January 24, 2011

Have Fun With a New Groundhog Day Perspective!

Groundhog Day has more significance to me this year than just wondering if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow. Of course, I'm hoping he won't see his shadow so spring can come early this year.

But I want to go beyond my childhood memories of Groundhog Day and elementary school, which by the way, was long before the birth of the internet.  I remember sitting in my third grade class while Mrs. Zook passed out purple ditto coloring pictures of a groundhog.  I certainly had no way of knowing there would someday be an internet with more than mere coloring pages available.

I have just now spent some time surfing the internet using the search phrase, Groundhog Day. My, what a famous little guy Punxsutawney Phil is!  I am amazed at the many new opportunities the internet offers us to observe this historic day. There are places to go, facts to learn, and products to buy. And they all have to do with February 2, Groundhog Day.

First, I learned that there is a Punxsutawney Groundhog Club that you can join.  All you need is $10.00 a year and a good sense of humor.  There are currently 58 chapters all over the United States and Canada.  Hopefully there is one near you.  If not, you can start your own chapter.  I've read that there is even a surprise gift from Punx'y Phil himself for anyone who starts a new chapter.

One benefit of being a member of a chapter is meeting people who would want to go with you to visit Western Pennsylvania to see Punxsutawney.  There you could participate in many Groundhog Day festivities downtown, including going south of town to visit Gobbler's Knob where the famous Phil is featured every February 2.

Many internet searches come up with some sort of trivia.  My choice of  trivia from my Groundhog Day search is that a groundhog's life span is normally 6 to 8 years.  We don't have to worry about Punx'y Phil, though.  He drinks a magical punch during the annual Groundhog Picnic, which gives him seven more years of life.  As long as that punch is available, Phil will be around.

For all of us chocolate fans, you can buy Punx'y Phil in solid milk chocolate. His description guarantees that he will not melt if he sees his shadow.

You can send an e-card on Groundhog Day!  Think of how touched your family and friends would be to know you are remembering them on such a meaningful day.

During my web surfing, I found so many Groundhog Day products. Lollipops, pins, magnets, ornaments, cookie cutters, bags & purses, jewelry, caps, gloves, cards & stationery, ceremics, mugs, clothing for infants to adults, coffee, hot sauce, and miscellaneous. You can even buy cookies with a choice of white iced, chocolate iced, or gingerbread.  Or bake your own with groundhog cookie cutters.  Yes, there's something for everyone!

For anyone lucky enough to have been born on Groundhog Day, you can find "Born on Groundhog Day" shirts.  This is a good item to wear to prove to people you're not the "stiff shirt" they may have always thought you were!

My web surfing even turned up a site that has a Groundhogese translator.  Did you know that you can get anything you want to say translated into groundhog language? You simply enter the phrase in your language and within seconds, you will see it written in Groundhogese.  You can even play the audio of the translation!  I was eager to try this.  So I typed in "Can Phil really forecast the weather?" And the translation came back:  "Grunt chitter squeak grunt chitter sheeah?"

Then because it was so much fun, I tried another sentence, and typed in,  "What do you predict Phil's prediction will be this year?"  The answer, as promised, came back in Groundhogese:  "Ooat ooat hehaa grunt Chitter'hehaa chirp ehteht squeak ehteht squeak?"

You may want to go to the translator site and learn some Groundhogese for yourself.  Watch out, though.  It messes up Spell Check!

I've saved the best news for last.  Here it is!  Punxsutawney Phil got married just in time for Groundhog Day.  Yes, he did!  Her name is Phyllis. You can see her here.  Maybe next year there will be little Phils and Phyllises to help us observe Groundhog Day.

Now that's something new to talk about at lunch!  

Resource: groundhog.org

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