Thursday, the 2nd of February, was Groundhog Day. I’ve always had an interest in this day about a very special groundhog named Punxsatawney Phil. The tradition is that on February 2nd in Punxatawney, Pennsylvania everyone waits anxiously to see if a groundhog named Phil will pop out of his hole and predict the end of winter. If he seeks his shadow, winter will last six more weeks, if not, spring will come early. I spent my first twelve years in Pennsylvania, where it snows a great deal, so you can understand my interest in Phil. However, I have now lived in Arizona for fifty years, where there is little interest in this tradition.
Last Thursday, I was driving to StarShine to meet my two friends, Helen and Pat, for another 3-hour session putting the libraries together. I decided I would try to find Punxatawney Phil at StarShine. I thought perhaps he could predict with any certainty if we would finish building our two libraries by spring.
After a chat with Headmaster, Ms. Parsons, who didn’t have any idea what I was talking about, I ran into the well dressed Dean of Students, Mr. Dawson. He knew what I was talking about, but seemed unsure if I would locate Punxatawney Phil at StarShine. Turning a corner, I saw an old friend, Dillon, a 7th grader whom I first met in kindergarten. He just laughed when I told him the story. My next stop was in the kitchen, where Maria was preparing lunches. I love Maria and I’m pretty sure she loves me, but she just laughed and laughed and rattled something off in Spanish.
Connie, Lois Jamieson and Dillon
Out the kitchen door I went and there was Dillon again waiting for me. He asked how I was doing and started to laugh. I walked along towards the elementary library. Helen and Pat wondered why I was late, so I told them of my plan. For the rest of the day they kept giving me strange looks. I then had to leave to read to the kindergarten class. After the reading, I asked Mr. Dan if he’d seen any strange animals around. He just gave me a cup of his famous Plum tea and shooed me out of his classroom. I walked back to the library to give Pat and Helen a hand when who should I run into but Dillon again. He started to laugh and ran back to the play ground.
I tried to forget about Punxatawney Phil for the rest of the afternoon and worked in the library. I must admit, with every few books I arranged on the shelves, I watch for a groundhog book. WE HAD NONE, although we still have seven boxes of books to classify. I never found Phil or got a prediction on when we might finish this arduous task, but I’m convinced that Dillon knows exactly where he is.
By Lois Jamieson
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