When you are outside much of the time on the farm you begin to notice things in the natural world. One day it catches you by surprise when you look up at the sky and realize that the clouds tell you that it is going to rain in the next day or two. You find it so surprising that you haven't actually studied the clouds to learn this, but you have learned it.
I have been reading and enjoying the book "Folklore of American Weather" by Eric Sloane. I enjoy his books very much and this one is no exception. I have been interested for quite some time in learning more about forecasting the weather and was so pleased to find this book at the library close to where we are staying. For all of you agrarian-minded folks, here are a couple of quotes from the book that you might enjoy: "Farming has become a big business with little place for folklore, but a century ago farming was a way of life, a philosophy of living, rich with lore of the land." And, "You might argue that almanacs were for farmers, that the lawyer or shoemaker or storekeeper need not use them. Yet the lawyer, the shoemaker, the storekeeper had to be a farmer also, for he grew his own food and fed his own horses from his own hayfield. Thus, everyone in early America was close to the ways of nature, by necessity."
We are still in between farms. After several delays, the sellers showed up at closing asking for five more days to get out. It has been a test of patience but we are trusting in God's perfect timing in all things. The phone caught us offguard last night when it rang at ten o'clock. A new neighbor had called a mutual friend to get a number to reach us to let us know that our cows and horses were gone. What?!! And, that our Jerseys were seen at a farm on the highway close to us and that the sheriff was there. Oh no! Lots of worst case scenarios came to mind but the Lord said it would be o.k. The neighbor said that he was going to rope the cows in where they were at and pen up the cow and calf that were out on our farm. No word about the whereabouts of the bull and steer, though. He felt that the horses were probably somewhere on the farm and that all of the animals would bed down for the night so it wouldn't do any good to come before morning. (We aren't staying close to the farm.) An hour-and-a-half later, Boots was heading to bed so that he could get up at four a.m. to take care of things, when the phone rang again. The neighbor said that the cows had come home and he had them all penned up. Wow. God is very very good! Boots reset the alarm to five a.m. and awoke to a heavy blanket of fog. After waiting for it to lift he took off and found the neighbor and a friend that had come to help. The animals were all there, they are all fine, and they are secure. One could never place a value on good friends and neighbors. That's for sure.