Sherri Shackelford: Happy Groundhog Day!

Harkening back to 18th century Pennsylvania, and rooted in ancient lore, Groundhog Day is traditionally celebrated on February  2nd. Perhaps the most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil of Gobbler’s Knob, was immortalized in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day featuring Bill Murray.

Legend says if the groundhog sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter. If it’s cloudy, and the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, we’ll have an early spring. Records have been kept since 1887, and Phil has been correct 39% of the time.  Hmmm, I wonder how that compares to our local weather man….

The groundhog is actually a marmot, also known as a woodchuck or a whistle pig. (I’ve never actually heard of a whistle pig, but if you read it on the internet it must be correct. Right?) Personally, I think a holiday based on a rodent is awesome!

I’m the morale officer at work, and this year we’re showing the Bill Murray movie, and serving pulled pork sandwiches. (Ground hog, get it?) I tried to get the chef to wear a top hat and jacket like the gentlemen in Gobbler’s Knob, but that idea kind of got shot down.  I’m planning on showing The Three Amigos for Cinco de Mayo…I wonder if she’d wear a sombrero….

If you’re not familiar with the plot of Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character is forced to relive Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney until he learns a few life lessons. Time only moves forward when he figures out that you can’t cheat death, and you can’t fake love.

So here’s my question of the day: If you could live one day over again, what day would it be? (And you can’t pick wedding days or the births of your children – too easy.) Stretch your memory a little.

Here’s one of mine….Years ago I went to Puerto Rico with a friend. We took a catamaran off the coast, and snorkeled in the shade of the boat. I was young and poor, but I figured a little splurge was in order. One of the ship’s crew had spent time in northern Nebraska, and we shared our thoughts on the difference between our cultures. When we returned, the ship’s crew refused to accept payment from us. They wouldn’t even take a tip! I can still picture the sun sparking off the water, and hear the waves lapping against the boat. I’d relive that day, and take my family with me this time.

What about you?

A wife and mother of three, Sherri’s hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, “Why did I just come in here?” A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul.

Her debut novel, Winning the Widow’s Heart, releases from Harlequin Historical Love Inspired in June. Visit her website at, or email her at



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33 thoughts on “Sherri Shackelford: Happy Groundhog Day!”

  1. Would you believe I have never seen Groundhog Day? Wish you were the morale officer at my work. Hey, I can just appoint you, since I’m the boss, right? And didn’t you say I should have the morning off to watch a movie? I wonder if Groundhog Day is on Netflix.

    Love you lots, dear friend. I am so proud of you for how hard you worked for this first sale, and I can’t wait to celebrate release day with you.

  2. and I’ll be right there celebrating, too.

    I love Groundhog Day! (And the Three Amigos) Although I suppose I’d have to start over with anything I wrote on such a day, the opportunities for learning–like Phil finally took advantage of–would be exciting and wonderful.

    In my real life–I’ve tried and I can’t think of a day I’d like to live over and over. Hmm. Either I’ve had a boring life or have no memory…

    Now, to wait for the report from Nebraska’s own Unadilla Bill.

  3. My best day was the Day I met my husband,it was actually love at first site,,we held hands an walked along the ocean an got our feet wet,our friends were all having lobster(they cooked at home) an we ordered steak instead an sat on the floor an ate off a box turned upside down,,sweet an one of my best days ever!

  4. Congratulations on your first sale, Sherri!

    I love the move “Groundhog Day” as I deal with DC traffic I always think “Don’t drive angry!” :o)

    “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Is what my retired Navy Captain boss uses to build our morale. :o)

    Thinking about it, I actually have a few days I wouldn’t mind living over and over. Guess I’ve had a pretty good life. One was on a vacation my best friend and I took after we both had real jobs. We went to Maine and although the whole trip was wonderful one day was perfect weather, at donut holes at the memorial to the man who created the donut hole, we visited about a hundred lighthouses, and almost as many quaint towns then dined on a lobster dinner all on our own dime. It was a great day.


  5. Hi Sherri! Congratulations on the sale! There’s nothing quite like seeing the cover of your first book, and your cover is delightful.

    I’ve been thinking about what day I’d live over again . . . I think I’d pick an ordinary day back when my hubby and I visited my parents in their mountain cabin. Those were good times.

  6. Kirsten, Your vacation sounds amazing! I think traveling to conferences brings back that sense of camaraderie from traveling with friends before I had kids.

    And who doesn’t love a good lighthouses?!

  7. I think i would like to go back to my High School Graduation where I was Valedictorian of our graduatiing glass. This was such a special day for me. My paretns and grandmother were so proud of me and I felt like I had the world by it’s tail.
    Congrats on your book and I wish you many, many sales.

  8. Visiting great-grandparents, what a wonderful sentiment. I’d like another day with my great aunt Thelma.

    Cheryl, Bill is gettin’ old. What can I say?

    Kathleen, Valedictorian?! That is sooo awesome!

  9. Looks like we are going to have six more weeks of winter because I see sunshine right now. We have a family of groundhogs living in an old house next door, does any one know how to get rid of them? They eat my tomatoes every year.

  10. Sherri, I spent actual measurable time this morning wondering about Phil’s correct projection percentages. It’s like you WROTE THIS JUST FOR ME!!!Which means you and I are more psychic than Punxutawney Phil–which isn’t that hard.

    A day I’d live over. You know what popped into my mind…times I’d been too harsh with my children. Also a couple of times I wasn’t harsh enough. That’s all rooted in guilt isn’t it.
    You want me to remember a wonderful time.

    Okay….I’m gettin’ nuthin’.

  11. IF I had to do over I might hang onto my gallbladder.

    Unless someone could convince me it’s life and death. I don’t want to go into the emotional quotient but just let’s say, I miss it.

  12. AND I love the movie Ground Hog Day. Just passionately love it.
    And your cover, SHERRI! I can feel my heart melting when I look at it. I love what I’ve read of it, too.
    I can’t wait for it to be released.

  13. Congratulations, Sherri! I know you’re so excited to have your debut book scheduled for release. They gave you a great cover.

    The day I’d like to live over just happened recently. I went on a Caribbean cruise with my brother and sisters and their spouses. We dropped anchor at Progresso, Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula and toured the ancient Mayan ruins at Uxmal. It was an unbelievable experience and one I’d longed for my whole life. I so wish I could go back.

    Good luck to you and wishing you much success!

  14. Love your cover and congrats. What a wonderful book to look forward to reading.

    Hmmm, I have had some beautiful days but I tend to forget the details. Now days I don’t want to repeat I can list aplenty!

    Peace, Julie

  15. Congratulations on your book Sherri! I love Groundhog Day (I live in Pennsylvania which makes the movie extra special to me). A day to live over – that would be any days that are just spent at home with my dear husband.

  16. Mary, gallbladders are overrated, like spleens. And maybe all your other organs decided not to buck the systems once they found out what happened to the ol’ gallbladder…

    And, yes, I can think of many a day with the children I would ‘do over.’ Like this morning, when I didn’t know my six year old son had decided to only wear ONE sock. *sigh* And people wonder why we hate parent teacher conferences?!

    I do love that cover. I believe I’ve mentioned how I’m developing what might be construed in some psychiatric circles as an ‘unhealthy’ relationship with the cowboy….I find myself thinking things like, “I wonder what his boots look like…”

    Remember what we learned from Groundhog Day: Don’t drive angry!

  17. You know what I just thought of, I’ve been wishing I could ask my grandma some questions about my grandpa.
    Isn’t that odd that she never talked about him or their relationship or how they got together.
    I think I always just figured I ‘knew’ all about it. But now I realize there was something a little odd there, and maybe there was a ‘forbidden’ vibe, otherwise why did I never say, “Tell me about grandpa.” (he died before I was born, but c’mon, Grandma lived until 1983. I have three kids. I never once brought it up? Nor did she?)
    Now it bothers me because of course, i think there is an odd love story there. A marriage of convenience I think, but was there ever love?
    My other grandparents, my mom’s parents had a marriage of convenience and I wrote that in a book. But now, my other grandma could be fodder and I waited to long. Even my dad has died. My mom realizes she knows almost nothing about grandpa either. He died about two years after they got married and she liked him but she doesnt’ really know details of their love story. Or lack there of.

  18. I am late, but wanted to comment anyway.
    I would love to be able to spend any one of the afternoons my mother and I spent together when I was in the last year of college. All the other kids were in school and we would sit down and have tea , just the two of us. By then we were friends and could talk. I went into the Peace Corps the end of that year and spent 3 years overseas. I was notified on my travels home to come straight home, my mother was dying. She had ovarian cancer and died 3 weeks after I got back. The cancer had affected her brain, so we never really got to talk and say goodbye.

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