The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Have Fun, While Learning Your Wonderful Heritage

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

September 24, 2008

Every year you live in the wonderful USA, count your blessings. They just keep accumulating. And as for me, I never tire of seeing the full moon, the beautiful sunsets, and the ducks flying overhead.

At harvest time, the array of colors is breath-taking. Sunday, I watched a barge moving down river north of Oquawka from my brother's home upon the bluff. The sunshine danced across the Mississippi resembling millions of diamonds sparkling downstream.

I thought to myself, how many generations of people have enjoyed this same view, from Mark Twain to Indians and explorers, and many of our Presidents who have traveled this famed river.

When I was young, I took everything around me for granted. I enjoyed the win of a good action-packed game, or riding the ferris wheel at the county fair, or just some good girl-talk over the telephone.

Grandpa could never get me to sit still long enough to fish at the pond or enjoy nature. Even when the family went to the river, I was more interested in riding the waves skiing behind the boat than I was looking at the beauty around me.

All I saw was sand and muddy water, and older folks telling me what I can and can't do.

Life changes with each passing year and with each one it makes me stop and look around where I am at and ask myself: "How did all that is surrounding me happen to come about? Who is responsible?"

It makes me stop and think about my heritage and ask just why I deserve to be a part of all of this.

It also makes me take note of the people I am surrounded by and then I begin to see more clearly.

It's neighbors like you and me who have been caring for our small piece of this good ole USA, plowing fields, running, businesses, providing services, caring for the sick, offering food and lodging.

And then there are those who are educating us and our children, those who are meeting our needs with police, fire, and emergency services, those who mend our souls through spiritual teaching.

And in between all that, like 9-1-1 brought us closer as a nation, the flood has brought us closer as a county, as we weep for those among us who have suffered so, and offer a helping hand and a prayer.

As you wander through the trails of Henderson County this weekend, do it with an awareness that you are part of a precious heritage. Enjoy it, learn from it, and have fun.