Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Punxsutawney Phyllis's and Kathy Halsey's Birthday Bonanza!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PHYLLIS!


GROUNDHOG'S DAY 2015 IS TODAY.  Let's celebrate Susanna Leonard Hill's famous picture book character Phyllis! Bring on the chocolate cake cuz Phyllis is 10!  Bring on even more chocolate goodness because I am many decades older today than furry Phyllis. You can read all about Phyllis and her famous exploits here. And there are other great poems and even videos on Susanna's site, too. While you are eating chocolate, let me tell you my short story.

My parents started a Groundhog Party tradition which lasted from 1970-1980. Holy hogs, a decade of parties! (This was the adult party, not my actual kid event.) We had homemade banners (see pic to left) and even matchbook covers that spanned the years. 
Antique matchbook covers from back in "the day"
My dad, an elementary school principal, even created hand-made invites. The walls were festooned w/ shadows and a banner that stated,"It's February! May the Groundhog of Happiness Leave a Valentine in Your Cherry Tree!" People brought us groundhog books, groundhog beanie babies, even a cookbook entitled THE NEW GOURMETS & GROUNDHOGS & THE SECOND HELPING by Elaine Light. ( No worries, Phyllis. There's only 1 groundhog recipe, honest.) 
Home-made groundhog made by Richard Hackman, my dad.

My father died at 68 of early-onset Alzheimers, but my family carries on our Hackman hog tradition even today. My stepdaughter Megan created a plaque of a woodchuck one year for me, and my oldest niece Lauren has started the party tradition in Chicago! Now, let us carry on and continue the celebration with a poem for Phyllis created by the children's writer and human groundhog, ME.
Meg's present


Ode: Recollection Upon Groundhogs, Famous and Infamous

by Kathy Halsey

We celebrate, oh noble prognosticator.
For seasons mild. We’re done with wild.
Will spring come sooner? Or maybe later?
Oh, please, remove dark winter. It’s vile.

From Puxatawney Phil to Buckeye Chuck,
To lovely Phyllis 10 years today,
Block thy bright sun. Oh, send us luck.
Make February 2 overcast and gray.

To Phyllis bright, smart, eager; gay,
The weather cannot fool our furry girl.
You did wrest Uncle Phil’s mantle away.
‘Tis for you now, our banner we unfurl.

Grace us with melting snow, running brook.
Crawl from thy burrow, we’ll write your book!

We’ll celebrate with chocolates galore.
Oh, marmot Phyllis, it’s YOU we adore. 






28 comments:

  1. I would just like to say that a. That was one awesome ode, Kathy. And b. Plenty of folks celebrate events like Super Bowls and Valentine's Day, but it takes someone REALLY special to make an event of Groundhog's Day. :-)

    Happy Groundhog's Day!

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    1. Aww, Cathy, thank you for stopping by.

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  2. Aw shucks, Kathy! Phyllis adores that you adore her! And she loves your poem! So do I! And I love all your family's groundhog day traditions - so clever and fun, and what a great day to celebrate your birthday, turning the corner out of winter no matter whether it's 6 more weeks or early spring. Happy, happy birthday, my friend, and lots of chocolate goodness to you! :)

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    1. TY, Susanna. I like all that chocolate Phylli sound over on your blog today.

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  3. I love what Cathy said. How very cool that your family has a tradition of celebrating Groundhog Day! Excellent poem, too! And that cake...oooooh....I so want one now. ;)

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    1. You and your wonderful characters and squirrels may have cake and eat it, too. lol

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  4. This is great Kathy. I love the party tradition and that it continues! I'm like Teresa. I want that cake.

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    1. Yes, it is a family affair. I stopped by your blog, also.

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  5. What a marvelous tradition! I love that your family went all out with invitations, banners, and the whole shebang! Go big or go home! I very much liked your poem as well.

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    1. TY, Heather. I like that - go big or go home!

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  6. I am tickled that your family made an annual celebration of Ground Hog Day. Too, too wonderful. By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIS! Woo hoo! I hope you have an amazing celebration. I love the ode. I'm thinking a Marlon the Magicial costume would set this poem off right for presenting before a live studio audience. Love the funny. You do funny well.

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  7. Kathy I loved your great Ode to Phyllis! Especially the last 2 lines! I also enjoyed reading about your groundhog family traditions!

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    1. Yes, any verse about chocolate is great. LOL

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  8. What a great tale of family fun! And a superb poem! Too bad the PA varmint saw his shadow (it was pouring rain at my house, and I'm skeptical!)

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    1. I made sure I did NOT see my shadow, Wendy.

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  9. Great poem for Phyllis, Kathy and what a super family tradition. Phyllis will be thrilled.

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  10. I love your poem and your family tradition! Thanks so much for sharing. I had such fun reading how your family celebrated!!

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    1. Penny, we are serious groundhog nuts, lol. I appreciate your coming by to celebrate.

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  11. Great traditions and family love. Great poem. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  12. I love your ode, Kathy! It's delightful! (Or should I say de-shadow-ful?) I can see you inherited your sense of fun from your folks. We are blessed to have another year of you. And, congrats to Susanna, too -- how can it be that Phyllis is 10 years old already?

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  13. Oh boy! that cake sure looks yummy. How wonderful that your family still carries on the tradition with you. Great poem. Loved your blog!
    Diane.

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    1. Diane, thank you for reading this and liking my blog. It means a lot that people are reading!

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  14. I love your poem! This sounds like a great tradition!

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    1. Hey, Erik. Ty for coming over to celebrate!

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