Here we are on the last day of January only to be greeted by another morning of sub-freezing temperatures.
There was yet another dusting of snow on our walkways during the week…which, down south, shuttered entire cites because, you know…southerners think of snow as some sort of fungus.
But hey, it’s January, soon to be February; it’s winter…it’s what winter is.
We might as well complain about too much heat and humidity in the summer.
Oh, wait…we do that too.
So I guess it’s a pattern.
The good news is it’s supposed to get progressively warmer as we head towards the BIG day, coming up this weekend…even into the 40s, which would be like a tropical vacation, around here…especially, as I said, we head towards the BIG day.
There’s no longer any spurious, premature talk of a massive snowstorm that would have had the potential to squash everyone’s fun and bring the BIG day to its knees.
Nope…all systems are a go, and all the days of sweat, hard work and planning will be rewarded with one super event that everyone has been looking forward to since…well, since the last BIG day, a year ago.
And on Sunday…the wait will be finally over.
And once that little rodent slips out of his hole and either sees his shadow or doesn’t see his shadow…well, then something will happen in regard to how much longer winter will last…but I can never keep that straight.
You thought I was talking about something else?
What could be bigger than Groundhog’s Day?
What could be bigger than incontrovertible proof that finally…finally…there’s an end in sight to the winter to end all winters.
Whatever that means….
I’m not sure…because I’m pretty sure were still gonna have more winters.
But somehow everything is contingent on…as we in the know like to say…this odd little Marmota monax, which, as I’m sure you're aware, is a member of the Sciuridae family, from New Jersey, whose boss is a little chubby rodent named Tony.
But let’s keep that between us…know what I’m talking about?
Anyway, thanks to the mostly accurate information to be gleaned on Wikipedia, I can tell you that Groundhog Day, at least in the US of A, can be traced back to the German communities of central and western Pennsylvania, which also boasts the origins of the #2 pencil and subsequently standardized testing, which measures your ability to color in little holes on paper.
The custom—Groundhog day, not standardized testing—can be traced back even further to ancient European Lore, where the weather prognostication was attributed to, not a groundhog at all, but a big sacred bear, which is widely acknowledged also to be the start of Al Roker’s career as a weatherman.
So you can’t really argue with that kind of tradition, let alone accuracy, which is stated to be almost 40% correct, most of the time, except for when it isn’t and the percentages go down.
But nobody likes to dwell on the negative…not when it comes to Groundhog’s Day…unless it’s that movie with Bill Murray that goes by the same name...which I happen to like and can watch all day long, over and over again.
And folks all around the country, but especially here in the tri-state area of New York/New Jersey and Connecticut are really getting into it, this year. The grocery stores are jammed with folks making preparations for Groundhog Day parties, like never before, even if the little fellow—the groundhog, not Al Roker— does see his shadow, which is bad…I think.
They’re even giving them a football theme for some reason, but I’m guessing that’s just because all the stores are already sold out of their Groundhog paraphernalia and decorations.
You know how it is…the early worm catches the groundhog…or something like that.
But shhhhhhhhhhhh…don’t wake him up.
There are still a couple of days until Sunday, and no one wants a grumpy Groundhog messing up their Fersommling.
You can look it up….