irst developed by the Japanese in the thirteenth-century, the traditional haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written with a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often centering on images from nature or a season, the haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. No one has mastered Haiku better than our long-time contributor, Jane Lippy, from Hampstead, Maryland.  Along with many poems of a more common, open form, she has focused on this very structured form and calls it her own! Here are some terrific examples of her work that reflect on the 2017 hurricane wrath and a sign of hope:  

Merciless Harvey
Like the Biblical epic
Deluged man and beast

Copycat Irma
Lashed and thrashed
o’re land and sea
Not to be outdone

Well, here comes Jose
With Maria to follow
Total destruction 

Jane Lippy, from Hempstead, Maryland, has been contributing her poetry for many years now and her contributions these, in a word, marvelous! 

After the hot, sultry summer,
A cool crispness fills the air
Tall ripening corn, red dogwood leaves,
Grasshoppers flitting here and there.
Fox grapes hanging juicy and plump
Harvest Moon, like an orange balloon
Fat pumpkins heaped high in a clump
Thank you, God, for September
Refreshment for body and soul
All creation sings Your praises
As delight before us unfold.
Thank you, LORD, for the harvest
Fields abundantly yielding grain
We offer praise and thanksgiving
For sunshine and plenteous rain
The crops are safely gathered in
Corn, wheat, beans, apples, and pumpkins
Mom prepares delectable fare
Pie, pudding, fritters, and dumplin’s
Like you, LORD, who’ve been so gracious
May I, too, generously share
Not only materially
But in loving deed and through prayer

These little ditties turned up in a pile of other submissions but unfortunately, was separated from its envelop so, the contributor is unknown to us. If anyone reading this is the one who sent them to us, please contact The Almanack for your 6 complimentary copies as a token of our appreciation: 

     Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love, and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent. 

      Two hydrogen atoms walked into a bar. One said, “I’ve lost my electron.” The other said, Are you sure?” The first replied, “Yes, I’m positive.”  

     A jumper cable walked into a bar. The bartender said, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.” 

     A man walked into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and said, “A beer please, and one for the road.”  

     Two cannibals were eating a clown. One said to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?” 

     Patient: “Doc, I can’t stop singing ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home.’.”
     Doctor: “That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome.”
     Patient: “Is it common?” Doctor: “It’s Not Unusual.” 

      An invisible man married an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.  

     I went to a seafood disco last week … and pulled a mussel.  

   A piece of rope whipped himself into a square knot, frazzled both ends of himself, and walked into a bar. The bartender said, “We don’t serve rope here! You are a piece of rope, aren’t you?” The rope said, “No, I’m a frayed knot!”

Diane Rausch from Severna Park, Maryland recently emailed us pointing out that the listing of OUR VICE PRESIDENTS on page 42 was a bit confusing. Below is her email pointing out the confusing lines:

Hello Mr. Fisher 

Thank you for the wonderful Almanack and we have a new convert in our daughter so she will be added to our Christmas purchases next year.

Our confusion that prompted my phone call was regarding the Vice Presidents listed and their Presidents. The format is very confusing and inconsistent. Some Presidents are  listed for both of their terms and others are not. John Tyler is not listed as a President at all nor is Andrew Johnson or Chester Arthur. Andrew Jackson is listed only once even though he had two V.P. The blank space under names could mean two terms or not!  

Thank you for your response to my call and we love the Almanack overall.

Diane Rausch

Severna Park, Maryland

The Almanack agrees and in the 2022 edition, the list has been updated to an easier-to-read format. Thank you, Ms. Rausch, for your observation, continued loyalty, and for introducing The Almanack to your daughter!

Dear Sir,

Thank you all once again for providing so many ways to access the Almanack and its information.  I'm a third gen reader and user of the Almanack and hope to pass it on.  In the meantime, I keep buying my dad's subscription and now my own.  And I spread word of mouth of you all anytime anyone has questions about planting.

                     Thank you and stay safe!

                     Tim Moyer
                     South Charleston, West Virginia

Here is another reader's letter made all of us here at The Almanack feel pretty dang good. 

January 22, 2020

Dear Sir,

Being an avid gardener and using your guide has helped me in producing the best gardens in my area. At 95 years of age I think I have energy for one more year.

Your almanac, to me, is some of the best reading material ever. So much interesting things to learn.

Enclosed is my check for $8.00 for the coming year 2020

Ted Skowvron
Strabane, Pennsylvania