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Musings on the Ground Hog

If you ask me what my favorite holiday is don’t expect to hear Christmas or the ultra girly Valentine’s Day. Instead expect to hear Ground Hog’s Day! What other day can you celebrate a cute, furry woodland creature with buck teeth that also weather prognosticates? Throw in the Amish and Pennslyvania Dutch origins of the Ground Hog Day and you will soon realize why I wait all year for this day.

Off to be eaten we go...

I have made the journey twice to see Punxsy Phil in western Pennslyvania. The first time I went to the quaint, ground hog blinged out town of Punxsutawney, Phil was out of his Ground Hog Zoo while renovations were being done on his habitat. The zoo is attached to Punxsutawney’s local library and visitors like myself can travel thousands of miles to peer at him while he naps, burrows and naps. Last summer I went to Punxsutawney again and this time there were no renovations being done and Punxsy Phil was stretched out asleep on his back with teeth in full view . I was estatic, how many people can say they have seen a ground hog sleeping? I wandered around Punxsy with my friend Craig and posed and took pictures with all the colorfully themed ground hog statues around town. I dropped into the Punxsy Chamber of Commerce and picked up a couple of adorable ground hog cookie cutters and a cute pair of fuzzy ground hog slippers.

Cute Cutters!

That has to be the cutest Chamber of Commerce in the nation. I decided I wanted to see if Phil had awakened from his nap and was pleased to see that he was. I wasn’t so pleased that tourists tapping on the glass had caused him to wake up. What is it with the glass tappers? Phil was basking in the attention, posing on a little riser and then alternately coming to glass to stare at us and then back onto the riser.

Groundhogs keep feet toasty

Today is the beloved Ground Hog day and the office staff was presented with the cute cookies and I was able to wear my furry slipper complete with a little tail. The Amish celebrate Grundsau Day as a solemn occasion but one of my favorite quotes is from the book, “The New Pennslyvania Dutch Cookbook” by Ruth Hutchin. She says that the Amish must have a wonderful sense of humor if they can mark it as a solemn occasion and then celebrate with an evening meal that includes grundsau or to put it plainly, baked Groundhog. I prefer to celebrate with some root vegetables- Early spring here we come!

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