Health & Medicine

Sunshine or sorrow? Prepare for the groundhog's forecast

Depending on what groundhog Punxsutawney Phil finds when he looks for his shadow on Wednesday, you will hear either a lot more grumbling about this winter that will never end or shouts of joy because spring will be springing sooner than we expected.

We can only hope.

So, as we prepare for the great prognostication that will come from the mythical forecasting groundhog, we thought we'd share our views of what Phil's news — either six more weeks of winter if he sees his shadow or spring breezes if he doesn't — could mean for all of us.

With spring on its way, ...

■ Try on your swimsuit from last year so you can be depressed about something other than the weather.

■ Once the snow melts, fire up your lawn mower and run it up and down your brown front lawn for "practice." (As a bonus, this should keep your neighbors away.)

■ Take an inventory of your beach towels. (Throw out all the ones with a Disney theme.)

■ Start planning for spring break, even if it's a stay-cation.

■ Take bets on when the first crocus will be up in your flower garden.

■ Convince your children that speed-weeding is the next big sport in the X-Games.

■ Fantasize about your fantasy baseball team.

■ Be a daredevil: Put on your flip-flops and take a nice walk on the first sunny day.

■ Watch Beach Blanket Bingo.

With six more weeks of winter, ...

■ Look at it this way, ladies: no need to shave your legs for six more weeks.

■ Take a bottle of a really good Tawny Port wine to a hot-tub party.

■ Host an "I hate spring" party with a bonfire and s'mores, and other black, white, gray or brown food.

■ Organize a revolution: Go to Punxsutawney, Pa., overthrow Phil ("Down with the 'hog!") and install a groundhog that will do your bidding.

■ Combined with last year's drought, you could enjoy a nine-month break from mowing the lawn.

■ Decorate your snow shovel, the way you did with your bike when you were a kid.

■ Convince your children that speed snow-shoveling is the next big sport in the X-Games.

■ Lose yourself in some reality television — it's always sunny on Jersey Shore.

■ Turn off the refrigerator and stack all the food outside to save on electricity.

■ Rent Nanook of the North.