Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lessons From the Groundhog

(for great photos, videos & even audio of groundhogs visit )

Happy Groundhog Day!

This is a special day for me and my siblings, as I had a pet groundhog when I was in high school. His was named Charlie, and given to me by one of my mother's co-workers when he decided to go to graduate school (the guy, not the woodchuck!).

Charlie was a great character around our house. He would sit up so straight and tall while eating a peanut butter sandwich, or enjoying his favorite Oreo cookie. He would carefully take the two sides apart, eat the icing first, then the rest....just as all children do.
He could accomplish tasks like that because his front paws were like hands...little cold, black hands that he'd stand up and wrap around your leg while you were trying to wash dishes!

Charlie was like a cat living in the house. He often curled up in my lap for a nap. His fur was quite soft and he enjoyed being petted.
One day he disappeared. We figured he had run away.

Months later, at work, my father received a terrified call from my grandmother, who was visiting us. There was something running around inside the house! It was huge and scary!
No, it was just Charlie, who had awakened from his hibernation in the unfinshed part of the basement...just in time for Spring.
He stayed with us for several more weeks, enjoying the sandwiches and cookies. Then, having reached what must have been his full adulthood, he took off for the wilds, looking for more appropriate company.

My younger brothers saw him once, easily identified by a scar on his nose, living down by the railroad tracks.
For awhile, I entertained the fantasy of him coming home along with some offspring, like the movie "Born Free."
I think he lived a good life for a groundhog in Ohio!

This is what I learned from Charlie:
Ask for what you want....people will be glad to help you if you just let them know you need something.
Take some time off... it's OK to take some time for yourself and then make a big comeback!
Be free to be yourself... you can change your lifestyle as you reach different parts of your life.

May your Winter be short and your Springtime be long; may the shadows that fall in your life soon be gone.
May the sun shine upon you, may your joys never end...and remember the Groundhog is always your friend!

No comments: