Pat Shingleton: "Onions and Bath Water..."
I'm not sure when the Vadalia onion crop will be harvested. I'm assuming August and September. There's an old expression, "He really knows his onions." It's a compliment to a person who is savvy in business situations. Cromnyomancy is an old tradition where people would forecast the weather with onions. During the 12 days of Christmas, French farmers would follow a carefully prescribed ritual to determine what the weather would be like for the next 12 months, referred to as " Les jours des lots" or "the days of fate." On Christmas Day, 12 onions were placed in a row with a pinch of salt on top. From left to right, the onions represented the months of the year. On January 6, or Epiphany, the onions were checked. If the onion was wet, the month would be wet, if the salt on the top was intact, it would be dry. In closing, years ago, the man of the house enjoyed the privilege of clean water for his bath, followed by the other sons, then the women and finally the babies. The dirty water posed a threat of losing a family member, leading to the saying: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Only the wealthy had slate floors and during wet weather a layer of thresh was placed on the slippery surface for better footing. During the winter months, piles of thresh would cover the doorway and once opened, the thresh would spill onto the entryway, creating the word “threshold.”
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