Yesterday was Groundhog Day. Most of us learn about that in early elementary school. From there, we advance to the adult world, spending most of our lives unable to remember if we get an early spring or longer winter if the groundhog sees his shadow. Fortunately, there’s always somebody the water-cooler to set us straight.
Today though, Groundhog Day is most associated with the movie by the same name, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Groundhog Day, the movie, is about being trapped in time, and reliving the same day over and over again. On a visceral level, most of us feel that way each day of our lives, myself included. Here we go again.
These days, at ￼the end of all my Groundhog Days, I also get to live Groundhog Nights — as I attempt to write these musings.
Somewhere around 8:15 each evening, I suggest to my mom that she prepare for bed. As she does, I settle into the sofa and begin grasping for fragments of thoughts from my rolling meditations, to turn into stories. That’s when Groundhog Night sets in.
My mom gets up, takes two soft peppermints from the candy dish, and retires to her bedroom.
A few minutes later she returns to say goodnight to me and the dog, takes a couple more peppermints, and heads to her bedroom once again.
Shortly after that, she returns — to hand me her Life Alert pendant, says goodnight to me and the dog, takes a couple more peppermints, and goes back to her room.
Maybe 15 or 20 minutes later, she emerges to check the kitchen appliances — to make sure they’re unplugged. She takes a couple more peppermints, says goodnight to me and the dog, and returns to her room.
As I survive these interruptions and develop a rhythm to my writing, I hear her bedroom door crack open yet again.
She steps out, lets me know that there are no lights on at the house next door and that I shouldn’t go outside. She thinks they may be up to no good. She takes two more peppermints, says goodnight to me and the dog, and goes back to bed.
God, strike me with lightning if I’m exaggerating…
Well past an hour from the first time she retired to her bedroom, she returns once again — this time to go to the bathroom. From there, she takes a couple peppermints, says goodnight to me and the dog, reminds me that it’s “dark as pitch“ at the neighbor’s house and not to go outside. She goes back to bed.
Somehow I manage to find my way back into a writing rhythm, when I hear her door crack open again.
‘Motherfucker’, I mutter to myself.
She proceeds to the kitchen where she takes a Little Debbie Zebra Cake from a box in the cabinet, grabs two more peppermints, says goodnight to me and the dog, tells me she’s going to turn the light out, and returns to her room.
Some combination of these things takes place each night for a duration no less than 60 to 90 minutes from the first time she says goodnight. All the while, I attempt to attach my mind to a memory from the day’s ride and turn it into a story worth sharing.
After the Zebra Cake, I tuck her in, turn out her light, and close her door. If the gods are with me, I can return to writing uninterrupted — nearly 2 hours after she began going to bed.
If you’re counting, that’s approximately 14 soft peppermints. The good news is, at almost 91 years old, we consider those a vegetable.
This is what I think about when it ride… Jhciacb
Bike: Eleventeen Cupcake
16.0 mph avg
Yesterday’s earworm: Pulling Mussels, by Squeeze