I can’t think of Groundhogs Day without thinking of my husband, Bob’s grandmother, Vina Leary Schulenberg Hein, who was born on that day. I don’t suppose that first Groundhog’s Day mattered much to her or to her parents. They were too busy having a new baby to think about whether or not it would be an early spring. I think later on though, Grandma liked sharing her birthday with Groundhog’s Day…at least we all knew that she thought it was special, because she did mention it a few times.
Groundhog’s Day is one I have a love/hate relationship with. If the groundhog predicts an early Spring, I love the day, but if he predicts six more weeks of winter…I want to slap him. By February, I think most people are ready for Spring to arrive…my sister, Cheryl Masterson being the exception to that rule. Since she loves Winter, the thought of an early Spring is reason to slap the groundhog, but if he promises an early Spring, I’ll gladly protect him from my sister. So fear not Punxsutawney Phil…I’ll save you. If you predict an early Spring, that is. If not…watch out for me!!
Bob’s grandmother would have been 107 this Groundhog’s Day…if she were still with us. I miss her a lot. I was always short on grandparents, because my dad’s dad passed away before my parents were married, and my dad’s mom passed away when I was six months old. Growing up, all we had were my mom’s parents, and they were both gone by 1988. By 2004 all the grandparents were gone, and I miss each and every one of them. I was grateful to have Bob’s grandparents to be my own too. They always made me feel welcome.
Every year as Groundhog’s Day approaches, I find myself looking for the upcoming weather reports for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, since that is where Punxsutawney Phil lives. I have often wondered how a groundhog in Pennsylvania could predict the coming Spring in Wyoming, but they say he does. Nevertheless, every time he predicts six more weeks of Winter, I hope he fails in that years prediction. They say he is never wrong, but I think he certainly could be…especially when we have cloudy weather here, so seeing his shadow would not be an option here. This year they predict partly cloudy weather for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, so an early Spring doesn’t seem likely, but I can dream can’t I. Today would have been Grandma Hein’s 107th Groundhog Birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven Grandma. We love and miss you very much.