Hey Groundhog…

…We are watching you.

We usually make a pretty big deal out of Groundhog Day every year. As of February 2, we are officially halfway through the winter. That is always something to celebrate, and I imagine even more so if you’re a groundhog wintering beneath the ground in a dark and dank hole. And although we still face the oftentimes nastier half of winter ahead of us, we can still dream, can’t we?

So groundhog, on Friday we will be watching, waiting to hear what your handlers presume is your prediction in whatever language you use, since you’re rarely allowed to actually freely explore your surroundings on your own, doing whatever it is that a groundhog does in its natural habitat as you survey the conditions and possibly or possibly not see your shadow and relinquish yourself back to your subterranean sett for six more cruel winter weeks.

Nonetheless, we dream of an early spring and we celebrate your existence, groundhog, and we at The Wanderer revel in our annual Groundhog Day cover contest, which this year – again – brought in 11 entries, the same amount as last year. (Mental note, explore Groundhog Day conspiracy theories for next year.)

Congratulations to Amanda Monson of Marion who has won $100 cash for garnering the most online votes this year with her exceptional rendering of a groundhog at Ned’s Point looking rather … hesitant? Indifferent? Resentful? Dubious? Who knows, maybe I’m just projecting, she said just before press time glancing down at the weather app featuring a snowflake icon on the Friday, Sunday, and Monday of this week’s edition.

I’m happy to say it’s looking promising for no shadow, but sorry to say, people – it’s not looking good for us for the next few days. So if we do find ourselves shoveling out for hopefully one last time this season, keep your fingers crossed while at it and implore all of your other leftover superstitions from Sunday’s game and let’s get started on spring.

So have a Happy Groundhog Day, everybody! Especially you, groundhog – and that’s an order, not a suggestion.…

By Jean Perry

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