By Jeff Salter
This week, we’re all about Ground Hog Day. But since today is already three days past GH Day, I’m shifting the focus from the shadowy activities of that prognosticating rodent… to the larger matter — when will winter end?
Indeed, “winter” has so many different meanings (i.e., manifestations) — depending on which part of the globe you inhabit.
For example, during my year of a remote tour of duty within the Arctic Circle – Thule Air Base in N.W. Greenland – the symptoms of “winter” lasted some TEN MONTHS or so. And even the two “summer” months were not truly warm — they were merely warm-er than the winter.
And here’s a shocker: I have a friend and colleague – the former 4F1H fox, Iris Blobel – who lives in Australia. While we (in North America) are having summer, they have winter… and as we’re shivering with cold weather, they’re at the beach. So I wonder what the activities of Aussie groundhogs predict?
For my part – here in southeast KY, where I’ve lived for about 8.5 years – I can’t wait for the warm weather. Our 2014-2015 winter so far has been reasonable, but everybody says we’re in for two pretty harsh months before Spring arrives.
I hope they’re wrong.
A Fun Movie
While Groundhog Day (with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell) is a funny and thought-provoking film that I’ve really enjoyed, there’s not any actual tie-in with GH Day itself. The very same plot and characters could have collected around any other winter day which may have brought a TV crew to a small town. It could have been Washington’s birthday, Lincoln’s birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, etc. The very same story could have worked for any cold weather time and place.
I wonder why the writer(s) selected GH Day for their tale of a boorish man who has to relive a day over and over until he finally learns a few lessons?
All that said, I do have a single memory related specifically to GH Day. On Feb. 2 of 1962 (I think that was the year), my grandmother’s dog had puppies. She “gave” one to me and one to my sister, but those pups continued to live with Grandmother. I named the one allocated to me, Rex… ad I think my sister named the other one Happy. Though from the same litter, they bore absolutely no resemblance to one another. Rex was white and short, while Happy was black and taller.
Do YOU have any memories linked to GH Day? How do YOU feel about the remaining couple months of winter? Is YOUR winter of the type that a northerner would even recognize as cold weather?