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Thursday, February 2, 2012


Of all Mother Nature’s gentle and endearing creatures, I most identify with the groundhog. He waits patiently underground all year, feasting on delicacies and delights, only to appear in the gloom of a February morning while all the world waits to discover his secret. Then, in a burst of media attention, his single accomplishment of the year is over in the flash of a newsman’s camera.

For the groundhog, fate balances on the turn of a sundial. If the way is clear, we will throw open the windows and welcome in the twinkling sunbeams of spring. But if the groundhog sees his shadow, he runs to hide his face and we trudge into a tunnel of deep, dark, depressing days, trailing our winter boots and woolen scarves behind us.

I feel the same way when I try on bathing suits.

During the winter months, I while away the demi-days of the season gorging myself on cream-filled snack cakes and marking off blocks on the calendar with a tube of decorator icing. Something happens to me in between the time when the autumn leaves start falling and the spring seedlings begin to sprout. Cold weather brings the opportunity to stir up sweet snow cream and savory soups. Winter holidays that taste of cornbread dressing and pumpkin pie whip past, and before I know it I’m two Ho-Ho’s and a Ding Dong away from fitting into my stretchy pants.

And so, I dig in my closet to the bottom of the pile of Things Left to Die, past the leggings, past the belly shirts, past the sports bra, and pull out—gasp—last year’s swimsuit. It took three paramedics and the Jaws of Life to remove the thing last year, and it will probably take my weight in bacon grease to get thing wretched thing to slide on now.

And suddenly Puxatawney Phil pops up to remind me that the days of carrots and calorie counters are waiting just around the cold front.

And here I am without a recipe for groundhog pie.


Jewel Allen said...

I've loved Phil since watching Groundhog Day, but not when he sees his shadow :-(.

I read your Bra whisperer piece. Very funny! Glad I found you through Hope's newsletter.

Amy Mullis said...

Hi Jewel. Down South we have another groundhog, General Beauregard Lee. So if one groundhog predicts winter, I become an immediate fan of the other one!

Anonymous said...

Poor Phil! I don't blame him, but the top-hatted drunken good old boys who haul him out of his comfy little burrow. Who could blame him for making a negative prediction?