Staying in Focus: Ground-Hogs, Holidays, and Colonoscopies?

Happy Groundhog Day!!!

Now don’t worry – it’s not Ground Hog day again, it’s just that I am late in getting to this post. But at least the ground-hog had some good news for us. He did not see his shadow, so that means an early spring.  Although the way the weather has been, it’s hard enough for the weatherman to predict the weather, let alone a ground-hog.

As is our tradition, Bill and I watched Ground Hog Day last night. I attribute this movie with helping the ground-hog break into the line up of holiday icons, like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. But unfortunately for the ground-hog,  predicting the weather doesn’t create the same excitement as a sleigh full of toys, or even a basket full of Easter joy, so he has a long way to go to reach A – list status. Right now, Ground Hog day is listed under Observances, so his first job is to get his day leveled up to Holiday status

He will have to work really hard if he wants to unseat Santa.. After all, that rotund fellow in the red suit has been in the catbird seat a long time.  And it hasn’t all been a bed of roses for the jolly elf either, at least according  to Hollywood,. After all, he has had his reputation besmirched by evil capitalists in big box stores, finding himself in a mental hospital and then on trial, not to mention having his own son turn up on the naughty list, his workshop nearly destroyed by a toy clone and lost to another group of evil toy makers who almost absorb Santa’s enterprise with the unwitting help of is brother, Fred Claus. And let’s not forget how he almost used up all of his special magic in searching  for a wife to turn to for advice and give the brownies all their spice.  But in the eleventh hour, he succeeded, and Christmas was saved, at least for this year. It’s not easy being number one.

Halloween, although  listed as an Observance Day, has achieved holiday status. and while lacking a central icon, has chosen instead to rule by committee – ghosts, vampires, witches, zombies all rule the night, wandering in search of treats with the threat of tricks if not satisfied.  Halloween is the edgiest of the holidays, it’s allure lying in things not of this world, in the slightly scary act of wandering in the dark, under the light of a full moon, begging for handouts. And it appeals as well to grown-ups, giving them the chance to recapture lost youth as they dress up in costume and play pretend once again.

Thanksgiving, purportedly about giving thanks for all we have, is mostly about parades, food, and football and anyway, what can one say about a holiday whose icon is a turkey?

New Year’s Day is mostly a non event, as people are busy recovering from too much alcohol consumption and resolving not to do it next year. Good luck with that!

The Easter Bunny also has one up on the ground-hog. Baskets full of joy, not to mention Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs,  has far more universal appeal than the weather predicting of the prognosticator of prognosticators. But Ground-hog Day does give people, at least in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a reason to party the day away singing and dancing, sculpting in ice and auctioning off single men for charity

.I find it interesting how we pepper the year with celebrations, large and small, to mark the passing of time. In addition to the big holidays, we have others like the Fourth of July, when we celebrate our nation’s birthday with picnics and loud explosions..

And, let us not forget the more simple Observances like Valentines day, a celebration of love and Hallmark cards and, St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration of parades, shamrocks and the wearing of the green.

And we like to celebrate the lives of people who dedicated theirs to the betterment of all. People like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who actually once had their own day, but now must share it generically with other presidents, in the interest of economy and  three-day weekends, Martin Luther King, Jr., a man of peace and whose vision led our nation toward equality and justice for all, Veteran’s Day, to honor our brave men and women who have served their country with honor and selflessness, Memorial Day, to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country and Labor Day, to honor those who work on all days except Labor Day, when everyone takes off and has a picnic.

And let us not forget the days we honor mothers and fathers and all the spin-off days for which Hallmark has a card:  Grandparents Day (9/8) Administrative Professional’s Day (4/24) National Nurses Day (5/6) and Boss’s Day (10/16).

Now, I have often wondered what was wrong with August.  Every other month has a holiday or at least a major Observance Day.  But August, nada.  Aside from some family and friend’s birthdays,  I personally fail to see a reason for the month of August, except that without it, our year would be lacking,( let’s see, 30 days has September..,)  31 days.  August is just another hot month, following the hot months of June  and July.  It was superfluous in my opinion, until I looked up holidays and observances for this post, and guess what?  I found  a reason for August, after all. I found out that August 21st  is , wait for it, Senior CItizen’s Day!  Now that’s a day with holiday written all over it.  How to celebrate?  Toasting one another with glasses of Ensure?  A competition to see who can insert their hearing aid the fastest?  Or trying to guess who has had the most colonoscopies?

Honestly,I tried to get through his post without that referent, but it’s on my mind  because I’ll be having my seventh colonoscopy tomorrow, and I do think I have the chance to win that contest, but I’m also leaning toward establishing a National Colonoscopy Day, so look out ground-hog, you’ve got some competition coming your way!

I may actually have one up (or maybe even 7) on Santa in this area.. I’m sure I have that ground-hog beat! Oh, well, time for some chicken broth, and  jello!

Be back when this colonoscopy is behind me:)


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