Schnogadahl Sammi says "Six more weeks of winter"
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Front, left, Robert Andrews and right, Lee Haas, president of Grundsau Lodge Nummer Sexa, give Schnogadahl Sammi's prediction of six more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day. Other members of Nummer Sexa stand behind.
Well, according to Schnogadahl Sammi, he saw his shadow on Saturday, Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day). That means there will be six more weeks of winter.
The prediction met with some disappointment from the almost 70 people in attendance to the 18th annual Grundsau Lodge Nummer Sexa (No. 6) Groundhog Day ceremony which takes place behind the Cherry's Sunset Family Restaurant in Kresgeville.
After President Lee Haas, president of Grundsau Lodge Nummer Sexa welcomed everyone, member Robert Andrews gave the prayer in Pennsylvania German and Haas gave the interpretation. He then said that member Harold Kreger couldn't be there, "And since he's about the only one who could communicate with the rodent, I mean groundhog, he has been in communication with him by email."
This was Schnogadahl Sammi's prediction, given in Pennsylvania German by Andrews and interpreted by Haas:
"Good morning everyone. We're here again to see what kind of weather it will give. It gets harder to predict this every year. As long as the Democrats and Republicans in Washington are fighting, the weather will be contrary. Sammi doesn't want to have anything to do with it.
"Last month it was awful cold, then warmer for a few days. Now it's cold again. But there was enough sun to see my shadow and it will stay this way for six more weeks. We have to be patient, and wait for spring. And we're all hoping for a normal summer. And by this time next year, we'll all know how things turned out."
Haas thanked everyone for coming.
Some folks lingered behind to have their picture taken with Schnogadahl Sammi I, peeking out of a hollowed-out tree stump with pine boughs around it, even though he's just stuffed.
There were three live groundhogs since Grundsau Lodge Nummer Sexa began holding the annual prognosticating ceremony, all named Sammi, raised and handled by member Fred Snyder of Gilbert. Schnogadahl Sammi III died in 2010 and the Lodge has been channeling Groundhog Day predictions from the stuffed Sammi I ever since.
But that didn't deter folks from coming out on a 9 degree early morning to hear the prediction.
Irene Rock of Walnutport brought her two granddaughters, Abygail, 6 and Alyzah Borger, 4 because she wanted them to have the experience. They thought it was fun and wanted to have their picture taken with Schnogadahl Sammi. None of them seemed to care that it was a stuffed groundhog, especially Alyzah, who thought Sammi was cute.
"I think he's a farmer groundhog," added Abygail.
"They were in awe of the whole experience," says their grandmother.
Nadine Harper of Saylorsburg, says she has been wanting to come to the ceremony for years but she always had to work. This year, because it was on a Saturday morning, she was available and took advantage of it. She invited her neighbors, the Nauroth family to join her.
Older daughter, Faith Nauroth, says they had to come "Because it's Groundhog Day. It's a holiday. And ever since I saw the movie, 'Groundhog Day,' I've been wanting to do something like this."
Younger daughter, Charity Nauroth thought it was great fun. Her mom, Sharon, who is of German ancestry, says she was able to pick out some of the words spoken in Pennsylvania German.
Dad, Charles Nauroth says the experience "Far exceeded our expectations."
The Grundsow Lodge is all about preserving the Pennsylvania German language and traditions and having fun. If you would like to learn more about it, contact Lee Haas at 610-767-5878.