, Robert B. Thomas, the first editor of the initial Farmers’ Almanac, studied solar activity, astronomy cycles, and weather patterns to develop his secret forecasting formula. Other than the Almanac’s prognosticators, few people have ever seen the magic formula, which is kept in a black tin box at the Almanac offices in Dublin, N. H. and is still in use today. The first issue of The Farmers’ Almanac printed 3,000 copies, which sold for about four cents each, and tripled in circulation the following year. In keeping up with the overwhelming communication technology of the present day, the Old Farmer’s Almanac mentors launched Almanac.com in 1996, then in 2003 began publishing The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, which has also been launched into Almanac4kids.com.
Now for some good old farmers’ advice
• Your fences need to be horse high, pig tight, and bull strong.
• Keep skunks and loan sharks at a distance.
• A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
• Words that soak into your ears are whispered — not yelled.
• Meanness just doesn’t happen overnight; and you cannot unsay a cruel word.
• Forgive your enemies — it messes up their heads.
• Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
• It doesn’t take a big person to carry a grudge.
• Every path has a few puddles; and when you wallow in the mud, expect to get dirty.
• The best sermons are lived, not preached.
• Most of the stuff we all worry about aren’t ever going to happen anyway.
• Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
• Always remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
• If we strive to live a good, honourable life, then when we get older and think back we’ll enjoy the second time around.
• Don’t interfere with something that isn’t bothering you none.
• Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
• If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.
• Sometimes we get, and sometimes we get got.
• The biggest troublemaker we’ll probably have to deal with watches us from the mirror every single morning.
• Always drink upstream from the herd.
• Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot initially comes from bad judgment.
• Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.
• If we get to thinking too much that we are a person of some influence, we should try ordering someone else around.
• Don’t pick a fight with an old man, because if he is too old to fight he’ll just smile, walk away, and make you feel really silly.
• There will always be those down days when all we can do is try to smile and wait for some kind soul to come along and pull our butts out of the bind we have gotten ourselves into. The best way is to try to live simply, love generously, speak kindly, never be afraid to reach out to family or friends, and then leave the rest to God.
Let’s really look forward to a long stretch of Indian Summer, and have a great week, all of you!