The Hard Truth about Punta Gorda and Groundhog Day




When researching places to live, you may think: Wow, Punta Gorda has beautiful scenery, lots to do, and near perfect weather. It sounds wonderful. But how do they celebrate Groundhog Day?

The answer is: We don’t. Which is odd, because normally Punta Gorda residents find any excuse to throw a party. We average one festival a month, celebrate Octoberfest twice, and turn Halloween into a week-long fright fest. You’d think we’d at least have one local groundhog to rival Punxsutawney Phil.  Yet we don’t.

It’s sad until you understand why. You see, nobody in Punta Gorda minds if there are six more weeks of winter. In fact, sometimes we forget it’s winter at all. Who can tell? Maybe we need a groundhog to remind us that it’s winter. We could name him Winter Will, and he could always be looking for his other flip-flop.

Now, if you’re banned from using your non-emergency vehicle right now or spending the day wading through Juno’s mess, forgetting about winter might be hard to imagine. But it happens.

I say bring on six more weeks of winter. Or don’t. It’s all the same.

Even if a noticeable difference between winter and spring existed, Groundhog Day loses its suspense in a place that’s almost always sunny. The groundhog would see his shadow year after year. There’d be more winter. And nobody would notice.

If you get excited about Groundhog Day every year, I’m sorry. It’s just one of those things you’ll have to give up when you move here. You’ll leave it behind with your snow blower, ice scrapers, and remote car starters.

I can promise you this: You won’t miss putting your hopes and dreams in the eyes of a rodent. You may even look back and think: Why? Why was I so attached to what a furry marmot saw? Was winter in the north so horrible that I’d eagerly watch a groundhog for entertainment? I could’ve been in Punta Gorda playing golf!

And then you’ll pick up your clubs and forget Groundhog Day ever mattered.

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