Ferns like being wet. Florida is in rainy summer season now, and my ferns are flourishing. These are not just any old ferns. These ferns have a history. It involves my longtime birding friend, Sunny Bynum. Sunny gave me many plants for my yard and wooded lot in The Villages of West End, but it is the ferns that have noticeably taken root and are claiming more and more territory each day. These are big, sturdy, shapely ferns, standing two to three feet tall. They are identified as Bracken ferns.  Continue reading



Conveniently, the Covid-19 stay-at-home requirement coincided with a time when I would have stayed home anyway due to my worsening, arthritic, walking disability. But, I was determined to socialize. Once a week, with much help from my son, I got seated in my power chair on my back porch to receive guests for a two-hour period. We took all the precautions. Chairs were positioned six feet apart, and we wore masks. Seating for five was about the limit and made for good conversation.  Continue reading


A treasure trove of favorite quotations was recently uncovered in a folder on my iPad. I had almost forgotten my old habit of adding a quote to the list whenever one grabbed my attention. Surely there’s a story here, I thought. Never mind the challenge of winnowing down these many wise words into a short piece of prose while making it relate to my own life history. Here are the results:  Continue reading


My collection of fifty-five true-life stories was published a few weeks ago when I was well into my ninety-first year. Now I know what I want to do when I grow up! Included are some colorful memories from my long life. The book, titled Sunsets and Buzzards, is available from Amazon in three different formats:  Kindle e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Go to Amazon books, enter SUNSETS AND BUZZARDS and it will come up. The author’s name is Pattie Martin Macurdy, since much of the content occurred while I was still Pattie Martin, and Tennessee locals will remember me by that name.  Continue reading


Betty Settle is a lifelong family friend and Tennessee relative. We grew up together in the rural Standing Rock Creek community and are cousins from both sides of our families. As we age, Betty gains prominence, since most of my other relatives have passed on ahead of me. This is a problem with being the baby of your family and living to a ripe old age. Your siblings and peers die off, leaving you as everybody else’s great aunt or distant elderly cousin. What follows traces just enough lineage of the Sexton and McHood family trees in the hills of western Tennessee to show why Betty and I are cousins twice, once removed both times, but not double.   Continue reading