Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowbound Rodents


First of all, HAPPY GROUNDHOGS DAY! Or is it Groundhog's that... does it belong to them, or celebrate a bunch of them? Whatever the case... I have a question.



How does the groundhog KNOW if he sees his shadow or not when he is buried in SNOW? It's all well and good for those New Englanders to traipse out Fat Phil, but REALLY, how did Phil GET the job as official groundhog, and even in Pennsylvania, or wherever he is, isn't it a lot to expect he will be happy plopped into six feet of snow?

And I've begun to suspect a TRICK of this day for the last few years... it seems to me Phil ALWAYS sees his shadow... I don't think it has anything to do with SUN at all. I think if they trot him out in DAYLIGHT, they call it a shadow. I mean when was the last time YOU remember that spring started on February 3rd? For ME, it was when I was in college, and that was only because we were desperate to have a base tan before spring break.


I DEMAND a more fair superstition be arrived at!

*cough *



But on the PLUS side...

I am having my first snow day since 2000. I thought maybe I'd reminisce about the LAST one... I moved from Portland, Oregon to Ann Arbor, Michigan in August of 2000. Portland, in the 12 years I lived there had half a dozen snows (all gone within 48 hours) and one ice storm, that admittedly, was a disaster. Winter in Portland typically was RAIN... sometimes miserably cold in the ability of the WET to get into your bones, but not, by comparison COLD.

My parents, still lived (then and now) in northern Idaho, so I got to visit snow a few times a year... and honestly, Mt. Hood was only a half hour a way, the peak of which (Timberline Lodge, where much of the Shining was filmed) has snow 11 months most years... I didn't MISS snow.

So we GOT here (to air you could SEE in summer... hello, humidity) and that first December in snowed... a lot... 9 inches, I think... and two days later, it snowed another 10. The University called a snow day... but ironically, I was also SICK (the two times in my life I've been sickest have BOTH been first winters in new cities... new germs, all that) but MAN that was a mess... and the temperature in Ann Arbor didn't go above freezing until MARCH... that MESS never melted. Just got dirtier and dirtier.

ToDAY, though.... I get to ENJOY my snow day!!! As I write this (last night) it is snowing hard, school has been canceled, and they are predicting 12 inches... If we GET it (update when I get up) it will be in the top 10 biggest one-fall accumulations in Michigan history.



On the Docket

I am EDITING... LEGACY is undergoing change per FEEDBACK... [Crikey, I'd like a snow weasel) I am putting in the specific changes suggested by the FABULOUS Leigh and Sketchie the Spaz (the only person I know who can give me a run for my money on being a NUT—but also LONG-TIME writer friend). I also have some comments that will need bigger level changes, but I want to get these in first... IDEALLY by Thursday I will have gone through them and can start the bigger ones... I'm shooting for SUNDAY for done THIS time... have one more reader and my own OUT LOUD, and then it should be ready...

I might write a query draft or two... I've decided those need a couple iterations and stewing time, TOO...


I will definitely shovel a little... I won't feel sufficiently immersed in stormness unless I do...

So I hope any of you caught in this storm are getting by fine and don't lose power (another possibility if I don't show up)  Don't go anywhere you don't have to!


28 comments:

Dan said...

I always thought it was Groundhog Day, you know, just the one.

Be careful up there. Don't go out if you don't have to. I'm in NW Indiana right now. At work. On the ambulance. It is nasty as miserable and dangerous. I wouldn't be out if I didn't have to be.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

That's a LOT of snow! Stay warm (and don't send it down here. Ha!) Good luck with the assorted editing and querying!

Jessica Bell said...

Wow. You stay safe! And um ... I love that you used the word 'Crikey'. :o) And good luck with the edits!

Lee Libro said...

Fat Phil has checked into the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota for the month of February. :p

Old Kitty said...

Awww I'm still none the wiser about groundhog day but I hope the groundhogs are ok!! :-)

Keep warm and extra safe please!! Yay for your edits!! Take care
x

Teresa aka JW said...

We have over 12 inches here. I don't know where my driveway is--just the vincity because the snow drifted over three foot in the driveway. Yuck.

Hart Johnson said...

Dan-only the one? How lonely! You be careful with the ambulance! That's really the front lines, so THANK YOU for doing that!

Elizabeth, I'm pretty sure we are sending it to Ontario... I think it was in Illinois last and blowing northeast.

Jessica- I was quoting Hagrid! I do like Crikey, though...

Lee *snort* Silly pampered rodent!

Hart Johnson said...

Jenny- I think the groundhogs will be okay... we have woodchucks around here, and I don't know the difference, but I think they hibernate (at least mostly)

Teresa-hubby just went out to find ours... looks like only 6 inches or so so far, but it is still snowing and looks like it will continue a few more hours.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

The storm actually missed us in MN, though we had another 5 inches on monday. Of course, one of the down sides of working at home means you don't get snow days anymore unless the power's out

Boonie S said...

'Snow good..... or is it?
Take care.

Al the best, Boonie

ViolaNut said...

It's actually supposed to be HEDGEHOG Day, but this silly continent we live on doesn't HAVE native hedgehogs, so they borrowed a groundhog for it instead. Not kidding. :-) As for snow, even I'm getting sick of it... we've now had more of it than I am tall...

Deb and Barbara said...

Deb was JUST saying to me that she was embarrassed for the weather. We've been warned about this storm for 3 days, all the schools across this big city are closed .... and it's just a few inches with the softest falling flakes you've ever seen. Hardly feels like a snow day when the roads are clear and a mere swipe of the hand clears the car. Sigh. (really was looking forward to cocooning)
B
The Middle Ages

Dawn said...

As an Alberta girl, I'm well acquainted with snow. Sadly, our SNOW DAYS are few and far between. Enjoy yours. Stay warm!

Jan Morrison said...

OK Tartlette - listen up! Pendantic Jan is on board. If the groundhog sees his shadow WHICH HE CAN'T in a snowstorm then he gets scared because he's a big wuzzy and goes back into his cavelette. Then we have six more weeks of hard-time, I mean winter. If he doesn't which he won't here and sounds like there - he'll come out and start moseying around and looking for a girlfriend and like that. Then we only have perhaps four to five and a half more weeks of winter. OK? Now here in Nova Scotia we don't get spring so we get winter - then a season called 'Water in All its Forms' then summer comes at about the regular time.
Groundhog day is a dumming down of two possible holidays - one Celtic - Brigid Day (St. if you're Catholic, Goddess if you're pagan) and Candlemass or the purification of Mary. We are meant on Brigid Day (which is the first of Feb.) to make Brigid crosses out of reeds - which I tried and failed at - and yummy Irish food - which I was successful at. I don't know what the regime is for purifying Mary.
Brigid is the goddess of the forge, of the healing arts and of poetry. I think she's pretty cool and I wrote alot about her in my first unpublished novel - Feckless.
so there ya go - in Europe where they don't have groundhogs it was thought that they started this tradition with small bears, hedgehogs, or badgers. It must be some creature that hibernates. Which by the way I'm inclined to do today. Eat lots and go back to my cave.

Talli Roland said...

Jan - LOL! 'Water in all its forms - so true!

Bad day to be a groundhog in the States today! Stay warm...

VR Barkowski said...

Today's top local news story: "General Beau Lee, Georgia’s Official weather prognosticator and groundhog, did not see his shadow this morning, meaning Atlanta should see an early spring this year."

Why does Georgia have their own ground hog? Does Pux. Phil represent the Seasons of Northern Aggression or something? I've got a lot to learn about being a southerner.

Stay warm.

Colene Murphy said...

Enjoy your snow day!!! I love the cute snowy animal pictures too!

Melissa said...

I think the point of superstitions is that they are never fair....just saying.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You had all that snow. We were seventy degrees and muggy. I hate you.
(No I don't!)
Now what if the Tart sees her shadow? What happens then?

Hart Johnson said...

Sarah, it's BAFFLING that it missed you, really.

Boonie *snort*

Leanne- okay, so I LIKE Groundhogs, but HEDGEHOGS! No wonder Phil is so inaccurate! he is NO HEDGEHOG!

Barbara-too funny--we didn't get it as bad as we expected, but it wasn't nothing, and I think the news was pretty accurate in saying the REASON it wasn't as bad is because everyone stayed HOME... you keep all the nuts off the road, it helps a LOT.

Dawn-I'm from Northern Idaho, originally, so I hear you!

Jan--LOVE the Brigid stuff! I bet she doesn't even have buck teeth! And I agree with Talli, cracking up about water in all its forms as a season.

Talli--yeah... I think this storm hit 30 states... nowhere to hide for those poor rodents!

VRB-Georgia has their OWN?! Baffling! Georgia is a lot closer to Penn than OREGON and OREGON had to listen to Phil!

Colene-the animals always help. Even my DOG in the snow is pretty darned cute!

Melissa-you may have a point on not fair, but they could AT LEAST be accurate! I heard Phil only has a 39% accuracy rate!

Alex--so jealous! I LOVE 70 and muggy! (90, not so much, but 70, yes)

And if the Tart sees her shadow, you all have to get NAKED!

Arlee Bird said...

No snowday here in L.A., but I guess I can live with that. There's not even any groundhogs that I know of around here.

Lee
Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Kassy with a K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kassy with a K said...

I was a 70 and muggy today too.
But I do love your story about your first winter there.
Our first winter in NC was also 2000, and us coming from NY were like YAY no snow! And NC got hit with its record 20ish inches, and WE were the NYers with no snow shovels, no snow clothes, no sleds, because we thought we were DONE with that stuff.
(And by we, I really mean them--I like the snow, but the rest of the fam says negative.)

Ugh. Sorry. Had to fix that typo. >.<

Lisa Potts said...

Good for you enjoying that snow day! And since I missed Naked Day post, can I just say I WANT a naked snow weasel!

Shaharizan Perez said...

I can empathize! I am not feeling this snow. It finally began to melt but now its just ice. I can't take it anymore.

*moving to Puerto Rico when I hit the lotto*

gideon 86 said...

We got two feet in Chicago, Hart....

How much in Michigan. Did you see that Lake Shore Drive had 900 cars stranded?

Michael

Al said...

You know rabbits aren't actually rodents?
Hows that for me being a know it all?
I don't know anything about groundhog day other than there was a movie...

Hart Johnson said...

Lee--yeah, not much variation to LAs weather! There is warm and hot.

Kas-too funny--yeah that was a bad winter! (Alex isn't too far from you) I don't mind snow, but I'd really prefer a SHORT winter... 2-3 weeks maybe?

Lisa-YAY! Love the Naked Snow Weasel!

Chary-you guys have really gotten hammered this year! Puerto Rico sounds nice at any rate...

Michael-we only ended up with about 9 inches, but lots of drifting. I saw that Chicago got it bad!

Al-I don't imagine you get much winter at all! Yeah...groundhog... think non-marsupial wombat... though wombats are a little cuter...