by Linda Chandanais
I love flipping my calendar to the new month, a mini new year. But it has to be done on the 1st; otherwise, it would be like kissing the new year in before the ball drops. I feel a tickle of anticipatory excitement as I flip January to February, and what greets me? Frigging Groundhogs Day, my thrill dissipates like a fart.
“I hate that damn groundhog,” I mutter as I eat my oatmeal and look out at the overnight snowfall that’s crept higher than the windowsill.
I bundle up and go outside to shovel the driveway, the sidewalk, steps, and porch. When I finish, I go back inside, and before the icicles hanging from my eyebrows thaw, I see it's snowing again. I can't help thinking how nice it would be if old Puke-a-puddle Bill didn't see his shadow.
Stop it! I scold myself. But it’s too late; the seed has been planted in the fertile ground my better-brain supplement provides, even though I still can't remember to get the garbage can to the curb.
By night, thoughts of green grass and daffodils pull my eyes away from the TV over to the seed catalog. I feel hope sprouting; I try to stomp it down.
I know how tomorrow will go. After a tedious build-up from unnaturally attractive newscasters, the cheeky bastard will see his shadow smirking at the camera to rub it in.
I climb into bed, resolved not to watch the news in the morning, to play Sudoku instead.
But what if this is the year? Do I smell lilacs?
“Well, if nothing else, the cocky critter might bite someone. I wouldn't want to miss that.”
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