An Extra Day

Today is February 29th, a day we only get to experience every four years. Those born today will not have a birthday for four whole years. All this so that the calendar harmonizes with the solar year. 


February has some fun dates like my brother’s and granddaughter’s birthdays. There is Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day and every four years a bonus day. That is exactly how I look at today. A bonus, therefore I try to not schedule anything on this day, but let it happen, soak it in, make the most of it. Who knows if it will come again in our lifetimes? Enjoy!


“Your birthday happens each year on exactly the same day. It is a solid thing, a dependable thing, a measure of your life broken down into 365 subunits. For a Leaper, it is a bit different. For us, the basic assumption is shattered from the beginning.” Rick Tumlison

Graphic by Pixabay


“What does your music taste say about you?”

I like just about all types of music but I love Rock & Roll! I love the beat. I love memories connected with it. I love the performers. What does it say about me? It says I am young at heart.

Photo by Pixabay

How about you? What does your taste in music say about you? Please share with us.

For more on music click here:


Photos from Pixabay

Only for a Day


only for a day

sometimes i want to go back…
to days gone by…
to times held precious…
now existing only in photographs
and in my mind

i long for those years, those days,
those still frames of life
that are such a part of me…

but that i’ll never know again…

if only for a day
i’d like to run down the sidewalk…
home from summer camp
and find momma, standing in the sunlight
in the front window,
wearing the skirt i always loved…

i’d like to follow daddy
barefooted through the garden
once more
as he digs up potatoes…
leaving the tiny ones for me
to pick up, wipe on my shorts
and pop in my mouth…
raw and earthy
like the soil they grew in

i’d like to sit on the floor
with my little brother…
play cowboys and Indians
and herd plastic farm animals
into plank fenced corrals

i’d make chewing gum chains
and white clover necklaces with my sister…
order exotic stamps for our collection…
and cut clothes out of the Sears catalog for our homemade paper dolls…

if only for a day
i’d go back to a faraway Christmas…
of cedar trees and multi-color lights…
of homemade ornaments and
tinsel icicles…
the excitement of presents
under the tree…
and Christmas albums on the record player at night

i’d relive a summer day
of homemade ice cream
from the hand-cranked freezer
and all the labor
that went into making it…
momma cutting bananas
and mixing the ingredients…
us kids weighing the mixer down…
daddy cranking the handle…
adding ice and rock salt
until the freezer grew so cold and hard that he couldn’t crank it anymore…
then the sweet, creamy coolness
on our tongues

i’d like another ride on my tricycle…
another day of fishing off the bridge over Floyd’s Fork…
another ride
on my white horse Cricket…
another season in the tobacco patch…

but these days will never be back…
they survive only in my memories…
shadows of things that happened…

“only for a day”
Sylvia L. Mattingly
September 26, 2019


Photo by Pixabay

Gutsy Women

I’ve just finished reading a book that was very informative and inspiring. The title is “The book of Gutsy Women” by mother and daughter Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. When I first heard of the book I wondered how they would mesh their writing but it worked very well. Each take turns discussing the women they had researched, admired or known.

The Clintons review the lives of well over one hundred individual women plus groups such as the Suffragists. The women profiled are both current and historical figures and each is worthy of the spotlight put on their life. The women are grouped in chapter categories such as Explorers and Inventors, Healers, Athletes, Storytellers and Groundbreakers.

This big book (450 pages) is well worth your time and I recommend it to everyone who wants to be better informed about the contributions made by women. I promise you will learn about lives you were not aware of as well as new details about the more well-known women. These are stories that every girl, in particular, needs to learn.


One of the things I might change about this book is the title. I was a little put off by the word “gutsy” which to me was a little too earthy, but when I looked up the word, it was me that was wrong. It means “showing courage, determination, and spirit” and the women covered in this book met that definition. The photo on the jacket is not particularly appealing to me either, but once I got past these personal opinions, I was so glad that I took the time to read and learn about the remarkable women profiled on the pages.


Ever hear of a Pangolin? Me either, until recently. We might never have known about this unusual animal had it not been for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping China since December of 2019.


These unusual mammals are scaly anteaters who curl into a ball when threatened. Various species live mostly in Asia and Africa. As potential transmitters of COVID-19 and because of deforestation they are gravely endangered of becoming extinct. Pangolins eat ants and termites and believe it or not people eat them! They are the most trafficked non-human mammals in the world both for their meat and their scales. While the scales have no known medical value they are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The meat is a delicacy in China and that is where the transfer of the virus comes into play.

These shy nocturnal animals are now more endangered of being killed needlessly in the wild because of the fear of COVID-19. Recently there was a Pangolin Day to recognize this danger and to inform the world of these harmless animals’ plight.








I remember when my mother at about my age talked about time being on “fast forward.” That was during the days of cassette tapes and when she said that I could picture time chugging ahead at full speed. I agreed with her that time was flying by. Sadly when she was a few years older and living in an extended care facility she said that time was passing so slowly, the days and nights were very long.

I often think of the mystery of time.


  • What is it?
  • Where does it go?
  • Does it fly?
  • Or, does it crawl by?
  • What makes the difference?

It seems we just celebrated the various holidays of December, yet we are into the second month of the new year, the new decade. To me, time is flying, yet some days seem long. Time is a mystery.


Photos by Pixabay


Old Age

Of my nearly four hundred readers I know there are all ages. While this post is about old age, please read on even if you are young. I’d like to hear from all demographics.

At what age are you old?

I’ve heard that 70 is the new 50. I’m not sure what that means but I believe it refers to a change in the way people think of old age. I remember many years ago when Medicare started to cover heart transplants they would only pay if the recipient was 55 or younger. After a while, it was determined that this was unfair because the rule was based upon chronological not biological age. Some people at sixty or seventy were actually younger and more likely to have a good outcome than other people at fifty. The rule changed.

I think this is a good example of the dilemma we face when defining old age. I recently read an article about a man who drove a red Mercedes convertible around his community in Florida. He often took his fiancée along on these drives. Does this make you think of an old person? Probably not. What if I told you he uses a walker? Does that signify that he is old? Perhaps, but the fact is that this man is 107 years old and his fiancée is 100!

What do you call old people?

This has become an important question and there are polls which indicate there is little agreement on a suitable moniker. Let’s look at a few choices. How about “retiree?” Some people have never had a job to retire from such as Moms who worked at home their entire lives. Thanks to changing Social Security rules people no longer retire at sixty-five as they were apt to do in the past. Many people are very healthy and active after retirement, are they old?

“Older?” Older than who? “Senior?” Isn’t that a person ready to graduate high school? “Aging?” Aren’t we all from infancy?

“Elder?” “Sage?” “Mature?” “Perennial?” You can see the problem with each of these so what do we call old people? One term I read about that has potential is “Super Adult!”

So that we don’t go through our golden years without a suitable title academics have come up with some terms used in research and publications. Some use “Young old” (60s & 70s) and old old (85 and up). The most formal are “third age” (retirement) and “fourth age” (infirmity) and I do find these more accurate.

Please tell me your opinion regarding which of these terms is most suitable for those of us who are definitely not young.


Photos by Pixabay


Dianne Bynum’s Book Review

“The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”

This book was a fun surprise. My friend got me interested in this book when she asked me if I’d ever heard about the Blue people of Kentucky. I had, of course, I’ve lived in Kentucky my whole life. We’re known for moonshine, young brides and horse racing. The Blue people were another odd piece of our crazy quilt history. I knew that they had existed but they were just another cringe causing claim to fame for my home state.

I live in Kentucky and have spent some hot summers in the Appalachian Mountains. My family helped with several church ministries in the mountains. I’ve driven on narrow roads created by heavy trucks burdened with dirty coal. I’ve seen tiny houses tucked in dark hollers. I know the suspicious eyes of people that didn’t trust anyone but Mountain people. Those summers taught me a respect for these proud people that lived difficult isolated lives. It was my first experience with real poverty, but it was a financial poverty, not a poverty of spirit. Their beautiful voices, meticulous gardens, and pride in their beautiful mountains were things I never forgot. I was curious to learn more.

The author tells a beautiful story of a strong woman sprinkled with some interesting facts about the Blues. She is respectful of the subject with reliable documentation and photos. I’d never heard of the Book Women and I was touched to know that was a part of our Kentucky heritage. I’m glad I was curious enough to give this book a try.



Born Terminal

Recently I attended three funerals in one week. Each deceased person was different in so many ways, e.g., age, interests and family unit left behind. But one thing was consistent, each left a hole in the hearts of those surviving. When someone we know dies we are usually shocked. We use words that mask the reality of death. He or she has “passed, gone on or left us” when in fact the person is dead. How we fear that word and that reality. Why is it so hard to accept that we are all born terminal. We will all die. This is no way negates the loss and pain of losing a person we care about but if we could at least acknowledge that life ends for each person surely we would be better prepared for our own death as well as that of others.

We need to move beyond “if something happens to me” to “when I die.” It is inevitable.


Photo by Pixabay

Janet’s Gifts

I’ve said here on this blog that people are good.

Today I want to tell you about one of those good people.

Recently, a neighbor called me who is having serious health problems, but she didn’t call me about that. She called to see if I still “go to the homeless shelter” and I told her that I do when I have items to donate. She informed me that she had some things she had knitted if I would like to take them to Haven House and of course I told her that I would.

When I got to her home I was shocked at the amount of beautiful hand-knitted items Janet had to give away. Hats, shawls, scarves, ear warmers, baby blankets, booties, and gloves. You can see in the photos below all the colorful gifts she was donating. It was much more than Haven House could use and I wanted to be sure these lovely pieces found the people who needed them.

My daughters were visiting and when I showed them this bounty they immediately offered to help with the distribution. We divided the well over 100 items. Dianne took warm hats and scarves to Exit Zero which ministers to people living outside on the streets. Allison took the baby things and pieces for small children to St. Elizabeth’s Home that houses unwed mothers and their children. I took the balance to Haven House.

The winter is long from over here in Kentucky. Over one hundred people will be warmer because of the heart of Janet Essig. People are good. People are Christlike. Look around. They are among us.



My family has teased me because I say that things always happen in threes. In general, I mean bad things, e.g., deaths, appliance and other household problems, etc. Well, today I strongly hope that I am right because I’ve had three mishaps with my new car.

For as long as I can remember I wanted a particular brand of car. It has been more a pipe dream than a bucket list item since I’ve really never had a bucket list and never truly believed I would own that car. When my Toyota became unreliable and it was obvious that I needed to trade cars, I started to seriously think of the possibility of my dream car. My family and friends were encouraging and after some careful shopping around and negotiating I drove home that car I had wanted for so long. It is a SUV model, so that seemed practical and not too extravagant.

I was so excited about the back-up camera, which I had never had before. I loved the automatic wipers that came on at the first few sprinkles of rain. It was billed as a “self-driving” car and it almost was. All that technology was a bit overwhelming, but I was learning one feature at a time. Then the threes’ curse began.

  1. Before the first week had passed while backing up, I thought carefully watching the camera, I backed into another car’s bumper and while doing no damage to it, cracked my own back bumper.
  2. A week later I was driving when the “check engine” light came on. I went to the dealership, indignant that such a problem has occurred only to find it was because I had not replaced the gas cap tightly.
  3. A week after that I go to the car wash not thinking of those magical wipers. Well, of course, they came on and by the time I got them turned to the off position, I was missing one wiper blade. Simple to have fixed the next day for $53!

I’m trying to look at these mishaps with humor, but it’s a little hard. I keep wondering if destiny is trying to tell me something, but I’m going to chalk it up to the threes, breathe a sigh of relief that they are over and enjoy my new ride.




Writing Prompt


“What TV show, past or present, do you wish your life was like?”

I guess it would have to be “Mayberry RFD” mainly because of the innocence of the characters. Life was simple then, but there was also Barney and other foolish folks to keep things amusing and imperfect.


What would be yours?



Photos from Pixabay