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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Was Phil Right?

Remember a few short weeks ago, around groundhog day, a majority of the country was in the middle of a monster winter storm. Despite all of the weather news going on around him, Punxsutawney Phil,  predicted an early spring. We laughed and scoffed. We said "shows you what a rodent knows." Yet here we are, not even the end of February, the tons of snow gone, and temperatures this last week have been beautiful. Maybe we should listen to rodents more often. They usually know when to leave a sinking ship, after all.

Phil is only the first rite of spring. Another being the most famous words in racing, "Gentleman, start your engines!" I'm not a big Nascar fan. I do watch a lot of races, because Willie does. I know more about Nascar then I had ever planned to, but still don't know much. I do know, though, that the Daytona 500  is the first race of the season, and therefore a rite of spring as well. This fact made watching those cars go fast and turn right much more enjoyable today. (Until Jimmy Johnson, Willie's favorite, ended up in the middle of a big wreck.)

Another rite of spring, one of my favorites, GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!! As a former scout, cookie time never felt like a rite of spring. Having to go out and pound on doors in the freezing cold, at the end of January, to take the orders, does not make you think of spring. I hated selling cookies. I liked that it helped me go to camp every year, but I hated it. I am not a sales person. I don't like being very, very cold. I don't like my toes hurting with every step I take. I hated selling cookies. Then delivering, at the end of February. Toting those cookies, back to all of those people who ordered them. Toes cold, again, and carrying cases, almost as big as me, of little boxes of cookies.... well, you get the picture. Now, as a buyer, cookie time signals the end of winter. Opening that first box of Peanut Butter Patties, (or Tagalongs, depending on what state you live in,) is like the first little hope of spring. It reminds me of Camp Sacajawea, the true goal I always had when selling.

There is another, more pungent, sign of spring. It wafts through the air. It attacks your olfactory senses. It takes you aback and makes you cover your nose in repulsion. It is, the smell of skunk. Yes, this is an unpleasant experience. The first time you smell it after a long winter, however, lets you know, that spring is truly on its way. Soon after this odoriferous spring reminder, another appears. Roadkill. When you see your first squished raccoon, you know it is spring.  I do not endorse going out and squishing a raccoon to try and make spring come. I also hate seeing anything squished by the side of the road, so if you are a member of PETA, don't comment on how horrid a person I am. The fact is, road kill happens, and it happens more in spring.

I will stand by Phil, and the hopes of an early spring. I know, North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan got socked with a blizzard again this weekend. The first day of spring for them usually doesn't get there until June 27th anyway, so that doesn't count. Yes, we will probably have another bump in the road. We are sure to be scooping more snow before we are mowing lawns, but for the most part Phil seems to have gotten it right.  He seems to do as well as the people with Doppler radar anyway.

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