Tuesday, January 1, 2013
What the Almanac Tells Us
If you've never thumbed through an issue of The Old Farmer's Almanac, you may not know that it is a kooky American trail mix of weather forecasts, how to plant by the moon's phases, ads for conservative Christian publications, Tarot reading offers, and tips on everything from saving the world with vinegar, to parenting advice and sheep-sheering strategy. It is something!
You can order choir robes and sausage grinders from the Almanac, but you can also access several dozen spiritual healers, future tellers and psychic readers. It has everything a person might be to plan and predict for the next 12 months. Some of this information is darn useful: who doesn't want to the sunrise and sunset times by day and month? Some is a bit questionable: does one in 10,000 female chickens really spontaneously change sexes to become a rooster? Regardless of how trivial, banal or perplexing the information is, it surely does make for some folksy reading and it somehow makes a person feel a bit optimistic for what the coming year might bring.
So, as Teri and I try to figure out when the days might be long enough for our hens to start laying again, or when the last anticipated frost date will be so we can plant out our tomatoes, we are also dangling our feet in the waters of Americana: a little history, a bit of folklore, some mysticism and superstition, housekeeping advice, a recipe or two, and darn, if there isn't medical and first aid suggestions as well! Since New Year's day is traditionally a bit laden with superstition and folklore, what better way to spend a little first-day-of-the-year reading?
Here's wishing everyone an informed, useful, entertaining, and connected year!