Happy Groundhog Day, whatever that means to you. Growing up in Minnesota, I knew it didn’t matter what a groundhog in Pennsylvania said, there on the tundra we were going to have at least six more weeks of winter because winter in Minnesota doesn’t end until mid-April in a good year.
Still, Groundhog Day contributes to the general silliness of February, along with President’s Day (Can someone tell me why this holiday is necessary?) and Valentines Day (and National Condom Day). It’s also Strong Beer Month at the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco; National Bird Feeding Month; National Cherry Pie Month (I strongly suggest you try the cherry pie at Trader Joe’s. I wouldn’t lie to you about this.); National Pet Dental Health Month (Have you ever tried brushing a Golden Retriever’s teeth?); Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month (Kristin, I believe they created this one just for you.); and my favorite, Sweet Potato Month (I love them roasted, sliced with their skins on with a little pepper and some cooking spray…mmmmm….).
This year, we also get a leap day. My grandmother died three leap years ago in 1996. Because she technically died in February and not what would normally be March 1, the Social Security Administration went into her bank account and withdrew the funds they’d deposited earlier in the month. I guess you have to live through the entire month to prove you actually needed those funds to survive. Seems rather silly, doesn’t it? Ah, but it’s February.
Anyway, I’ve decided to do something special on leap day (or is it official Leap Day with capital letters?), to do something Gayle Goodson Butler, editor in chief of Better Homes & Gardens, suggested in the February edition when she called Leap Day “found time”: “So often, I catch myself saying If I just had one free day, I’d… Try a workshop. Schedule a yoga session. Volunteer for a campaign. Have an unhurried lunch with someone I’d like to know better.”
I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. That’s why I’m writing about it now, so I have some time to ponder. How would you fill in that blank? What small-scale thing would you do if you had an extra day?
My friend Brad Coulson wants to make Leap Day a national holiday (although do mailmen and bank tellers really need another day off during the year, and do car dealers and department stores need another excuse for a sale?). Click here to read his rationale.
He makes some valid points, but it’s the party he’s promising to throw that has my attention. After I do whatever it is I decide to do with my “found day,” I’ll go have a beer with Brad and Linda. Maybe we’ll feed birds and return shopping carts and eat cherry pie and sweet potatoes, too. One can only hope.