When I say that I love Groundhog Day, I'm not talking about the
movie starring Bill Murray, although that is a funny movie and if you haven't seen it, you really should! I really just love Groundhog Day. Part of this may have to do with the fact that I have spent a lot of time in Wiarton Willie Country. I mean, who doesn't love a place that capitalizes on an event that happens once a year and is centered on an albino rodent who may or may not be able to predict the arrival of spring?
Groundhog Day is a frivolous celebration, really an excuse to break up winter if you ask me. It's quirky and it's silly, and that's why I love it. It's really ridiculous to think that a rodent could predict the end of winter, especially when you consider that if he sees his shadow, it means 6 more weeks of winter; and if he doesn't see his shadow, it will be 6 more weeks until spring. So basically, either way, it's the same thing.
Groundhog Day also reminds me of my Grandfather. He was a fabulous story teller. He would tell us stories about growing up in Cooksville in the 1930s, about different characters and funny things they did. I sometimes think that my interest in writing comes from him. He mightn't have been able to write his stories down, but he really knew how to keep his listeners interested. His stories always got better with the retelling, but that was half of the fun of listening to him. Grampy retired up in Willie Country and I spent a lot of time there with he and my grandmother. He taught me how to snowshoe, how to track animals, how to watch at the window for the phesants to come to his feeder as dusk was falling.
Grampy loved living on the Bruce Peninsula. He loved the wildlife and the solitude, and he loved the stories about the area and telling stories of some of the local characters too. I couldn't help but appreciate the irony when he passed away on Groundhog Day two years ago. It was like he was sharing one last joke with us.
If you want to know more about Wiarton Willie, you can check his live Webcam here: http://www.wiartonwilliecam.com/
For details of this year's Wiarton Willie Festival, check here: http://www.southbrucepeninsula.com/en/wiartonwillie/welcome.asp