Hi there! I want you to meet my friend. It’s Phil. He’s the furry fellow second from the left. I’m so very lucky to have many friends. I have my delightful local friends, my wonderful pen friends, all my outstanding “dead friends” and of course, my extraordinary animal friends.
Each category of friendship adds its own very special element of delight. Each is worthy of discussion, but today, on the Eve of Groundhog Day, I’d like to focus on an animal friend, one particular animal friend I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since I was a very little girl. That fellow is none other than Groundhog Phil.
You’ve probably heard of him. Phil is a famous weather man, (well, not really a weather man! He’s a weather critter) from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Phil was the first to predict just when Spring will arrive based on seeing his shadow or not seeing it. He’s had lots of copy cats, but isn’t that what always happens when people and critters spot a good idea?
I had the opportunity to meet Phil and get to know his world first hand because my father happens to be from Punxsutawney too, just like Phil, and I’ve been to their sweet Pennsylvania town many times over the years. You may have seen Phil in the movies, but I have had the good fortune of seeing him many times in person. Don’t you love to meet celebrities?
Phil lives in a neat groundhog abode equipped with everything a groundhog could want. It’s built into a lovely modern public building with a big, fancy picture window. His home is located right in the center of Punxsy’s town square. Location! Location! It’s not surprising to find him in such a cushy residence because after all, you wouldn’t expect a famous personality to live in a dump, now would you? There, in his own private world, he has fun lounging about, enjoying the good life, with a great view of the town he loves so much, the town that put him on the map – made him world famous. Of course like all celebrities he has to sacrifice privacy. The picture window he likes so much allowing him to look out at the world also allows his many fans to spy on his every move — fans like me!
You would be impressed to see the statue of Phil in downtown Punxsutawney, but it’s no surprise for a famous townsman — oops, townscritter, to be memorialized in this manner. After all, Phil is not only a famous weather critter, he’s also a movie star. You must’ve seen his film, Groundhog Day, where he co-starred with Bill Murray, but if you haven’t seen it yet, or even if you have, tomorrow would be the perfect day to watch it again or for the first time.
I’ll have to make a point to schedule one of my next Country Inn Days in Punxsutawney, pay Phil a call, and visit a few country cousins while I’m at it. Groundhog Day would be the perfect time for such an outing, but then again, any time is a good time to visit friends and family, isn’t it? Come to think of it, Phil would probably be too busy on Groundhog Day for company anyway.
So if you’re looking for a really different escape from your work-a-day world take a jaunt over to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and if you drop over at Phil’s place say hello to him for me. I’m happy I could give you this idea and share my friend with you today. You know what I always say —sharing doubles the joy! And by reminding you about Groundhog Day a day early you still have a little time to plan your Groundhog Day party. (I bet you almost forgot.) That’s what I’m going to do right now…so I guess I’ll just catch you later… and one more thing.
HAVE YOURSELF A HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY
PS – Meet one of those country cousins, Jason. A director of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club— a Punxy man and proud of it!