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Groundhog Day (or “Whatever Day” as I call it)…

03 Feb

After the prayer for Haiti in my last post, every subject I have tried to blog about seemed inappropriate… trite… or somehow took the focus away from the ongoing horror going on there. So I’ve been a little quiet. Now I’m breaking the silence with a post that is probably all of those things combined. So here goes.

I’ve been alive for four decades of Groundhog Days now. Yesterday was the 41st.  In all those years the groundhog has always, always seen his shadow.  I’m a little skeptical of traditions that don’t seem to have any true meaning  in the first place.  So I’ve always had a weird feeling about buying into the idea of grown adults gathering at an ungodly hour of the morning to stare at a groundhog to decide if winter will keep going another six weeks.  Hello?!  On the second day of February, I can just save everybody a whole lot of fuss by letting them know the night before Groundhog Day that, yes, winter is once again going to continue for at least six more weeks.

I laugh in disbelief about this whole phenomenon every year.  And I have serious doubts about the sanity of whoever thought up this whole crazy thing.  Is it a cruel experiment whereby America’s hopes are falsely built up?  We’re led to believe that maybe, by some phenomenon of natural science, we could possibly skip the hardest part of winter when are bodies and minds most long for a little sunlight,  only to learn that, “Nope!  Not this year, says a  GROUNDHOG… ohhhh well…”

This year, I saw one website where you could actually sign up to get a text message from Punxsatawney Phil.  So glad to see that he is staying up with technology down there in his groundhog hole!  Wait, he doesn’t have oppossable thumbs!

I watched the Groundhog Day movie years ago and felt that maybe someone else was with me on this.  But in the movie,  the main character (who gets trapped in time inside this one bizarre day) begins to find meaning in making the most of the day.  He begins using the monotony of it to make a difference (not to mention beginning otherwise unattainable relationship).

Then it occurs to me…while Groundhog Day will never be a deeply moving or hopeful experience for me, it’s okay for some traditions to be put into place just for the fun of it (although the “fun factor” on this one eludes me).  Maybe my life could use more “just because” experiences.  Maybe the little idea that strikes, then goes away without my follow-up could turn out to be a great memory.  Maybe my husband and I could institute our own family holiday that stands for something WE enjoy… you know, like Cupcake Day.  Or Laughter Day.  If someone could make a national celebration out of a big ugly groundhog, I’m fairly confident that there are many celebration to be had that might bring us through these inevitable winter days.

So give me YOUR ideas on celebrations that would actually be FUN?!

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4 responses to “Groundhog Day (or “Whatever Day” as I call it)…

  1. Julie Kolb

    February 3, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    First off, I love the post and totally get your point. (FYI-Being from PA I, sadly, know Punxsatawney well and harbor some of my own animosity towards him.)

    I live for Summer. Love to be out in the sun and in my gardens. So to answer your question: I celebrate the first veggies I pick from my garden. There is nothing sweeter than a ripe tomato that I grew myself. I make a huge deal of this every year and announce to anyone who enters my kitchen “Look, it’s my first tomato (or whatever)..isn’t it pretty?” I’ve even been known to take pictures of my vegetables.

    Hey, if an ugly Groundhog who brings bad news can be celebrated, why not a juicy tomato–which I can eat!!

     
  2. emilysutherland

    February 3, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Julie – that’s a great one! LOVE homegrown tomatoes. Sounds like a GREAT holiday to me. :)

     
  3. Just Thelma

    February 4, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Here in Canada, we bundle up in our heavy parkas, loop a long scarf around our necks and faces a time or three, shove our hands into woolen mittens… and that’s just to go out to retrieve the newspaper! LOL

    Okay, seriously, I can see the benefits of breaking the monotony of winter by having a little celebration, even if it IS just to go stand outside in the cold and check out a groundhog.

    Still not sold on it? Okay, how about a Caribbean Day? Invite family and friends for an indoor party. Everyone dresses in shorts and colourful shirts, some brave volunteer (or whoever drew the shortest straw) barbecues outside, play loud Caribbean music, serve fruit punch in glasses with tiny umbrellas, and pretend it’s summer.

    Hmmm, yeah, that sounds a LOT better than standing around outside waiting for a little critter to appear. Shall I send you an invitation when the plans have been finalized? ;o)

     
    • emilysutherland

      February 4, 2010 at 9:24 PM

      OH yes. I’m in. I’ll bring the fresh pineapple (shipped to Indiana from warm places)!

       

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