I have a somewhat complicated relationship with groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, chucks, wood-shocks, groundpigs, whistlepigs, whistlers, thickwood badgers, Canada marmots, monaxes, moonacks, weenusks, red monks, siffleux, and, to the scholarly, (Marmota monax). Because of this, I have a complicated suite of feelings about Groundhog Day, also known as Imbolc or Candlemas.
Today, the capo di tutti capi of groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil of the Punxsutawney groundhog crime family, saw his shadow, cursing us to six more weeks of winter weather. Much of the eastern part of the country being in the middle of a days-long winter storm, death threats against the rodent were rumored to have been made. I'm not happy with the critter myself, and if the roads weren't so terrible, I'd be tempted to fricassée the little creep.
As for myself, I dragged my ass out of the house around 7AM to shovel the sidewalk in front of the house. The precipitation had shifted from yesterday's fluffy snow to a snow/sleet mix, so the stuff on the ground (eighteen inches of it) was a lot heavier. To make things more annoying, it soaked my gloves (I always buy cheap gloves because I always lose the right glove, and have more unmatched gloves than Michael Jackson)... I shoveled until I started to lose feeling in my hands, then quit and placed my gloves on the radiator to dry out and warm up. An hour later, sensation returned and gloves heated, I resumed shoveling, clearing the alley between my dwelling and the house next door, with an assist from my upstairs neighbor.
While shoveling, I saw my shadow, so I decided to return to my den... if winter continues being this inclement, I might hunker down for the next six weeks.