A Family Tradition
I suppose that all families, maybe without giving much thought to the subject, carry on something that has become a “family tradition”. Even Hank Williams, Jr. had a song by that same name.
It might be going to the same place on vacation, going to homecoming at the old family church, attending the Georgia/Florida Game. Or, going dove shooting on opening day.
One family tradition in my old Sandy Point family was the Grier’s Almanac. ( www.Griersalmanac.com )This was a prized and highly relied on resource and could be found hanging by a piece of heavy twine either on the back porch or at the end of the mantel piece for easy reference.
Important information about full moons, planting schedules for peas and a wide array of home remedies could be found in the Almanac. And, it had an extensive weather forecasting section. Local TV stations try to give you the weather for the next day, or, maybe a five day period. Nothing that puny for the Grier’s almanac: it gave you the weather for the year.
A typical modern-day issue of Grier’s Almanac contains a complete gardening calendar, zodiac information, tips for anglers, heirloom recipes, a chronological listing of historic events, and sections devoted to health and religion. And ads for stuff you are not likely to see anywhere else.
Published continuously since 1807, Grier’s Almanac is one of Georgia’s longest-running publications.
The annual reference work once referred to as a “Bible for the southern antebellum farmer” enjoys a circulation of around 3 million in twelve southern states and is distributed via leading drug and feed-and-seed stores as well as by direct mail.
See Grier’s Almanac’s website @ https://www.griersalmanac.com/ for a current look and there are several Internet sites with historical insight into this traditional publication. Just type in Grier’s Almanac.
My Grandparents used the phases of the moon to help determine the best time to plant their various crops. Grier’s was relied on to help keep track of when Easter would be this year, etc.
My grandparents are long gone. My maternal grandmother died about 1979. But, we still planted a few acres and had big, really big, garden areas. My mother had her own garden sized garden. And, my mother kept the Grier’s Almanac tradition alive, all except for the string to hang it up with. But, the Almanac was never far out of reach
My Mother would find who had the Almanac for free. A number of places used the Grier’s Almanac to do advertising with their name on them. I think Chi Chester’s Drugs, Karsten and Denson Hardware and other local companies over the years had these little gems.
When my mother found them, she always got two. One was for her and one was for me. Even after I sold the farm and my tractors and did not have so much as a tomato plant in a pot, I got a Grier’s Almanac every year. And, I never threw it away. It was a “family tradition”, you see.
She would have it on the kitchen table when I got to her house, waiting for me to pick it up. A time or two, when I drove off without it, it would show up in the mail a couple of days later. You see, it was a family tradition and you don’t not keep the family tradition going.
My mother died in 2014 two months short of her 90th birthday. She had been in an assisted living facility for almost a year when she died. I did not get a Grier’s Almanac in 2014, 2015, or 2016. Three straight years have gone by without a Grier’s almanac in my house. I have to do better in 2017!
Have you ever left the house to go somewhere and started patting your pockets, looking in your purse, checking the back seat of the car and have someone ask, ”What are you looking for?”
You answer by saying, “I feel like I have forgotten something.” “I feel like I’m missing something.”
I knew I had been missing something. I just wasn’t sure what it was.
I miss my mother. I missed having her here at Christmas just past. I can’t do much about that.
But, I think I’ll find me a Grier’s Almanac or get me a subscription. I need to keep the tradition alive for at least as long as I am around. I guess like all good things, that tradition will end with me. But it is a fond memory from Sandy Point.
© SPT 2016