My Leap Year Quandary Anybody Have a Day to Spare?
by James Snyder
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During the last political election cycle, we were promised change but I have not seen any of it, especially in my pants pocket.
Then something wonderful happened. I was taking some mail to the post office and as I got out of my truck, I noticed a penny on the ground. At my age, if I have to bend down I make sure there are at least two or three things to do while I am down there. A single penny just will not do it for me. After all, what can you do with a penny?
As I looked at that penny, I saw another penny, then another, then several. By the time I was done, there was a pile of 20 pennies there. Now that is something to bend down for.
I know what they say, "a penny for your thoughts." Here was 20 pennies and I did not have to think too much about bending down and collecting all 20 and put into my pants pocket. Nothing is quite as melodious as change jingling in my pants pocket. I walked into the post office with my pocket jingling with some spare change.
Some may complain that 20 pennies does not really amount to very much. I remember what wise old Benjamin Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I am not sure what he would say about a penny rescued or even 20 pennies rescued, but I think he would have had something very witty to say about it.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would say to me something to the effect that 20 pennies cannot buy a good lunch. Who needs a good lunch when you got 20 pennies jingling in your pants pocket? The better part of wisdom on my part would be to allow these 20 spare pennies be my little secret.
A few days after finding this penny cache, my wife made a comment that changed my week.
"What are you going to do with the extra day this year?"
I had no idea what she was talking about. Normally, I have no extra days to spare. Even if I happen to catch up on my chores on one day, there are always the next day’s chores staring me in the face.
I was not a Beatle’s fan but I did understand their one song that talked about "eight days a week." I have often thought I might be able to get caught up if there was an extra day in the week. Then, on scrutiny of the facts at hand, my good wife would find something for me to do on that eighth day.
Getting back to her "extra day" question. I had no idea what she was talking about and so I responded with a very sophisticated, “huh?”
"What are you going to do with the extra day we have this year?"
I searched the cobwebs of my memory and could not find anything resembling her comment. She saw the quizzical look on my face, more quizzical than normal, and realized I had no idea what she was talking about.
"Don't you know we have an extra day this year?"
I did not know that so I pled with her to explain what she was talking about. I was thinking she was going to give me a day off so I could do nothing, then on second thought I do not believe she would do something like that. Not her!
"This is leap year and the month of February has 29 days instead of the normal 28."
I thought for a moment and understood what she was talking about. I had forgotten this was leap year, which gives us an extra day. Instead of 365 days this year, we will enjoy 366 days. I am not quite sure who arranged this phenomenon but the extra day is tacked on to the end of February.
I have often thought it would be great to be born on February 29. That way you only celebrate your birthday every four years. Instead of being 60 years old, I would be 15.
Then a very terrible thought rumbled through my mind. I remembered what it was like to be 15. No way in the world would I ever want to be 15 again. Imagine taking 60 years to get to 15 and then staying there for four years. Talk about dragging out your misery?
My wife gave me, as usual, some fodder for my thinking. What would I do with an extra day?
The more I thought about this the more things I thought I could do on that extra day. By the time I got through thinking about all the things I could do with an extra day I was exhausted and needed to sit down for a cup of coffee. In order for me to satisfy all my proposed projects, I would need at least one extra day a month, and I would not complain about one extra day a week.
I really do not think having an extra day is going to make much difference for me. The Bible says, "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalms 118:24 KJV).
Someone said, today is the first day of the rest of my life. And so it is. Enjoy the day you have, is my philosophy of life.
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