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