Beth Siegalkoff

Happy Birthday “Honest Abe”! Today is the actual date of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. However, in modern times, President Lincoln and all of the U.S. Presidents are celebrated on Presidents Day, the third Monday of February.

President Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He was born in the wilderness country of Hardin County, Kentucky on this date in 1809. Abraham Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer, had simple tastes in food, preferring fresh fruit and nuts with cheese and crackers. However, his favorite prepared dishes were chicken fricassee with biscuits and oyster stew.

One of his favorite quotes is, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

He became president in 1861. Although he hated war, he was drawn into it, as he believed it was the only way to save the nation after the southern states declared their secession from the Union.

In addition to serving as president during the Civil War and saving the Union, Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery in the U.S. forever. He also wrote and gave the Gettysburg Address, memorializing the bloodiest and most important battle of the Civil War. Gettysburg proved to be the turning point of the war.

Shortly after the war ended, Abraham Lincoln became the first U.S. President to be assassinated. He was shot and mortally wounded on Good Friday, April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theatre. So, remember “Honest Abe” as you go about your business being as happy as you make up your mind to be.

Two days until Valentine’s Day. Are you ready or as ready as you ever will be? Don’t sweat it. Just remember, it is the thought that counts … as long as there was a thought put into it to count.

The Herald Community Club Chili Cook-off is in three days, on Saturday at the Herald Fire Protection District Station 87 on Ivie Road from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chili is not on my favorite food list. A small bowl of chili topped with diced onions and shredded cheese with lots of cornbread and honey once or twice a year suits me just fine. Although, my favorite way to eat chili is smothering a slightly burnt hot dog on a toasted bun with diced onions and cheese. Yum! Then I top it off with a couple mints to kill the onion aftertaste.

Leap Year Day is at the end of this month. And “why is an extra day needed every four years” you might ask? Well, here’s the scoop – the earth revolves around the sun every 365 days and six hours, which means we accumulate an extra day every four years. If we didn’t add that day to our calendars, they would get out of whack with the seasons, and at some point, we would be Christmas shopping in June, which some of you do anyway. But this way, adding that extra day, we have a balanced calendar and an extra day to shop. By the way, there are 317 shopping days until Christmas, in case you were wondering.

February has become a special month for our family. Shout-out to my daughter and mother-in-law this month – they are celebrating being cancer-free, one year and eight years, respectfully.

Dates to remember:

Friday, Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day

Saturday, Feb. 15 – Herald Fire Chili Cook-off

Monday, Feb. 17 – Presidents Day – schools are closed along with city, county, state and federal offices

Wednesday, Feb. 26 – Ash Wednesday – Easter is in 40 days

Saturday, Feb. 29 – Leap Year Day

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.