Whitesburg KY
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Woolly worms warn of messy winter ahead

Points East


Last Saturday morning, after spending Friday eve scouring through the classifieds of several central Kentucky papers, Loretta and I waded out into the heavy dew, intent on following the map we had studiously drawn that gave us a stop-by-stop and the easiest way to get there for every yard sale in 10 counties.

And about the time we were hopping aboard her Suzuki SUV, I heard this mewing sound from the driver’s side of the car. It was my wife.

“Awwwwwww, Honey, come and look at this” she cajoled.

Instead of a dropped-off kitten, perched there on the toe of her walking shoe, I saw the President of the National Association of Woolly Worm Winter Weather Watchers (NAWWWWW) and he seemed peeved.

For those of you who know no better, I am the duly appointed human elected and charged with the responsibility to verbalize, in human tongue, the winter weather forecast which is reached by consensus among my furry friends at NAWWWWW.

The prez, whose name is Phred, was obviously anxious to speak with me so I put the index finger of my right hand down on Lo’s foot and he crawled up on my hand to explain that, because of all the rain over the last few weeks, NAWWWWW would have no prediction convention this year. Woolly worms don’t swim but they do float and most of the ones scheduled to convene are now on old driftwood and empty jugs floating down the rivers toward New Orleans.

Phred had, however, heard that Loretta and I were going to be out and about, making frequent stops, and he wondered if I would mind polling the members of NAWWWWW that I might encounter in driveways or alongside the streets while Loretta pondered the value of yet another piece of cracked Depression glass.

I was happy to oblige. I had stuck a fairly dull novel in the car, but any novel is better than none while you are waiting on Loretta at a yard sale outing. I can case one out in 45 seconds. Lo averages 30 minutes so I need something to do with my spare time.

Interviewing NAWWWWWers proved to be a wonderful solution to what might otherwise have been a very boring day. I will say that I caught many a curious stare throughout the day and more than once I caught old ladies whispering, “What on earth is he doing?” into Loretta’s ear.

And when she told them, matter of factly and nonchalantly, that I was talking to woolly worms, they’d touch their hands to their mouths and step away. And then when she asked if they’d take a dollar for something priced 10 or better, they couldn’t wait to take her cash and hope that we would soon depart the premises. (Lo told me later that we have to make this interviewing routine.)

And so, as I reported back to Phred at dusk last Saturday, here’s what the membership of NAWWWWW is saying almost to the worm about forthcoming winter weather: snow. And lots of it. Look for the first one around Thanksgiving and count on slush and its related misery from mid-December until the end of January here in central and eastern Kentucky. Some reprieve in February but it will still be damp and dreary and we will seldom see the sun. Don’t even think about planting peas on Valentine’s Day.

More snow and freezing rain from March until mid-April with overall precipitation several inches above normal. In other words, if you want to enjoy winter, buy some books and lots of firewood. Or at least some knee-high rubber boots if you plan to be outside.

I’m out of space here and signing off on behalf of NAWWWWW with the normal disclaimer. Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m only telling you what these guys tell me because it is a sworn and solemn duty.

In the meantime we’ve moved Phred into our basement where he is cuddled in a box among 12 jars of kraut.

You may contact me by email: ikeadams@aol.com.


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