Years ago, long before the internet and Mr. Google, people ordered magazines and received catalogues in the mail. Over time, a few of them became iconic and marked specific milestones in a year that was going by far too fast.
The Sears catalogue was one of them. If you’re of a certain “vintage” you certainly must have fond memories and lots of stories about the storied catalogue. I liked to browse through it but my favourite annual publication was without a doubt the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Back on the farm, we were never without a copy of the coveted reader. Every year, a new one just appeared. For years, mom saved all the back issues. I should check to see if she still has them. The popular publication moved around a lot – most times it was on the big desk in the kitchen right next to my dad’s rocking chair. He would flip through it while mom was getting lunch ready. In the fall, when the reading was still fresh, I’m sure dad came in from the barn a few minutes early so he’d have a little more time to spend with the “book.” Few things could keep my dad away from mom’s ground beef with gravy like a story in the Almanac.
Every year, through much of the fall and into the early part of winter, I would hear dad talking about what the following spring was “expected” to be like. I wanted to have those conversations with my dad while I stood by his side, handing him screwdrivers, so I too started to read the little yellow book. As time went on, I grew quite fond of the stories, the recipes and of course the long-range weather prognostications.
I’ve been away from home for a very long time now, but the tradition continues: a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac finds its way into Dad’s Christmas stocking every Christmas Eve.
Dear Santa: the 2019 issue of the Old Farmer’s Almanac is out. You know where we hang our stockings…
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.