The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.

I'm a wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, joyous family gatherings, and a closer relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Be not ashamed of your faith and with a thankful heart count your many blessings.

Much corn was harvested with snow on the ground, this past week. I am continually amazed and thankful for the "grit" and "determination" our farmers display. They stubbornly will not give up.

Snow is hard on bearings and other wear parts of a combine. Cold weather is hard on mankind and machinery alike.

This fall-into winter was a hard, slow, and expensive harvest. In spite of the many obstacles and hardships, it was difficult to not find a farmer with a smile and warm greeting to extend to neighbor and stranger alike.

May peace and love continue to warm your hearts.

All of that being said, I am reminded of my friend and neighbor Cornelius Farkward. A warm hearted chap he is, however, occasionally he gets too hung up on current events, somewhat depressed, and often critical. I keep telling him "if'n criticism had any real power to harm, the skunk would have been extinct a long time ago."

For many folk "honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger."

To escape criticism-do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Or, looking at it another way, "a critic is a legless man who teaches running."

I've shared these thoughts with Cornelius many times and yet after helping his sons finish harvest and being fairly well caught up on his work -here comes Cornelius with a sharp glare in his eyes.

Come on in next to the fire, I sez, and lets share some fellowship, in outa the weather.

Into the living room-he follows me an sets his hide comfortably within hear'n distance, which is right close-see'n as how the majority of my hearing was give up on cabless tractors years ago.

How are you doing, I starts in. "Pretty good," he sez, "how bout yourself?" he asks. Well, I sez, "Pretty" is something in all honesty I gave up on, long ago, and as far as being "good", I fall way short of that adjective, even though my life long goal has been to approach as much goodness as conditions allow. I spect the best I can say of myself, with all due respect, is I'm blessed and thankful for my "lot", my neighbors, our community, my church, and my country.

Then Cornelius starts in-"What do you think of West Central firing its coach?"

I'm not going there, I sez, and you need to leave it be, as well. We've both been way too busy to know the facts surrounding the situation.

"What do you think of them "Insurgents hacking U.S. drones with $26 in software to breach key weapons in Iraq?"

The only hacking I knows about, I sez, is whacking and hacking ice to get my garage door open, the barn door in place for chores, and make'n firewood for my woodburner.

"Well then," he sez, "What do you think of them politicians messing with the estate tax?" I ain't dead yet, I sez, and my estate won't help the federal budget much.

"What about the climate negotiations and our government promising billions of dollars to nations who don't like us much?"

Well I sez, if'n we were guiltless of meddling in others affairs I might be offended. As for billions, I never learned to count that far in my "one room school learning." Therefore its hard for me to comment with any meaning for now. I am practicing to count that high, however.

"What about global warming, cap and trade, and ice berg melting," he retorts.

Seems to me, I states, a fair enough deal if'n it would melt this snow and let farmers finish harvest. Do you think its fair that Senator Ben Nelson, of Nebraska, caved in on his conservative core values and got Medicaid payments for his state as well as other backhanded deals at the expense of the taxpaying public. First of all he might be measured conservative by Washington guidelines but by my standards he is still a liberal.

Secondarily, he's not my senator, I sez, and thank goodness for that. I'd hate to try and make a live'n farming in his state. Besides, I sez, you can't fault him for gathering votes by selfishly protect'n his state.

Our two senators were not smart enough to work a similar deal for their Illinois voting folk. I'd guess they were too busy giving away our state prison at Thomson and drawing terrorists to be incarcerated in that part of the state.

As is always true, all totalitarian government actions and socialists advance begin with late night backhanded deals, and artificial deadlines-stampeding legislation thru without proper due diligence.

Why are you so surprised and angry? This has been come'n for a long time, it is just now make'n it to the surface.

You've got to give Obama credit. He is turning this bastion of a capitalist nation called the USA into a socialist-left leaning nation without firing a shot. Just a little pay off here and a little payoff there. Actually our freedoms are being sold fairly cheap.

"Do you think we're head'n for a depression?" he asks. Well no, I'm not I sez, I'm fit as a fiddle and satisfied with my lot. As for you, Cornelius, you're right on the edge of a nervous breakdown and depression that even Prozak won't help. But, on the other hand you come from a long line of critics, and can probably handle it well enough.

As for me, you're not going to spoil this Christmas holiday with negative thoughts. Things aren't quite as bad as they first appear-for now. Let's wait and see what develops. Copenhagen has proven there actually is a Santa Claus and he dresses in an Uncle Sam outfit.

By now, it was time for both of us to get at our chores. Him with enough head of steam to keep him warm thru out his evening exercises and his Misses could mellow him out with one of her fine supper meals she prepares.

Keep your heart pure and avoid critics and criticism!

Think positive and be thankful.

What would I do if'n I didn't have my good friend Cornelius to charge my battery now and again.

Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later
Barnyard Bruke