Friday, 21 September 2007

Ember Days

Yesterday, I sent this e-mail to our Director of Grounds:

"I had mentioned to you that I put messages in every payroll I run. No exceptions (unless by some freak chance Joe runs it, as may happen in October.

This week your check reads "Autumnal Equinox - 9.23.07 05:51".

Last week your checks read "Ember Days - 9/19, 9/21, 9/22"

Ember Days: The [Old Farmer's] Almanac traditionally marks the four periods formerly observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for prayer, fasting and the ordination of clergy. These Ember Days are the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays that follow in succession after (1) the First Sundayin Lent; (2) Whitsunday-Pentecost; (3) the Feast of the Holy Cross and (4) the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13. The word ember is perhaps a corruption of the Latin quator tempora, "four times".

Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for the next three months; that is, for September's Ember Days, Wednesday forecasts the weather for October, Friday for November, and Saturday for December.

Based on that, I have the Ember Days noted in my binder and yesterday was beautiful. If the folklore has even the smallest truth to it, we will find out - October is just around the corner. And looking at this week's forecast, I would say that November and December will be warm and you'll finish the sprinkler head project without incident!

How'd ya like that?

Happy travels!"

There are times when having a head full of useless knowledge has its benefits. This would be one of those times. I have no idea how much of this folklore is truly on the nose - as a general rule, few of them are. But then you have phrases that I grew up on such as:

Red skies at dawning, sailor take warning
Red skies at night, sailor's delight

There is more truth to that than one would know. I guess we will put this to the test of time...

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