A number of readers already want to know why the wooly worms got the winter weather forecast so wrong. You may recall that the National Association of Wooly Worm Winter Weather Watchers (NAWWWWW) predicted that this winter would be a bad one and that it would be replete with numerous big snows.

Let me first remind you that, as of this writing, winter will not even be 2 weeks old by the time most of you are reading this column. We still have more than 11 weeks of winter to contend with, as well as 6 weeks of wintry spring. Let me also assure you that I will be one of the happiest people on the planet if NAWWWWW turns out be dead wrong!

In fact, if I have to eat crow, I’d gladly eat it raw, without scorching feathers off the carcass, if that’s what it would take to prove NAWWWW’s forecast totally wrong. In the meantime, I’m still dreading winter but hoping it doesn’t happen.

I’d like to claim that the members of NAWWWWW, with whom I consulted, were a bunch of Yankees who were vacationing from places like New York and Pennsylvania. You may have noticed that people up there have already had more snow than most of them wanted. However, almost all the wooly worms who participated in the Paint Lick forecast had, in fact, spent the summer in our basement and/or garage. Most of them are still right there. There should be no excuses if they have erred the way I’m hoping. Still, let me remind you that we’ve only just begun.

In other news, it does not seem possible that I am already due to have another birthday on January 5. There’s a big prime rib steak, with my name on it, scheduled to be sliced next weekend. It feels like I’m still picking my teeth from the one I ate the last time.

Actually, according to Loretta, the last one was on Father’s Day but, as far as time goes, I can’t tell much difference between birthdays and Father’s Days. It’s usually hotter in June than it is in January but the time still flies.

It seems like, only last week, I turned 61 and now I’m hitting 71 if I last another few days. I’ve been told that the older we get, the faster time goes by, because each passing year becomes a smaller percentage of our total lives.

Aging, from 20 to 30 birthdays seemed like a lifetime. For that matter, getting from 50 to 60 seemed like a pretty long time, but 60 to 70 sure seemed like a very fast train on a downhill grade. On the other hand, I can tell an immeasurable difference between the things I could do ten years ago and what I’m able to pull off now.

It seems like only yesterday I could clean off my garden, spread a dump truck load of cow manure and till up the 7,500 square feet the plot encompasses. In 2010 I could do the entire thing in a single afternoon and still have time to go fishing for an hour or 2.

Now that 2020 has rolled around, I can’t even start the tiller, much less do anything with it. I didn’t even try to go fishing in 2019 because I got too tired to catch bait. My brother, Andy, would have had to tie on hooks and bait them, if I had a shot at catching anything. Then he would have had to clean any fish we caught.

Andy took Christmas Dinner with Loretta, yours truly and our brood of kids, grand kids and our 2 great grand daughters. Loretta pointed out that the sweet corn, she was serving, had come from the garden Andy and I raised last year. Andy told her that we’d sure have to raise another patch this coming year.

I’d already said that I wasn’t going to garden this year, but now I’ve already ordered the seed. In the spirit of “Hope springs eternal,” I went ahead and bought some fishhooks while I was still online.

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