So today is Groundhog’s Day, when everyone in the US waits for a groundhog to stick its head out of its hole and determine whether or not spring will come early. Having personal doubts about the degree to which mankind affects the climate, I don’t buy the little rodent’s judgement in the least.
It’s not entirely bad, as Groundhog’s Day is a pretty good film and it caused one of my co-workers to use the term “local vermin” when referring to the Ohio and West Virginia groundhogs. These are the two best words I’ve heard on air in days. Additionally, I was not aware individual states had their own groundhogs.
For those of you outside of the US, Groundhog’s Day is a celebration centering around marmota monax, a large rodent that apparently is related to squirrels, which creeps out of its hole every February 2nd and, if it sees its shadow, we are going to get six more weeks of winter. This is also know as: Any Excuse to have a Party in February.
Yeah, winters aren’t any more fun in the US than anywhere else. And, according to the Official National Groundhog (I swear to God there is one), we’re going to get six more weeks of winter.
Fellow Americans, you probably already know this. Lots of you also know some of us haven’t seen winter yet, while others have already seen enough. In West Virginia, the temperature has yet to see 10ºF and, in fact, has hung around in the 40s, with occasional forays into the 30s, 50s and even surging into the 60s. It also has not stopped raining.
What this has to do with cleaning isn’t quite the stretch you might believe, as I am an avid gardener from February to June. By July I’ve had it with the bugs, sunburns, sneezing and random rashes. By August I’m bored, September I’m frustrated and October I’m so sick of the garden I contemplate ripping the whole thing out and starting over.
The mild weather hasn’t exactly been a boon (it is really wet outside), but I did finally get outside for a little bit of
vitamin D sunshine and to pick the debris that’s collected in the yard since November. I cut down the hibiscus skeletons and picked up all the sticks in the backyard. This is what my spring cleaning looks like. So what if its February? We haven’t seen six weeks of winter yet and it will rain well into May anyway.
It sounds unnecessarily pessimistic, but I’m being serious. We’ll close schools for flooding in March and April. We do every year. We jokingly call it “monsoon season.”
Anyway, assuming this is winter and we get six more weeks of it, I’m planning on using it to cut a path through the raspberry patch, clean the dead stuff out of the flowerbeds and, yes, pull weeds. They’ve started growing already.