I grew up on a farm, moved to the big city of Denver for 20 years, then choose to move back to farm life in 2000. City life is (and was) great fun – however – just not for me. I found I was always looking for more.
I do not hate big city life; there is much to be had there. It is still a lot of fun to go back and see all the unique things it offers – museums – zoos – specialty shows (Stock Show just came through) – and all the little out-of-the-way spots I know. The problem, the thrill is gone.
Don’t get me wrong; I loved living in Denver when I was young and unattached. My gal pals and I used to go out every weekend. Dancing and shooting pool were my most favorite activities back then. I was pretty good at both (ok, maybe not so much on the dancing side – but I did win a lot of trophies for shooting pool.) The stories I could tell of those younger days, but then I don’t want to keep you up at night.
My thrill now is the farm and all the wonders it shows me. I was watering in the greenhouse yesterday and found a baby Praying Mantis – WOW! Here I thought it was too early for my cuties to be out and about? She was very tiny – but alive and well. We do not heat the whole greenhouse in the winter, just a part of the herbs and our ever-bearing strawberries. She was playing in with the strawberries (smart girl!).
The latest newbie came in an email I received from Farmers Almanac is regarding today – Groundhogs day. There is a special section that states this day was originally called Candlemas Day – this is something new to me:
For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far the snow will swirl until May;
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.
I do not know where this little quote came from (folklore they say) but I just fell in love with it. This is part of the fun of living on a small farm. I get to take a moment and enjoy these little oddities. I took a moment to do some digging and found that this is a traditional Christian festival that commemorated the ritual purification of Mary forty days after Jesus’ birth. I am a Christian, and I never knew this. Without the internet and the wonderful people at Farmers Almanac, I might never have known this!
The farm has so much to offer, and there is something new at least once a week (sometimes once a day). This date – February 2nd – will now hold a stronger meaning for me. When my January’s get to overloaded (like this last one has been), I will make it a point to place the phrase “Candlemas” on my calendars. This will be my hint to myself to seek out something out-of-the-norm new. So here are some more bits of obscure facts I found for this day:
• It is also called the Festival Day of the Candles, from the past when there was no electric for lighting. A year’s supply of candles was blessed on this day for the church.
• Candles, symbolic for Christians, are to remind us of Jesus – The light of the world.
• Midpoint of winter – half way between the spring and winter equinoxes.
• Folklore again, stated the Christmas season lasted 40-days – until February 2nd.
• Another lovely old saying: “The Snowdrop (we have these on the farm), in the purest white array, First rears her head on Candlemas Day.”
• This is also the day for you procrastinators to put away your Christmas ornaments.
The next one’s to look forward to will be Valentine’s day (yes, I do know about this one) and Kissing Friday (see, here’s another I know nothing of – gasp!), alas, this one ended in the 1940’s boo hoo!