This was not always the case. I don't remember any great celebrations in early February during my childhood. But as he (and I!) got older he became less and less serious about day-to-day stuff and more and more lighthearted about, um, everything.
What a good example he was.
Early one February 2, several years ago, the phone rang. Dad was calling from Florida to wish me a Happy Groundhog's Day, something he'd never done before.
Me: I'm sorry, what did you say?After that inaugural conversation, I sent homemade cards with groundhogs on them every year.
He: Happy Groundhog's Day! Did the groundhog see his shadow in West Virginia?Me: Um, I'm not sure. Why are you suddenly all excited about Groundhog's Day, anyway?
He: It's my new favorite holiday.Me: And why is that?
He: No cards, no presents, no big meals that take all day to fix. Winter's on the way out and spring is right around the corner.Me: Well, there's still a lot of winter left in the next six weeks.
He: Maybe in West Virginia, but it's in the 70s down here! When are you coming to visit?
Daddy died in September of 2010. We've already been through the first year of celebrations without him. Each one gets easier. Even on Groundhog's Day.