February 2 is observed annually in the United States and Canada as Groundhog Day. In addition, this date will always be remembered in our family as the anniversary of Terry’s first hip replacement surgery last year. Thanks be to God and to her wonderful orthopedic surgeon, she is doing quite well. We even danced last week, for the first time in a long time!
But let’s get back to Groundhog Day, adopted in the U.S. in 1887. Wikipedia says: “Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby is the name of a succession of groundhogs in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The town of Punxsutawney holds the largest Groundhog Day celebration, honoring the legendary groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food.”
“During the ceremony, which begins well before the winter sunrise, Phil emerges with his “wife” Phyllis and “daughter” Phelicia from his temporary home on Gobbler’s Knob, located in a rural area about 2 miles southeast of town.”
“According to tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter-like weather. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an early spring. Punxsutawney Phil became a national celebrity thanks to the 1993 movie Groundhog Day.”
Here at our home in Georgetown, Texas, the day I wrote this article the temperature reached a high of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If this is the kind of winter Punxsutawney Phil predicts will last six more weeks after today, I say bring it on!
Perhaps I should feel a bit guilty enjoying this kind of weather the first week of February, especially in light of having spoken this week with dear friends who live in Gunnison, Colorado. They reported a temperature of -37 degrees Fahrenheit. Lord, have mercy!
Whether Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction proves accurate remains to be seen. And even if our 75 degree temperature plummets precipitously, I’ll still thank God for the privilege of enjoying his gracious gifts of health and happiness, family and faith, life and love, freedom and forgiveness!
I hope you’ll agree!