Are you superstitious? I’m not! Would you admit it if you were? When asked directly, most people will deny that they are superstitious at all.

Interestingly, studies exploring the subject have revealed that women are more so than men. My mother was very superstitious.

In hard times, as people tried to come to terms with their daily living over which they had no apparent control, they found it comforting to invent explanations for their misfortunes. As these explanations became ritualized over the years, superstitions were born and most of them linger on today. No matter how sophisticated modern science may seem to be in unraveling the mysteries of this world, some still have ghosts in houses and circle Friday the Thirteenth on the calendar.

What about walking under a ladder, stepping on a crack on a sidewalk? Do you fear a black cat walking in front of you? Have you ever crossed your fingers while “fibbing” a little bit? Do you say ”God Bless You” when someone sneezes? Do you try to blow out the candles on your birthday cake in one breath? Do you have a rabbit’s foot, a four leaf clover or a buckeye to carry around for good luck? What about getting the better end of the turkey’s wishbone after a Thanksgiving dinner?

Have you ever wondered if yawns are catching … at times convinced they are? These are some of the common superstitions that’s been with us since ancient times and whether we admit it or not … we’ve all practiced one or two of them.

While seated in the choir one Sunday, someone in the back of me must have been unaware he was softly whistling, while we were waiting for church to start. I got to thinking… people just don’t whistle much anymore and I whispered this to Betty who was sitting next to me. She agreed.

“You Know,” she whispered, “Daddy wouldn’t allow my sister or me to whistle.” I could tell by the expression on her face she was serious.

“Why?” I asked.

“He said it just wasn’t nice for girls to whistle and he always quoted this little saying… “WHISTLING GIRLS AND CROWING HENS ALWAYS COMES TO SOME BAD END.” I like quips, quotes and sayings, but had not heard this one. The words wouldn’t leave my mind and became jumbled with the words of the hymns we were singing in the choir, along with words of another old saying … SNAP YOUR FINGERS WHEN YOU WHISTLE FOR YOUR DOG OR ELSE YOU MAY WHISTLE UP THE DEVIL.

Of all places to have these thoughts, but a writer never knows when she might become inspired and as I write this, I think of a former old timer of Jenny Lind … Ernest (Chink) Matzek who is now deceased. Ernest was the best whistler in this part of Jenny Lind.

Getting back to the subject of superstitions. I was reading an article on Folklore the other day. I found it enjoyable and I hope it puts a smile on your face as it did mine and here is a sampling: A photograph turned toward the wall will bring bad luck to the person in the picture. You will have good luck if you step on your own shadow, you will have

bad luck if someone else steps on it. Sitting on a stone will make you hard-hearted. If you bite your tongue while eating, you’ve recently told a lie. A person can not drown before going under water three times. Always enter a house left foot first. If you pull out a gray hair, ten more will grow back in it’s place. It’s unlucky to close a gate that’s been

left open by someone else. If the bottom of your right foot itches, you’re about to embark on a long trip. A sailor wearing an earring cannot drown. Washing your car brings rain. To step over a child crawling on the floor will stop it’s growth. If your right ear itches,someone is speaking well of you. For sure, a man with a dimple on his cheek

will never become a murderer. If you believe it to be a day earlier or later than it actually is, you will gain or lose a friend…this old saying I wonder about, but like I don’t know how to whistle.

“Nah,” you say.

“You’re not superstitious either?”

“Well, what do you say…we knock on wood just in case?”