By THE NEWNAN TIMES-HERALD
- Nov. 08, 2017 – 10:07 PM
While in Raleigh, North Carolina for the wedding and reception of a teacher friend in December 1982, FUTURE HUBBY and I met an older gentleman who became interested in our recent engagement and the date we had set for our upcoming nuptials. We replied that we settled on May 14th that coming year.
“May 14th, well, well,” he said. “According to the Farmer’s Almanac the second weekend in May is always the nicest weekend in the South. You should check it out and see for yourself.” The next day we immediately bought a 1983 Farmer’s Almanac before leaving North Carolina.
Sure enough, the almanac mentioned that the upcoming second weekend in May was the best weekend for farming because of the slightly warmer temps and no rain showers during that time. It was like getting the green light to a perfect wedding day from a crystal ball.
We were elated and trusted it completely.
As I counted down the days until the ceremony, I was especially concerned about the weather because my parents and I planned an outdoor reception on my front lawn on the 30 acres where I grew up.
Everything for the wedding reception was to be outside – the band, the tables and chairs for guests, the tables for food, the wedding couple’s dance, pictures, etc.
All this effort made my mother and me especially nervous that the weather might not cooperate. The almanac was the only proven information that it was going to turn out well. But what if there was an off year and what if it was 1983?
As the wedding day drew closer, my fears heightened and so did the chance of rain. With only a week away and according to the Atlanta news and weather stations, it did not look all that good. If it rained, how were we going to get all those people in my parent’s house? Leaving the church to ride home, getting in and out of the car in my wedding dress, and grey skies in pictures just seemed unthinkable.
In 1983 there were no rental props in my small town. I became so concerned that I called the meteorologist at the National Weather Service. Every day. I called so much we knew each other on a first-name basis. I was totally afraid the weather was going to move in and ruin my day. He assured me that was not going to be the case. All looked clear for that week and weekend from California to Georgia.
Then it happened. There was a squall from the Gulf rumbling into Georgia just two days before the wedding. Mother and I panicked and scrambled to solve the problem. If only we knew someone whose university tailgate tents we could borrow. The only tents we knew about were the tents from our local funeral home…with their name emblazoned across the scalloped hem. They were not even in my wedding ensemble colors. And a few of them might have said, “We’re the last to let you down.” I was almost in tears.
A day later, the meteorologist and I spoke again, and he knew I was in agony. He calmed my fears and told me that there was no need to worry. The storm had moved off in another direction and the next few days were going to be perfect.
And they were.
Note to self: Always trust the FARMER’S ALMANAC.
Lee St. John, a retired Coweta County high school English teacher, is the author of five humorous books and two audio books.