Predictions From Punxsutawney Pennsylvania

A groundhog next to the message Happy Groundhog Day from Punxsutawney PhilEvery mile is two in winter.  ~George Herbert


The infamous rodent of Punxsutawney, PA has once again seen his shadow at this morning’s festivities and predicts six more weeks of winter.

The history of this 131-year-old custom is a great example of actual fake news

But, people hold tightly to traditions and long-held beliefs for a variety of reasons; the scientific facts not being one of them!

Despite Phil’s announcement, I’m predicting ten more weeks of winter. March comes in like a lion and sometimes goes out that way. I don’t feel we’ve seen the last of winter until we’re safely into April. 

In the meantime, stay warm!  🙂


 

Did You Know That Groundhogs Can Predict The Weather?

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Anyone interested in weather predictions should watch the events tomorrow at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The annual  Groundhog Day festivities are scheduled to begin at 5:00 am ET.

According to folklore, if Phil sees his shadow when he emerges from his burrow, it means six more weeks of winter; no shadow means spring will come early.

This holiday dates back to February 2, 1887, and is a major celebration. Thousands of people descend upon the small town, located in Jefferson county, about 84 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

As a lifelong resident of PA (until moving to FL last year) we were very familiar with this tradition. I’ve conveniently scheduled my next trip home to visit family after the six weeks mark (just in case.) I’ve gotten used to warm, sunny weather during the winter months!

If you happen to be in the area and decide to attend here are the Top 5 Things to Do in Punxsutawney.


 

Gratitude Journal – Prompt #10

fingers-crossed

30 Days of GratitudeWhat taste are you grateful for today?

I feel inclined to use a metaphor for Day #10 in the 30 Days of Gratitude  prompts. The word “taste” implies the flavor of something perceived by the mouth or tongue (i.e.taste buds.) 

However, after carefully tracking Hurricane Matthew for several days and hearing that my family in Florida came through safely and with minimal damage, I’m grateful for the “taste of good luck.”

Is there such a thing? I’ve heard of the taste of success, so why not?

Many people rely on religion and prayer in the hope of achieving a desired result. Faith offers strength and sustenance to those who believe that all things happen for a reason. However, after reading When Bad Things Happen To Good People my views changed a bit. 

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This book was written in 1981 by the Conservative rabbi Harold Kushner and dedicated to his young son who died from progeria, an incurable genetic disease. In this book Kushner addresses the conundrum of why an omnipotent and loving God allows so much suffering in the world, particularly by good and decent people.

His answer to this philosophical question is that God does his best and is with us through our suffering, but isn’t fully able to prevent it. 

And that’s where luck comes in.


Now, I realize that many people of faith won’t accept this analysis. But, it brought great comfort to me in 1983, at a time when I doubted God’s love. Yes, the book questions his omnipotence, but offers an explanation that makes total sense to me. In exchange for absolute control, he offers us free will, to make wise choices and repudiate sin. And sometimes, bad things are simply random events that do happen to good people.

God doesn’t pass out x number of malignant tumors each month or hand pick certain children to die in a bus crash, while others survive. He waits alongside us, to support and lift us in our times of grief and despair. That’s a God I can believe in.

While I’m grateful that my own family came through safely, my heart aches for the people in Haiti and the other Caribbean countries. They live in poverty on their best days. The devastation that they’re facing is unimaginable and the death toll is over 300. Here in the States, 32 people died and property damage is estimated at $6 billion.

In an effort to show my gratitude for the minimal effects Hurricane Matthew had on my loved ones, I’m going to donate something for those suffering the greatest. I can’t give as much as some people, but I can give something

Let’s all think about what taste we’re grateful for today and if you’d like to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew, you can donate here.

Carpe diem!