Weather adage precisely correct

My ol’ pappy, Czar E. Yield, always said, “when the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen.” It’s an old weather adage, and certainly not original with him, but it proved itself precisely correct on the winter solstice in December of 2022.

I’m starting this column on Dec. 22. Yesterday the temperature stayed in the high 30s. Now, a day later, the high temperature never reached zero degrees. The wind chill was below 20 below zero. 

Move forward to Dec. 23 and the temp started out below zero and is now at a sizzlingly hot 11 degrees. That’s all proof enuf for me that the old timers understood the changing seasons pretty well considering they had nuthin’ but experience and gut instinct to rely on in weather forecasting.


The parallel side of the winter solstice is that now the days are getting longer and summer is on its way. So, don’t forget where you stashed your bermuda shorts, swimming trunks and bikinis.


The weather wuz so cold across most of the nation that I’m theorizing that a lot of folks did something “naughty” on Christmas Eve in hopes that ol’ Santa Claus would take notice and bring them a big lump of coal for their main gift.


Yesterday when it wuz so cold and windy, looking out my windows, I never saw one living wild critter —  bird or otherwise — all day long. Even the starlings abandoned the purple martin birdhouses they’d appropriated, or else they froze to death in them. I’ve always got a murder of eight to 10 crows that hang around my compost pile every day. Never saw a black feather of them. Even the snowbirds that usually eat gravel from my windswept driveway were absent. 

The absence of wildlife tells me that all of them were surprised by the nasty turn of weather, too.

However, today, early afternoon, my pet covey of 18 quail showed up at the cedar trees north or our home. So, I went out and fed them Christmas Eve grain sorghum and cracked corn as part of my evening chores. 

But, as usual, a good thing had a bad thing to go with it. This morning, Christmas, I saw the resident red tail hawk nab and devour one of my pet quail. The offending hawk at Damphewmore Acres apparently doesn’t understand that rodents, not quail, should be at the top of the menu. Oh, well, at least the hawk enjoyed a quail meal on a frigid day. Ain’t nuthin’ better than a quail dinner.

Hopefully, the weather moderates soon. At least, that’s the forecast.


An elderly farm spinster was widely known in her community as “Miss Optimist.” She always looked at life from a glass three-fourths-full perspective. 

Well, quite sadly, Miss Optimist wuz involved in a serious traffic accident while traveling out-of-state with her best friend. The best friend escaped the accident unhurt.

After a quick examination at Miss Optimist in the emergency room, doctors said an immediate massive blood transfusion was all that could save her life, but her blood type was unknown and there clearly wasn’t time to run the test.

So, the emergency room personnel ran to get Miss O’s friend, hoping she would know what blood type to use. She didn’t. But, the friend rushed to Miss O’s bedside, hoping she could still speak and would know her blood type.

Tragically, when her friend questioned Miss O about the urgency of knowing her blood type to save her life, Miss O managed only four barely-decipherable words before passing.

The grieving friend told the doctors that she had been unable to learn Miss O’s blood type. 
“But,” the friend volunteered, “true to her nature, she was optimistic to the very end. Her last words whispered to me were, ‘Be positive, be positive.’”


The past week I’ve had a cold and occasional hacking cough. It’s just a nuisance, and not like the flu other members of our family have had. I’m trying to play it safe and pretty much staying away from crowds.


To keep happy the kindly newspaper folks who make this column possible, I’m finishing up this end-of-2022 column early on the day after Christmas — Boxing Day, for those who keep track of such inconsequential things. So, I’m writing it before ringing in the New Year 2023, but you’ll be reading it after New Year’s Eve.

Reminiscing, I miss the raucous New Year’s Eve parties of my youth and middle-age. The memories are some of my finest — and most of them involved a New Year’s Eve country music dance. There might even be a few memories that I “forgot” for some reason or another.

So, let’s close out 2022 with these words of wisdom for 2023. “Rather than make a new year’s resolution to change yourself, resolve to be an improved version of yourself.” 

Have a good ‘un.

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Milo Yield

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