Friday, March 6, 2020

Poem: A visit from the preacher

Last month, I thought quite a bit about an old boy who I greatly admired and passed away on Feb. 4, 2019

His name was Lloyd Riley, and people at church called him “Bud.” He was a deacon at the small country church where I am a member and have attended off and on since about 1986.

Bud and I were in the Adult Men’s Sunday School class with a bunch of other old-timers. They’re all good men who work hard and have a lot of faith. I try to emulate them, and I usually fail.

Bud was a veteran; he was in the Army, apparently at the tail end of World War II, and he told of going by ship to Japan on a vessel that leaked so badly that everybody had to grab a bucket and keep bailing water to keep the old craft from sinking.

He owned a farm, raised cattle and hay. He told of raising hogs for a while, as well as dairy cattle. He told us about driving a truck for a dairy, going from farm to farm collecting milk in cans.

Bud and the other men in the class told me about days when everybody would raise hogs, milk dairy cattle and raise beef cattle. Having all three would help them to pay off their farms and maybe buy a truck.

Agriculture has changed a lot since then. Nobody here raises hogs or dairy cattle any longer. There is no dairy.

Bud and his wife, Doris, worked together on their farm. My wife always said they were the cutest couple she’d seen. Their children and grandchildren were involved in agriculture, too. I took pictures of their grandchildren who exhibited cattle at the county fair.

Bud also had a great sense of humor. We laughed a lot at the short stories and jokes he would often tell. He told me the best joke ever, in my opinion, one Sunday after church while we were sitting in the fellowship hall waiting for a church dinner to start.

I loved that joke, and I retold it in my column for the local daily paper years ago. I may have written about it twice in the paper, I can’t remember. I also wrote about it in my column for my own publication, The Ozarks Chronicle, a dozen or so years ago.

If I were a columnist for the weekly paper I now work for part-time, I’d write it up again.

I was unable to attend either the funeral or the visitation due to work requirements for my two jobs.

But since Bud’s passing, I’ve thought a lot about him, and I decided the only thing I could do to pay tribute to him is set his joke, my favorite joke, to poetry and retell here on this website.

So here is the poem, based on Bud Riley’s joke, with my enhancements based on my own grandparents and my imagination.

Yes, it’s a joke, but it has a lot to say about a particular Christian doctrine, which is referred to in the title I have selected.

I hope you enjoy the poem, look up the scripture in the title and think about it.

For best effect, read it aloud with great vigor and expression.

JAMES 2:17
Dedicated in memory of Lloyd “Bud” Riley, 1927-2019

Late Saturday morning, just ’fore dinner,
we were sweating out in the hot sun,
hoeing eternal rows in the garden,
it sure wasn’t a whole lot of fun.

We heard a honk, looked up and we all saw
a fancy-pants car turn in the drive
Grandma turned to grandpa, said, “Can that be
the preacher? Goodness gracious, sakes ’live.”

And sure enough, the ole boy that emerged
was the Reverend Brother Les Moore.
I guess as preachers go, he was all right,
but his very presence made me sore.

“Why, howdy, folks,” he said. “Gimme that thing.”
And grabbing Gramp’s hoe, he chopped some soil.
Thirty seconds later, wiped his brow, said,
“You work up hunger with honest toil.”

“Well, let’s go in for dinner,” Grandma said.
So we washed up and sat down and prayed
Then ate cold fried chicken, tater salad,
cornbread, tea, all of it Grandma-made.

The preacher was quiet while he wolfed it
down, then leaned back, loosened his waistband.
“Brother, sister, you and the Lord have done
a wonderful job on this good land.

You and the Lord built a fine cattle herd,
a beautiful house, large barn, good shop,
pastures of plenty and a garden, too,
and you will sure want to share your crop."

Grandpa heard all he could stand, then rared back
and said, “Preacher, I’m grateful to God
for all the blessings He has given us,
like good seed, nice weather and rich sod,

but most of all for our strong arms and backs,”
he said, grinning like a little elf.
“Cause you ought to’ve seen the way this place looked
when the Lord had it all to Hisself!”

The Good Lord God Almighty blessed Bud and Doris Riley and their family, and I hope you believe in Him and trust Him as they did—and do.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

A close encounter with a dreadful snake

The other night when I took the trash out I stepped or tripped on something. It was night, so of course the back deck was in darkness. I took a couple of steps, the motion-detecting light came on, and I turned around at the top of the steps to see what I had had stepped or tripped on.

It was a snake.

A dreadful snake.

An evil serpent.

I hate snakes whether they are venomous or not. I did not know what this snake was, but it was large, 3 feet to 4 feet long and as big around as my forearm at the fattest part. In my mind, the markings on the snake were hourglass shaped, and so my mind screamed, “Copperhead!”

Not knowing what to do, I stood and looked at it a few seconds, thinking, “It is against the laws of the Great State of Missouri to kill snakes. They are the state’s natural resources, and belong to the people of Missouri.”

Once long ago when I was a reporter/photographer/columnist/editor-of-sorts for the local daily newspaper, I wrote a column in which I mentioned my hatred of serpents, and I wrote, “I kill every snake I see.”

The following Saturday I was in the newsroom early, setting up the pages for the Sunday paper and listening to the local radio station, waiting for the Saturday Morning Bluegrass Show to come on. There was an interview with the local conservation agent on at the time, and the host asked the conservation agent about my column and my anti-snake stance.

“Ozarks Boy can be as boisterous as he wants in his column, but if I ever catch him killing a snake, I will arrest him,” the conservation agent said.

All of these thoughts went through my head while I looked at the snake, which I assumed was a copperhead.

The next day that snake was lying headless in the weeds next to my driveway. I cannot say for certain how it got there. Perhaps an owl swooped down on it and tore its head off. Or a possum strolled by and bit its head off. I do not. The wonders of nature are amazing.

I looked at it closely and took a picture of the carcass. Then I turned to the internet and began looking for a similar snake among Missouri’s venomous and non-venomous snakes. Nothing matched.

My wife sent a copy of the picture via Messenger to her brother in Texas.

“It looks like a boa constrictor,” he said.

“What in the sam hill is a boa constrictor, a tropical snake, doing in the Ozarks?” I asked.

“Probably someone had it as a pet and it got loose. Or they let it loose because they couldn’t take care of it,” he said. “Happens all the time down here.”

I put a picture of it on my Facebook page and asked my friends what they thought. A woman I used to work with said the same thing, “Boa constrictor. Somebody’s pet.”

Well, shoot, I thought. I hate that an owl or possum might have killed someone’s beloved pet, even if it was a dreadful snake, evil serpent.

But they should have kept it on a leash.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

How I ruined Christmas for everyone

Raised by old-time Southern Baptists with a solid sense of right and wrong, truth and error, sin and salvation, I never believed in Santa Claus. My parents and grandparents did not encourage their young Ozarks Boy to believe in Right Jolly Old Elf, and as we did not have television out there in the middle of nowhere, I did not have a real sense of who he was supposed to be.

Oh, sure, I knew a little about Santa Claus. He was the guy in the Christmas parade who, when the parade in that small town ended, climbed off the fire truck, pulled up a chair next to the street and handed out little brown paper sacks of candy to each and every kid. I also was acquainted with the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer because we had a Little Golden Book, or something similar, about him and Santa Claus.

But even before I started school, I knew that Santa Claus was “just a story” for “little kids” whose “moms and dads tell them that’s where Christmas presents come from.” As those statements are in quotes from my memory, I suppose that my parents told me that. Or maybe it was my buddy Stevie Kay who lived up the road from us and at a year older was far more worldly and knowing. Maybe Stevie told me about the storybook quality of Santa and Mama and Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa just didn’t deny that he told the truth, so I drew my own conclusion. Memory is not quite clear at my advanced age.

Memory of the kindergarten Christmas party is quite clear, though, for it was traumatic for my classmates, the teacher, the room mothers, my mother and, of course, for me.

We had cupcakes and Kool-Aid for refreshments, and then the room mothers started asking kids what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas. When it was my turn, I did the right and moral thing, I informed everyone that “Santa Claus ain’t real.” The room shuddered and, after a brief gasp, cried. No, the room wailed. Everybody was angry at me. Mrs. Bloch, the teacher, and Mrs. Henry, the main room mother, were glaring at my mother. Girls were crying. Boys were crying. 

The party came to a quick end for me, as my mother grabbed my coat and ushered me the hell out of the school house.

“What’s wrong?” I asked on the quiet drive home. “There ain’t no Santa Claus, is there?”

I was deeply hurt that everyone was angry at me, and I was mystified why all the kids were bawling their eyes out and why the teachers and room mothers were angry.

My mother said I shouldn’t have told the kids that there was no Santa because it ruined Christmas for them. That mystified me even more.

“Well, it’s the truth, ain’t it,” I said, hoping perhaps that she would say, “No, there really is a Santa.” But she didn’t. She said, “Yes, it is the truth, but sometimes you don’t have to tell everything you know.”

That was an important lesson in life. Unfortunately, it was one lost on me, for I grew up to be a newspaper reporter who continued to tell everything he knew, trying to tell the truth with no regard for people’s feelings.

That would have been in 1958, a time of innocence for me, my family, our small town, the state of Missouri and our nation.

Our nation has been on a downhill slide since then; I hope I didn’t have anything to do with that.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Thank goodness, my wife paid attention to her Mama

There is no place I would rather eat than in my own home and no other cook whose food I prefer over that prepared by my wife.
She has told me how as a little girl, then as a preteen and even as a teen-ager, she would often help her mother prepare meals, watching and remembering every move her mother made, every egg she cracked, every cup of ingredient she added.
Often, perhaps always, her mother would add ingredients, experimenting with flavor, on the spur of the moment. My wife's memory is still nearly perfect, so she cooks the way her mother cooked, using some basic ingredients and adding more for flavor. I was fortunate to eat a little of her mother's cooking before she passed, and I am the beneficiary of all her instruction and all of my wife's observation of her mother's technique.
In short and in Ozarker: Boy, howdy, I eat good.
Tonight, she fixed lasagna, something I had been hinting at for weeks. Well, maybe I did more than hint. Maybe begging, pleading, bargaining  are the correct words.
I had to work part of the day, even though it is Saturday, and when I got home, she had already made the hamburger and all the additional fixin's. She was ready to layer it in the pan.
Here is what she told me would  go into it:
2.25 pounds of hamburger meat, 80 percent lean ground beef
One large container of cottage cheese
Three eggs
A whole package of grated mozzarella cheese
About 4 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic
Basil and oregano, no measurement known
Half a cup of parmesan cheese
A jar of chunky spaghetti sauce with herbs
A whole package of oven-ready lasagna noodles.
She mixed the cottage cheese, eggs, spices and parmesan together, then layered everythng, ending with a layer of mozzarella on top.
She baked it an hour at 350 degrees.
Wheweee! That and a salad with balsamic vinegarette filled this old boy up.
But more than that, it was all flavorful. I find that as I get older, I am even more interested in flavor. Perhaps my tastebuds are wearing out. Whatever the reason, I find that I am always looking for flavor.
A lot of restaurant foods, well for me most restaurant foods, especially fast-food restaurant foods, lack flavor. We have a new fast-food barbecue restaurant in town, and I ordered a Southern pulled pork sandwich. I couldn't taste anything except the sauce. The meat was all texture, no taste. I was so disappointed and likely will never go back.
Fortunately, I have a wife who paid attention to her mama, and likes to cook, so I have flavorful foods at home, the place where I am most comfortable.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A song that can calm a herd of cattle or an infant

The little guy was sucking on a bottle when I got to the house.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department photo
“Thank you for taking care of him tonight, Daddy,” my daughter said as she handed the baby over to me. “I’ll be back in about two hours. Just burp him and rock him and he should sleep the whole time.”
My little girl, Lisa, took off, leaving me alone with my first grandson, Joseph Michael, who my Texas wife had immediately “bubbafied” to Joe Mike.
Lisa was working as a teller in a local bank, and she had a training class to attend. Her husband, Frank, was working on his still-new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning business, trying hard to build it into a thriving enterprise.
My wife was sick, so it fell to me to take care of Joe Mike, something I didn’t mind doing at all.
Joe Mike finished his bottle and then whimpered. I put the cloth on my shoulder and burped the boy. Then I cradled him in my arms.
And Joe Mike immediately started crying.
I rocked him.
He still cried.
I gently bounced him as he lay in my arms.
He still cried.
I put him back on my shoulder and patted him on the back again.
He wailed.
So I cradled him again, and I began to sing.
“Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play,” I crooned softly. “Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.”
Joe Mike was silent.
Home,home on the range,” I continued. “Where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.”
Joe Mike was asleep.
I kept on humming, and I imagined that I was a night-riding cowboy, calming the herd.
My herd of one was asleep as a I sang and hummed quietly.
“Home on the Range” is one of my favorite songs. It was originally a poem, written in 1872 by Dr. Brewster M. Higley, of Smith County, Kansas. In 1947, Kansans made it their state song. It is one of the top 100 Western songs, as chosen by the Western Writers of America.
Dr. Higley moved to Kansas from Indiana, loved the place so much that he wrote a poem titled “My Western Home,” in praise of his new home in a cabin near a creek. It was published in 1872 in the Smith County Pioneer newspaper.
Higley’s friend, Daniel E. Kelley, later set the poem to music.
The song has a most interesting history, and I encourage you to read about it on the Library of Congress website, where you will learn that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said it was his favorite song.
You’ll also find out that other people have claimed to be the author, but Dr. Higley’s authorship has been verified.
“How did this song spread so far, become associated with so many locations, generate so many variations, and have claims of authorship by so many people?” the Library of Congress website asks and then answers this way: “Part of the answer lies in the Chisholm Trail, a route taken by cattle drives from southwestern ranching states and territories to the railhead in Abeline, Kansas, from 1867 through the 1880s. A song sung in saloons in Kansas could be picked up and sung by cowboys departing for home, quickly spreading it far from its point of origin. The song itself, which praises the virtues of the west and is sung to a melancholy tune, fits well into the repertoire of cowboy work songs.”
It's a wonderful song. I recall hearing years ago on The History Channel that President Roosevelt wanted to make it the national anthem.
Grandson Joe Mike found so much comfort in the song that he fell asleep while I sang it. When he was sound asleep, I stopped singing and continued rocking in the chair.
He immediately woke up and started wailing again.
“Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam,” I sang, and Joe Mike fell asleep again,
I stopped singing, and he woke and started crying.
I resumed singing and he went back to sleep.
For two hours, I sang “Home on the Range” over and over and over.
When his Mama got home, I handed him over to her. He woke up and was quiet.
Joe Mike loved his Mama, and still does, and he also loved “Home on the Range.” I’ll have to ask him if he still likes that song now that he’s in seventh grade.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

At death's door in a hospital back in '71

Death. Public domain image by WikiMedia.
As she entered the room, the nurse threw back the curtain in the center of the semi-private room.
“Good morning,” she said, cheerily, and handed me a warm wet wash rag. “Wash as far as possible from the top, wash as far as possible from the bottom. And then wash possible.”
We both laughed. As I washed, she emptied the urinal hanging on the rail of the bed.
It was a bright morning, and the sunlight streamed in the window where I was recovering from an appendectomy the day before, July 4, 1971.
I had just graduated from high school in May, and I was working for the public works department, cutting brush in the city’s creeks and streams, gullies and ditches, where power equipment could not reach. I and the other young guys who worked that job swung weed whackers all day, or cut with pruners and loppers. Then we loaded all the brush onto a dump truck, and our foreman would drive it off to the dump.
Looking forward to going to the university in August, I was grateful to have a good job to save up some more money for books and extras.
On the night of July 3, though, I stayed up late, watching television and eating apples. The apples were slightly green. Oh, heck, most of them were very green, so they were tart. They were tart and tasty, and I ate a bunch of them.
In the wee hours of the morning, I started feeling sick. I spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom, either bent over, puking, or sitting on the toilet, expelling the apples from both ends.
I kept getting sicker and sicker, and my belly hurt so bad that I couldn’t stand up. I was running a high fever.
My mother took me to the emergency room at St. John’s Hospital, because it was a weekend.
The doctors and nurses determined that the green apples had nothing to do with my sickness. I had acute appendicitis, and I needed to get my appendix cut out immediately.
So I did. Afterwards, they wheeled me to a room where there were two beds, both empty. They put me in the one by the window. I had never been in a hospital as a patient before, and I felt terrible, wiped out. I went to sleep.
A little later, I woke up when the nurses brought in another guy for the other bed. He was older, probably in his 30s, which for a 17-year-old seemed old. He was obviously in distress, for he groaned with each movement.
I don’t remember what I had for supper. I just remember wanting to go back to sleep.
Sleep was impossible, though, because of my new roomie’s groanings, moanings, wailing, crying and screaming. He was obviously near death.
Death watch continued for hours. Finally, I fell asleep.
Soon, or so it seemed, the cheery nurse awoke me and told me to wash up and get ready for breakfast. As I washed “possible,” I saw that the other bed in the room was empty and had been made afresh, awaiting another old man with one of his feet in the grave.
“What happened to that ole boy?” I asked. “Did he die? He was sure in a lot of pain.”
“Oh, no,” the nurse said. “He went home. He was just in here with a kidney stone, and he finally passed it. He’s fine now.”
“Good grief,” I said. “A kidney stone. I hope to God that I never get one of those. He was in so much pain I was sure he was dying.”
“No,” the nurse said. “Just a stone. No big deal.” And she left.
Well, guess what?
Yep, you’re right.
In my left kidney, measuring 13 millimeters. It’s a boulder.

They’re going to bust it up with sound waves tomorrow.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Nothin' beats beans

Here is a poem I wrote years ago. It is so doggone good that I have to bring it out every now and again just to dust it off. I hope you enjoy it.


It was my buddy Earl’s birthday
So I took him out to eat
“Order what you want, Earl,” I said.
“The lobster can’t be beat.”

But when the waitress arrived
And suggested leg of lamb,
Earl said, “Ma’am I believe I’ll have
“A plate of beans and ham.

“And bring fried taters, cow butter
“And cornbread baked golden brown
“And a tall glass of buttermilk, real cold,
“To wash it all down.”

“Earl,” I said, “It’s your special day
“And I’m offering you a treat
“Order some clams, shrimp, crab legs,
“Those things you don’t normally eat.”

“Now, Ozarks Boy,” Earl said, “I thank you
“For your thoughtful, culinary gift
“But if I don’t eat those odd foods you mentioned
“I hope you’ll not be miffed.

“See I’m just a plain old Ozarks hillbilly
“Who never ka-bobbed a shish
“Or fileted a mignon (whatever that is)
“Or ate any unusual dish.

“I grew up eating a simple diet
“That was within my parents’ means
“Every night it was beans and taters
“Or for variety, taters and beans

“I developed a taste for simple foods
“Served from kettles, not fancy tureens
“So just give me taters and cornbread
“And a heaping plate of beans.

“Oh, sure, I’ll eat a little sausage
“And no meatloaf’s good as Aunt Irene’s,
“But when it comes to real good eatin’
“Just give me taters, ham and beans.

“Rich foods make my belly hurt
“Like I’ve been kicked by a couple of fiends
“So I stick with God’s simple fare
“Cornbread and buttermilk, taters and beans.”

“Earl, my friend, I wholeheartedly agree,
“It must be in our hillbilly genes."
Then I turned to the waitress, smiled and said,
“Darlin’, two plates of ham ’n’ beans.”

I don’t care what foods are called the best
By professors and educated deans
Nothing beats a simple meal
Of cornbread, taters, ham and beans.

--R.D. Hohenfeldt

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

If you feel the urge to criticize your kids, just shut up

Our niece posted a video of her son's first piano recital, and it reminded me of another boy's piano-playing experience.
This other boy was a little older than our great-nephew. He might have been in junior high school, I think. He had started taking piano lessons the summer between second and third grades, but when the family moved, they didn't have room for the piano for a couple of years or so. I think he started taking lessons again in sixth grade. Heck, he may have been a freshman in high school by the time this incident occurred.
It was in the evening, and he was practicing. He was working on a new piece of music in his lesson book, and it was a little difficult. He was not a natural musician; he had to work hard to make any advances in technique. He played the same half dozen or so measures and then hit a clinker. The same clinker, time after time. There was something about the finger movement required that he didn't get. Perhaps his short stubby fingers didn't reach. Whatever it was, it was going to take some practice to get over that hurdle, to memorize the movement needed at that point in the musical phrase to get to the right note.
But heck, that's what practicing is, isn't it? Making mistakes, learning from them and learning to avoid them in the future.
But after he'd made that same mistake several times, his dad said, irritably, "You must really like that wrong note. You keep hitting it every time."
The young man, already frustrated at himself for failing to catch on to the technique quickly, said, "Oh, shut up."
And the dad walloped him up the side of the head a couple of times.
The boy got up and quit practicing that night. He didn't much care about practicing any more after that.
Eventually, his music teacher told him that he might as well quit wasting his parents' money.
So he quit piano lessons.
He would sit down and play every now and again after that, tunes that he could already play. If he tried a new, harder tune on his own, he only did it when his dad wasn't around, and if he didn't get through it quickly, he moved on to something else.
So, if you have a child who is learning a new skill and is working hard at it, don't knock him if he makes some mistakes. If you are the type of parent who needs to criticize your child, then knock him for not practicing, not making mistakes, not learning something new. Don't knock him for making mistakes because he is trying and failing. Let him keep trying until he gets it.
I think in these instances, it is better to encourage or just shut up.
I am going to give that advice to my niece, now that I have seen her little boy at the piano keyboard. He is young, eager, interested in music and has some talent. He can learn to be an excellent pianist if he gets some encouragement to keep pushing, practice, make mistakes, learn from them.
Perhaps most of us can learn to do lots of stuff if there isn't someone around to discourage us.
Thank God, our niece is an encourager, so I believe the sky is the limit for her piano-playing son.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Critters worse than copperheads or coyotes

My young co-worker spoke with an accent I could not place. He was telling me and another associate that the next day, Friday, would be his last day with our big-box store. I did not know him well, had never spoken with him at length since my transfer to that store just a few weeks previously, and we rarely crossed paths, for he was an assembler and I, a merchandiser/custodian.
He said his wife was going to graduate from the local university with a degree in petroleum engineering, and they were planning an immediate move to New Mexico where she had a job with an oil company waiting for her.
"And I'm going to be a house husband," he said, laughing.
My other co-worker in the conversation, a woman who had worked longer with him and knew him better, said, "Aren't you giong to go to school and finish your own degree?"
"Well, yes," he said, "but being a house husband sounds like more fun."
"What's your degree going to be?" I asked.
"Mechanical engineering," he said. "I've got about two years to go for my bachelor's degree."
"Well," I said. "Be careful in New Mexico. I hear they have some vicious venomous snakes there."
"Oh, I know all about vicious venomous snakes," he said. "We had some where I grew up."
My other co-worker said, "You grew up in Africa, didn't you?"
"Yes, South Africa," he sid.
"My God!" I exclaimed. "They've got black mambas there!"
He laughed, "Yes, and green mambas, too They're hard to see in the trees at night. And king cobras."
He then told about his grandmother who as a baby was sitting on the porch with her arms outstretched. Her parents looked to see what she was reaching for and there was a king cobra with its head up. They quickly grabbed the baby and backed into the house.
He told a couple other stories abut cobras. And he told about coming home to the farm from a visit to "the shops," which I took to mean the stores in town, and "there was a troop of baboons lounging around on the porch. We just went back to the shops for awhile."
Baboons are vicous creatures, he said. "They will tear you up."
At the end of that conversation, I decided, and told him so, that he was well prepared for life in New Mexico. Whatever snakes or other critters they had there could not compare with what he grew up with.

Monday, January 1, 2018

We just had a full moon

About half an hour ago, the moon was full.
It happened at 8:34 p.m. here. It was a Super Full Moon and it was the Wolf Moon.
The moon's third quarter will be at 4:25 on Jan. 8.
The new moon will be at 8:17 p.m. on Jan. 16.
The first quarter will be on Jan. 24
Then on Jan. 31, we'll have another full moon, a Blue Moon because it is the second full moon of the month. And there will be a total lunar eclipse here.
Then February will be a Black Moon month, meaning there will be no full moon during that month.
My wife says that all this Super Moon, Blue Moon, Black Moon stuff is a sign of the end times.
Maybe it is.
I got all that information from a couple of valuable sources: The Old Farmer's Almanac, the one with the yellow cover and the hole in the corner so you can hang it on a nail on the outhouse wall, and