A MATTER OF OPINION: Groundhog Day redux

-A A +A
By Robin Bass

Raise your hand if you were disgusted yesterday morning to find more snow and another day off from school.

Early last week I overheard a well-meaning teacher say, “I hope it snows so we can all get a break.” At the time, I had to agree. The thought of getting a few days off to hang out at the house with my family – curled up on the couch, drinking hot cocoa and watching old movies – was absolutely lovely.  Maybe there would be enough time to catch up on all those projects I had been dreaming about, like sewing new curtains for the bedroom or giving the bathroom a fresh coat of paint.

What really happened was beyond many imaginations. Thousands of Spencer Countians left cold and in the dark. Predictions from electric companies that it could take a week or more before power was restored. Those cozy dreams of a mid-winter vacation quickly turned into nightmares haunted by the sound of humming generators.

If there was any redeeming facet of this past week’s struggles, it has been in the numerous acts of kindness displayed in our community. The Spencer Magnet has received many reports of residents – spared by the power outage – who opened up their homes and shared their blessings of hot water and warm living rooms with neighbors and strangers alike. One of those powerless refugees said that her neighbor’s generosity only served to prove that she and her husband made the right decision when they moved to Spencer County.

All good feelings aside, I think it is time to seriously consider an assassination attempt on the groundhog. Six more weeks of winter? You’ve got to be kidding.

Perhaps many of us are feeling a bit like Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day” – forced to live the same frigid day over, and over, and over. In the movie, Murray had to learn some less about being nice to others and respecting those around him. Seems to me, this community has already learned that lesson. We are in the midst of some tough times not only financially, but in the middle of a weather crisis that has had some severe results. People have been sickened by carbon monoxide. Houses have caught fire. Yet, Spencer Countians time and time again arise to the occasion. Sure we get frustrated sometimes and in situations like this we feel like yelling at some utility company employee – but then the feelings pass and we realize the important thing is to take care of our neighbors. We may feel like we are reliving the same day over and over, but with these acts of kindness we can turn ordinary into extraordinary.

“Okay, campers, rise and shine…Don’t forget your booties because it’s co-o-old out there today. It’s cold out there every day.”

At least Punxsutawney Phil only has an accuracy rate of 39 percent. I’ll take that over a 60 percent chance of snow any day.