Are You Supporting Your Local Groundhog?

Forgive us - but - us Olde Fogies happen to love winter, so we support our groundhog and are tickled pink (mostly from the cold) about his decision. In case you haven't noticed, the olde groundhog has determined there will be six more weeks of winter. So that means we have enjoyed a "traditional" winter just the same as we have as kids - snow all winter!

Let's do a few words on the winter the East Coast has had. First the beauty of it: beautiful flakes - no two alike, broken records - temperature and snow accumulation, icicles, clear, star-studded nights, cozy fireplaces, and long restful mornings and evenings because everything has been either delayed or canceled. Then a few words about what those delays present: plenty of time to reflect, sort tax papers, attempt New Year's resolutions, catch up on six months of unironed shirts, do a manicure, look for that lost slipper, write to aunt Sally, and bake bread from scratch - make anything from scratch. Meanwhile, the kids are interested in: sledding, snowboarding, snowmen, snowball battles, no school (ought to be listed first, but what kid would admit that?), eating party food every half hour, and studying couch potato arts.

Then there is the downside: shoveling and re-shoveling after each blizzard, frozen pipes, frozen noses, frozen fingers, frozen toes, and frozen birdbaths - not to mention frozen water pans belonging to guineas, chickens, turkeys, horses, calves, steers, and pigs. Then came the January thaw with high water rushing everywhere followed by sudden cold snaps that froze the stuff right where it was, hence five to ten inches of solid ice. But the idea is to look past all that fun and focus on the positive aspects and savor what's left of the beauty of it all and not only defend, but also cheer your local groundhog's opinion.

Now to chit chat in another direction. Thanks for choosing to be our guests last year. Some of you have returned seven years now. We try to make the Olde Fogie Farm better each time you return. Thanks so much for the gratuity you have left us. We had a special goal for this year. You may recall that our slogan has been, "everything but a llama." Well, thanks to you, it's gonna soon change to, "everything including a llama." The special fence that will keep the llama home can cost more than the llama, but you were so helpful that we can swing both. After all, the llama just can't live in the house all the time. Farmer Tom called an Amish man to come install the fence as soon as the frozen ground is suitable to insert the fancy fence posts that support a high tensile fence.

A word about the charming Olde Fogie Pig. You all know Rover was "such a PIG." She would have eaten us into jail if the Humane Society took a notion to enforce their accelerating powers on us. Well, as bizarre as it may sound, Rover took to eating chickens (about thirty, raw, on the hoof.) So Rover was taken to the stock market - not the Dow Jones. A man from New York state was unloading sheep at the same time as Farmer Tom was unloading Rover. The man was curious about the pig and asked Farmer Tom for the story. Turns out that Rover was auctioned off to the gentleman for something like $2.75 and now graces a sheep farm. The Sheepherder assured us that his farm does not have any chickens running loose. What's a farm without a pig? We miss her so we're trying a new pig in residence.

We're taking notice of from where all our wonderful guests are visiting us. Most hail from the East Coast. However, sometimes you have visited from quite a distance: Thailand, Australia, Europe, and of course the West Coast. The most noted boroughs are Brooklyn and Long Island. And then there was plenty more from other New York suburbs. And you are also coming from other areas too.

One person from Alexandria, Virginia said her family is the third on the block to stay with us. Alexandria is a popular town as is Fall Church, Virginia; Silver Springs, Maryland, and Bethesda, Maryland. One year two families came from Berkeley, New Jersey. One family had already arrived when we were showing the other family around. When we introduced one to the other, it seemed they had already been introduced. Both worked at the same telephone company and furthermore, their children went to school together. Since both had lodging for the same nights, they toured the area together. Another time, two women discovered they rode the same NYC subway route at the same time - lots of deja vu.

Farmer Tom finally got his fourteen year old double hernia put back where it belongs. So many of you are in the medical field - different field than Farmer Tom is usually in (although he is outstanding in his field.) Since several of our retuning guests are surgeons, he choose one to fix himself up. The doctor's family had enjoyed our hospitality. When Tom and I went to Philadelphia, we enjoyed their hospital stay. Tom of course stayed at the hospital and I stayed at their home. The whole operation was very successful. It was a micro surgery, and Tom got to stand up straight right away instead of walking like an ape the first three weeks. Tom is still recuperating and for a little while cannot lift anything over twenty pounds. The family is helping out with heavy farm chores. I'm so relieved he has finally gotten the needed operation. He looks great and is enjoying a much needed rest. The surgery was after all the hefty snow storms, so believe me, he did his fair share of shoveling.

Well good people, many of you already made your reservations for next year before you went home. We don't like it when we cannot accommodate our "regulars." So if you haven't yet made your reservations, please call right away. Returning guests are such a treat. Maybe someday we'll actually get that swimming pool... but first the llamas!

Yours naturally,

The Olde Fogies

Biz Esq., 1995

P.S. Thanks for all the good snapshots, cards, and letters you sent us. We love each and every one.

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