‘Whether it’s cold or whether it’s hot …’

As I’m writing this column, it’s Thursday afternoon, and I’m facing one of the newsroom windows.

It’s pouring rain (not that it would be pouring anything else, heaven help us), and I should have anticipated this for two reasons: My umbrella is safe and secure in the car where it’s utterly useless to me, and I was planning an outdoor activity, which now could be singing in the rain, take it away, Gene Kelly.

With the many days we’ve experienced lately of high heat and even higher humidity –making my hair have a whole lot of funkiness going on — the weather is just a natural thing we all seem to talk about a lot.

The vast majority of people I chat with claim to not like it and wish for fall. Me? Yeah, I like it, bad hair days and all.

And I don’t have air conditioning at home. Never have. I grew up without it, and it’s still that way.

Now, I do have air conditioning in my car so that’s a big change from when I was growing up. I vaguely remember traveling to Florida in a station wagon with my parents and four siblings.

No AC. Just windows rolled down. Maybe not the best conditions in which to motor down the highway, but we perspired and persevered.

Beyond watching the rain through the office windows, I was thinking about the weather anyway, my mother the packrat striking yet again.

Earlier in the week I had come across what looked as if it could have been a paper place mat, one neatly folded and tucked away in the vast Ruth Hout collection of stuff she couldn’t part with and left for her kids to make that judgment call.

Note to self: Don’t do this to your kids, unless they are column writers and will need topics from time to time.

So this paper place mat has a theme — “Weather Lore — Whether it’s cold or whether it’s hot … We shall have weather, weather or not!”

It has about 30 or more weather sayings that are weather predictors, their reliability right up there with Punxsutawney Phil, the Farmer’s Almanac or a meteorologist, not necessarily in that order.

Here are some examples:

“When a cow tries to scratch her ear it means a shower is very near.” (It has nothing to do with a fly being irritating, right?)

“When the stars begin to huddle, the earth will soon begin to puddle.”

“Rain before seven, quit by eleven.”

“Year of snow, fruit will grow.”

“Clear moon, frost soon.”

“Onion skin is very thin, mild winter is coming in. Onion skin is thick and tough, winter will be cold and rough.” (I’ll never look at a Vidalia quite the same way again.)

“To talk of the weather is nothing but folly; when it rains on the hill, it suns in the valley.”

“When the morning sun is red … ewe and lamb go wet to bed.”

“Ice in November to walk a duck, the winter will be all rain and muck.” (Quack, quack!)

“From twelve ’til two tells what the day will do.”

“The sharper the blast, the sooner it’s past.”

I’m glad my mom kept things.

I’m glad it’s hot weather.

But I’m equally glad I’m not bound for Florida in a station wagon without any air conditioning.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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