Allow me to wish you all a very happy Groundhog Day. This unsung holiday gets short shrift, but I shall not let it pass by unnoticed. So, thank you, Punxsatawney Phil, General Beauregard Lee, and your season-predicting brethren for giving us a reason to celebrate during this particularly bleak winter.
Why is Groundhog Day so near and dear to my heart? If I had to pinpoint a reason, I’d have to acknowledge my college friend, Chris (not to be mistaken for Hub Chris, who graduated long, long before I ever knew the word college*), whose affection for this animal-centric festivity was just the sort of thing that would catch on among wildly procrastinating students. He even wrote a sonnet – seriously – in honor of the auspicious day, even in iambic pentameter I think. I know I have a copy of this truly noteworthy literary work of excellence, but darned if I can find it. When I do, and it will probably be tomorrow, I would love to share (with your blessing, Koch, and congrats on the new bundle of joy).
A few years back, a local card shop decided to market the holiday, which was odd and hilarious and perfect. I’m not sure anyone besides Chris, myself, and the good people of Pennsylvania would really appreciate Groundhog Day cards, but just the same, they went for it. The marketing blitz included selling an adorable stuffed version of the titular character, and I won’t lie, I wanted one. So when I saw there was a drawing to win one, well, I was all over that. I doubt I had to be very aggressive, as I was probably the only person to enter, and so, I won. I showed up to collect my little cutie to discover my prize wasn’t so little. I’d actually won a 4 foot tall stuffed groundhog, decked out in a vest, bow tie, and straw hat. Now, I’m all for going whole hog (ha!) over a holiday, but, really, 10 cubic feet of furry rodent? I’m sad to say, he lived out the rest of his days in the back of my parents’ shed until they finally begged me to take him or put him out of his misery. I believe he has now passed on, but my mom will surely correct me if he has managed to crawl back into the shed (oh no, 6 more weeks of winter and a distinct loss of brownie points for Daughter Me).
So, much love on this auspicious occasion. May spring be just around the corner.
*Just kidding, Hub. I knew the word. It’s just that I got to use computers whereas you were stuck with stone tablets. (Love you!)