Wendy Cartwright: Midwest Wonders … Groundhog Day

By Wendy Cartwright

Guest columnist

Good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil.

The most famous rodent (according to me) in the entire world did not see his shadow on Feb. 2 when he was yanked from his home in Gobbler’s Knob.

That means an early Spring is coming! Right? Well, that depends on how you look at it.

Phil’s prediction can be either an early spring or six more weeks of winter. If he is predicting the severity of the weather and using seasonal names to describe them, then I suppose you could take it for what it is, a fun tradition that gives us hope or crushes our Midwestern souls. We have been known to have some pretty severe snowstorms in late winter.

I’m a literal thinker. This year, the first day of spring is March 19. That is exactly six six weeks and four days from Feb. 2, so regardless, there are six more weeks of winter. Please don’t hate me.

I have heard many meteorologists on television express their concerns with Phil’s predictions. They suggest we not put much stock in his forecast.

I did an internet search to try to make an informed decision about Punxsutawney Phil’s qualifications regarding the weather. My search informed there has only ever been one Phil. The groundhog is 138 years old. His lifespan is said to be exactly “seven more years.” This is due to the fact that he takes a sip of the Elixir of Life every summer, which gives him “seven more years of life.”

His full name is Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Profit Extraordinaire. He is named Phil after King Phillip. His wife’s name is Phyllis. She does not, however, receive the Elixir of Life.

All of this information has helped me make a decision, and I hope that it helps you make yours. Whatever that decision may be, I agree it is a fun tradition to watch the news on Groundhog Day and see what Phil thinks. I hope he was right this year.

Footnote: All of the information regarding Punxsutawney Phil contained in this article is courtesy of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, est. 1887 (groundhog.org), except his lifespan, which is how Google interpreted the information at that website.

Wendy Cartwright hails from the North Vernon area and has lived there most of her life. She has a love of sharing her thoughts on growing up in the Midwest and other stories from her life. She spends her days reading and writing in the home she shares with her husband and chihuahua. Send comments to [email protected].