Groundhog Day

If you haven’t heard, Punxsutawney Phil—the famous groundhog—will venture out tomorrow to check if he sees his shadow. Well, if he does see his shadow that means six more weeks of winter. Of course, that’s also what the calendar says. If he doesn’t see his shadow, it means an early spring—but the calendar will still have spring start in six weeks. The weather forecast in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is for cloudy weather.

Groundhog’s Day is an odd tradition with a surprisingly long history. It could have been called Woodchuck Day because groundhogs and woodchucks are the same animal.

The tradition started a very long time ago in Germany under a different name with a badger predicting the weather.

The United States version was derived from the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition based on the large rodent seeing its shadow that it would return to its den and we’d have six more weeks of winter, but if it didn’t see its shadow then winter would be ending sooner and warmer weather is on the way.

The first recorded Groundhog Day occurred in German communities in Pennsylvania, with the earliest recorded date of February 2, 1840.

The tradition started in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in 1886, being recorded in the local newspaper there. However, it still wasn’t considered “official” until a year later in 1887 when a group of people started going to a place in town called Gobbler’s Knob.

If you haven’t seen the movie, “Groundhog’s Day,” I would highly recommend it. It is a romantic comedy about an egocentric television reporter (played by Bill Murray) who is bitter about covering the Groundhog Day story. A storm prevents him from leaving town that night. Much to his surprise, he wakes up the following morning to the previous day—Groundhog Day—getting caught in an endless loop reliving Groundhog Day every day. He works to win the affections of his producer (played by Andie McDowell), without much success as she dismisses his advances. He finally breaks the pattern when he learns to treat others better (and appears to win her heart with his altruism).

The movie “Groundhog Day” is a fun flick. What would you do differently if you could relive yesterday over again? What if you got stuck in a time loop? Interestingly, the film ends with Bill Murray’s character wanting to buy a home and stay in Punxsutawney. It had become home for him.

Speaking of home—whether or not the groundhog will see its shadow, I expect that the real estate market will continue being strong with low mortgage rates. The market typically gets busier before spring actually starts.   

Looking for a place that you wouldn’t mind being stuck for a while—a better home, perhaps? I can help you achieve that dream where you can create new memories. I can also help you sell a home if that is also part of your plans to achieving your dream home.

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Ron Sasso

Ron Sasso

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