In just a couple days, it will be Groundhog Day when we all collectively hold our breath to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not; thus “predicting” more winter or an early spring. But, did you know that this seemingly silly observance actually has roots in the Christian faith?
In the past, the clergy of the church would bless candles and hand them out to those who needed them for the winter. This was known as Candlemas. The candles were the representation of how long and cold the winter would be, rather than a rodent. So how did the groundhog become a part of this observance?
Well, the Germans decided to expand upon the Candlemas concept by selecting an animal as their means of weather predicting. The animal they chose was the hedgehog; although, some traditions say badger, instead. When Germans emigrated to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania, the tradition of predicting the weather via hedgehog was continued, but the animal was switched to groundhogs as those were quite plentiful in the area; thus, the modern tradition of Groundhog Day was born.
Something else about this date is important. It is the literal halfway point to the spring equinox, which most count as the first day of spring so it means spring is on the way! Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, spring is coming! Bring it on, Phil!
At the Leeds City Council meeting this week, the Band Boosters presented a certificate of recognition to the City of Leeds for their contributions and support. The City made a recent donation of $2,500 to the Leeds High School Band Boosters. The certificate was presented by three band booster board members, Laura Roberts, Maurine Davies and Victoria McCay. Other city business included the Fire Department demonstration of the Lucas device, a new piece of medical equipment that does automatic chest compressions to enable first responders to increase their quality of care. This is one of four pieces of medical equipment recently purchased. In the last year, first responders took care of 8-10 people who were having a heart attack and were able to get them in the Cath lab at one of the area hospitals within minutes of their heart attack. Also, January 2020 was declared at Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Several resolutions were passed. You can download and view all documents at www.leedsalabama.org/calendar-events.
One last reminder to attend the Winter Artistic Thrift Celebration at Right Stuff Bargain Center this Saturday, Feb. 1. New owners, Timothy and Gleeda Alvis, have an exciting grand opening day planned with the first art show and sale in the history of thrift. All thrift pictures will be 50% off plus local artists have been invited to display their work. WDJC will be there from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and Right Stuff will have lots of new and name brand clothing for sale in addition to all other gently used merchandise in stock. There will be games and giveaways, but you will have to be there to play. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues all day until 7:00 p.m. Be sure to stop in to meet Tim and Gleeda and see what’s new in thrift. If you haven’t shopped here before, hundreds of items are added daily so there’s always fresh merchandise to see. Items include clothing, shoes and accessories for all ages, home décor, furniture, home furnishings, books, videos, exercise equipment, collectibles and even things like golf clubs. If you are a collector, there are always items to see. If you are looking for merchandise at discount prices, then Right Stuff Bargain Center is the place to shop. Also, if you have gently used items that you are looking to discard, please consider dropping them off at Right Stuff for a tax receipt. Any donation or sale will benefit the King’s Home. For more information, please visit their new website at www.rightstuffbargaincenter.com.
Tales & Ales, a Leeds Jane Culbreth Library book club for adults 21 and up, will meet on Sunday, Feb. 2. The book, The Giver of Stars, by Jojo Moyes will be discussed and snacks will be enjoyed. In addition, selections from local Alabama wineries and breweries will be available to sample at this library after-hours event. All attendees are welcome to bring their own food and drink. The fun begins at 2:00 p.m. and finishes up at 3:00 p.m. For more information, email Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Moody Kid Quilts Group are scheduled to meet on Monday and Tuesday, Feb 3-4 at Moody City Hall. This group meets monthly to make kids quilts for Children’s Hospital for distribution to sick children. These members bring their sewing machines, ironing boards, fabric and supplies to make these beautiful quilts together so bring your stuff and join in on the fun for a worthy cause. For more information about this wonderful organization, please contact Clydene Dyer at (205) 515-4751 or Barbara Willingham at 205-400-4560.
The Leeds City Council will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 3 in the Leeds Civic Center Meeting Room.
The Moody Lions Club will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Whites Chapel.
Moody Kiwanis Club is scheduled to meet at Noon on Feb. 4 at Moody City Hall.
Join St. Theresa Catholic Church of Leeds for a Valentine Dinner and Dance on Feb. 14 from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. This event, catered by Savoie, is open to the public and is sure to be a crowd pleasure. Live music by The Second Chance Band is planned and party attire is suggested. For information and reservations, call 205-542-0671 or 205-602-8451. Tickets are $45 each, and any profit from this event will be donated to The Red Barn, an organization that helps children with disabilities through equestrian services.
The Leeds Arts Council presents The Women, a comedy play by Clare Boothe Luce. There have been three Broadway productions and two movies based on this play with community theater productions too numerous to count. Director Suellen Wilkins has been in four of them herself! Performances begin Feb. 14 and continue through Feb. 23. Tickets are $10. For reservations, call (205) 699-1892, leave a message and someone will return your call or email email@example.com.
Mosaic Chapel is a new church opening on Feb. 16 at Leeds Elementary School and they look forward to meeting you and your family. If you would like to be on the ground level of starting something new in Leeds, you will not want to miss this event. Service begins at 10:00 a.m. For more information, visit www.mosaicchapel.net.
Men, join Leeds First Baptist Church for a great night of Cajun food and fellowship and, also, hear from Five-Time State Championship Coach Keith Etheredge! Everything is free of charge, but a ticket is required. Tickets are available in the church office or from any FBC Leeds church member. Get your free ticket today and attend this Feb. 16 at 5:00 p.m.
Bethel Baptist Church will host a Daddy Daughter Date Night on Feb. 16 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The cost is $10 per person and includes dinner, dessert, crafts, photos and memories! Register at www.bethelnet.com/events by Feb. 9.
Thought for the Week: A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
I thoroughly enjoy sharing information, news and calendar items with you each week and I thank you for reading my column. Please remember to send any news to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and have a great week!