Punxsatawney Phil

Making a Pact with a Groundhog


I may be in the minority here, but I’m not ready to bid winter adieu quite yet. Despite being pounded by ice and snow at this very moment, I just haven’t had my fill of this pesky season. In fact, spring isn’t welcome in my home until March (at the earliest).

Chalk it up to those fond childhood memories, when wintry forecasts carried the promise of a little boy’s nirvana: sleeping in, missing school, and spending the day sledding and/or skiing.

We were fortunate to live across the street from the Assistant Superintendent, who was charged with ruling whether our school system would close for the day. As a courtesy to his (nosy and annoying) neighbors, his wife set up a system whereby she would illuminate their back porch light when school was called off. Oh, how I prayed to awaken to that illuminated bulb! (this was, of course, prior to the days of the internet, text messages and automatic calls from the school…)

Fast-forward to my adult self, when winter carries its fair share of annoyances to be sure, but still feeds my fantasies of being stranded at home in front of a roaring fire.

That’s why I’m willing to make a pact with Punxsatawney Phil, that infamous groundhog who gets to determine our seasonal destiny on Wednesday. I implore the portly rodent to “see” his shadow and burrow back underground for another six weeks of frostiness. In return, I’ll use my PR skills and connections to help restore his shoddy reputation.

Given the current storm advancing toward the Northeast, pundits say Phil is unlikely to see his shadow this year. But the odds are on my side. Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 99 times and not seen it 15 times (with nine years unrecorded). My fingers are crossed that dominance will continue.