Let Sleeping Hogs Lie!

Groundhogs that is!

As you know we are all about celebrations and festive events at the Sidewalk House. Anything and everything. It doesn’t take much to get us there. But in the case of Groundhog Day?

It’s one thing to see a groundhog dashing across the lawn with a just ripened cucumber from our gardens in its mouth. But. . . . .

Once upon a time ~  many cars ago ~ we woke up to a winter wonderland from a late season ice storm. You know ~ the ones where it looks as if every tree and shrub was yanked up, dipped in frosting, and then set back into place, totally encased in ice, sparkling in the morning sun. We knew a trip to the arboretum was in order. Through the woods and fields, around each curve another breathtaking view. Magical! A winter fairyland! At any moment a unicorn could appear in this enchanted landscape!

Unicorn? What appeared was a groundhog rambling towards the narrow road. Ken stopped the car so as not to run over the little guy. We watched the other side to be sure he made it across safely. He did not appear. Obviously he had changed his mind and returned to the woods; we continued on. After our journey through the arboretum, we spent the day at the office and then headed home.

Late that night, as we were going upstairs, we thought we heard a crash in the garage. Ken poked his head out but nothing seemed askew. Saturday morning he headed out to run errands; the car would not start. Our brand new Ford Explorer? oh NO! He walked around to the passenger side ~ and that’s where he found items overturned, strewn about, a pile of debris near the door. Curious. He looked up and saw a gaping hole in the overhead door. What? On further investigation, he found another pile of plasterboard scraps. It would appear that an animal had been trapped in the garage and had spent the night trying to escape. The first attempt was foiled by a wall of brick on the other side of the plasterboard. The second attempt, through the garage door, was successful. The car? It would not start ~ would not even attempt to crank. Ken and our friend, the multi-talented Tony C, pushed the car out onto the driveway. And that’s when the men discovered a section of the auto’s electrical harness on the garage floor. One of Punxsutawney Phil’s distant cousins had chewed off a foot long bundle of electrical cables ~ two ends.

While I was on the phone with Roadside Assistance I spotted a very confused looking groundhog on our deck. Had the groundhog that we met on the trail that frosty morning not returned to the woods? Had he instead crawled up into a warm space on the underside of our car for a long nap. A hitchhiker! And when he woke up? Was he hungry? (Bird food is stored in our garage but Purina Groundhog Chow? No!) Was he looking for his mate? his burrow? I don’t know but may we suggest you check your homeowners’ insurance policy for rodent damage? Raccoons, squirrels, skunks, groundhogs? Which are rodents, which are not? Do you know? It’s all about the little things, y’all ~ the details!

Meanwhile! The word is out that Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early Spring this year. We are experiencing unseasonal thunderstorms and heavy rains this Groundhog Day 2016! Way too early! I say let the groundhogs stay warm and cozy in their burrows. I wouldn’t mind a bit more hibernation ~ perhaps under a pile of blankets with a good book. That’s how I would celebrate Groundhog Day! How about you? Hugs!







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