Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grandpa's weather predictions accurate

Everybody is talking about the weather, a lot more than usual. It always has been a good topic for a conversation opener but these days you don’t even have to think about it. Except for the snow lovers who have all kinds of fun machines, everyone else couldn’t be happier. Folks who you don’t even know will strike up a conversation at the check-out corner in the supermarket while waiting your turn in the long line to cash out. “Isn’t this weather great?” or “Don’t you just love it?”, “We can keep this kind of weather all the time.” And on and on it goes. The only other bits of talking are “I just hope the snow doesn’t come all at once and we really get dumped on” or “The man upstairs and Mother Nature are giving us a present and we surely should thank them for it.”

Some weather vanes have been taken form their perches atop houses, garages or barns, put on poles and made into lamps in the yard as night lights and conversational pieces.

But the weather vanes mounted on the roof are definitely not for lamps, they are for telling which way the wind is blowing. The weather is very important to farmers.

Before radio, TV and computers, the weather vane was a key piece of high-tech gear; the wind is a sure sign of things to come.

On the Weimer farm in Union Corners, the barn had a weather vane that stayed with the farm. When the family moved to the village, the house had a small barn, but no weather vane. Grandpa wouldn’t rest until there was something placed on the barn roof so he could tell what the weather was going to be. You can take the boy off the farm - but you can never take the farm off the boy. Grandpa still relied on a weather vane instead of the radio that he bought when he moved to the village.

He knew by the way the wind blew and, of course, other signs when storms were on their way. Mildness told him of the winter ahead and also the spring growing season. Also other signs and weather teasers included crickets, peepers or tree toads and locusts, whose singing noises or their chirps would foretell the weather to come.

He said we couldn’t hear the “signs” because we weren’t listening.

This was back during the ‘50s before we had smog, global warming and other things that have changed our weather so much.

It seemed Grandpa’s predictions were always so accurate; it makes people wonder.

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