Welcome to February — and six more weeks of winterFree Access

By now we should know if Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow or not. If he has, we know we have six more weeks of winter. If he has not seen his shadow, we know we have six more weeks of winter.

The first day of spring does not bend to the will of some overgrown burrowing rodent. Even if he is wearing a top hat and tuxedo. And has a “holiday” named for him.

This year, spring starts March 20, shadow or no shadow. Apparently, we cannot even say, “Only the Shadow knows.” Now, if you were wondering who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, that the shadow knows.  

Groundhog Day is one of those days I often wonder, “Why?” What is the significance of Groundhog Day? Other than giving Pennsylvanians a reason to get together and celebrate.

And then to designate the day on calendars? Geez, I do not see Stephen A. Condon’s Day listed under Aug. 19 on any calendars. Not the ones I buy anyway. That is, until I write it in. What more important day than Aug. 19, 1959, has ever occurred?  

That was rhetorical. Only because I do not want to know the answer.

There is a silver lining to Groundhog Day; it is pretty close to the midpoint of winter. So, for all of us, whether we are glass half full or glass half empty, we are about halfway through winter. Half of winter is already behind us and we only have a half of winter left to go. In other words, spring is halfway here! That is not a half-bad thought.

It also reminds us February is here. The lover’s month. Well, at least the lover’s day, Valentine’s Day. The day we guys show our love by giving our loved one flowers and/or chocolates.

The chocolates are nice, except they tend to “grow” on a person. A second on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. But then, that just means there is more of your loved one to love.  

That is, to love as long as you do not give the first answer that comes to your mind when she asks if this dress makes her look fat. If you truly love her, not only will you answer “no,” but you will see “no.”

As Dad used to say, it is what is inside the person that counts. That is true. Some people just have a lot more inside to count. Which is why I count a lot. My insides are adding up. Pound by pound. I knew my math would come in handy.

While I believe what is inside is what counts, I also know some wrapping paper just ain’t too pretty.

Kathy was never one to want cut flowers. Plants yes, cut flowers no. The beauty of flowers fades too quickly. You cut them and they have nothing left to do but dry up and decay.

On the other hand, plants continue to live and show their beauty for a much longer time, depending on how green your thumb is.

Back to this month, February is also Daniel’s birth month. He expects us to celebrate his birth every day during this month. It is a good thing February has only 28 days. Who would want to celebrate Daniel’s birth for 31 days? Other than Daniel, that is.

Now my birthday? That is a different story. They, but I do not know who they are, wanted to add a few more days to August, just for celebration purposes.  

But I stepped in and said 31 days are enough for a guy like me. Of course, I was lying through my teeth. Well, all my teeth except the two wisdom teeth I had pulled. But I did not want to look like the braggart I am. I go for the humble façade.

Daniel does share his birth month with some notable people — Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, author Laura Ingalls Wilder, composer George Frideric Handel, Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks, inventor Thomas Edison, scientists Charles Darwin and Galileo Galilei, my brother Jim and even Daniel’s daughter Ella.

The Jackson County Central Middle School students have undoubtedly heard about most of the people on the above list of February birthdays. Especially the two presidents, whose birthdays will be celebrated Feb. 21 with a day off from school.

In athletics, the JCC Middle School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are taking on St. James Area this afternoon (Thursday), with the boys hosting in Lakefield while the girls are visiting in Butterfield.

On Tuesday, the JCC Middle School wrestlers will be at the Okoboji High School in Iowa wrestling against the Pioneers in a junior-high invitational.

With that, as I have six more weeks of winter to prepare for, and more “Daniel’s Birth Month celebrations” to attend, I close for this week. Until next week, use your own shadow to determine how many more weeks of cheering on our athletes you get to do. Go, Huskies!

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