The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Merry-Go-Round Goes Faster

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

September 15, 2010

Have you been on it yet.... the merry-go-round of life.

It seems like it hits AFTER you are married, you are working outside the home, and the children have reached high school age and beyond, and then it is just ... "Hold on!"

I try to remember the "good-old-days" and I can recall my neighbor in Lee Center telling me when I had three little ones under foot, that it would be remembered as the best time of my life. I stayed home all the time, and she went off to suppers and events with her husband, and I would think poor me and no place to go. At home, I read lots of books to my little ones.

We played with their toys, swam in the baby pool, baked together, built tents with chairs and tables, washed clothes and made toy rooms in the basement, and I watched them accomplish the most amazing feats.

I remember tape-recording the children as they said their A, B, Cs, counted as far as they could count, and read their Dick, Jane, and Sally first grade reader.

My oldest, Tami, was in first grade and a very good reader. I loved saying their prayers each night and talking with them. I recall one night when she asked me if I road a horse to school in the olden days (I was 22).

Now she is on the merry-go-round working as a nurse, which she always said she was going to be, and she's taking care of her husband and two teens-a Junior at West Central and the oldest a Freshman at the University of Illinois.

Her daughter wants to go into the medical profession, like her mother.

I remember my son, Troy was 3 when he asked if he could count for me. I taped it and he began in a normal voice but the higher he counted the higher pitched his voice would get. It was so funny. When we lived in Stronghurst, we were given a black miniature poodle that was so cute and would chase the boys through the kitchen, but Darci's allergic reaction forced us to give the puppy back. We were so sad.

One of our favorite things to do in the summer was to get up early and clean the whole house, eat lunch, and head for Hend-Co-Hills to swim. The kids learned to swim from Mr. Lutz and the country club pool is something that is truely missed in Henderson County.

I so wish the pool was back with my dream of a fancy country club restaurant beside it. But, time spins on and I guess there's a lot of wonderful memories we can no longer grasp but we can make others when we aren't on that fast paced merry-go-round.

I think my neighbor in Lee Center was right, although at the time I thought she was simply off her rocker. It's not so much the trips to far-away-lands although I do really love to travel, but it is the memories we make at home with the ones we love.

My friends Bob and Joyce use to tell me after I would apologize for the children playing with all the toys, that it was good to have someone to clean up after. I would give them a look like "whatever do you mean?"

But now, I understand. They enjoy the pleasures that surround us daily, and in their 65 years of marriage this month, they have a bundle of memories, and most were made around their own table or in their own back yard.

Spinning through life is really no fun - it can make one dizzy. So, if you find yourself in that boat, maybe it's time to plan a day at home with friends, or just a fun fall wiener roast with your family.

As Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz, and my neighbors were trying to explain to me -"There's no place like home." for making good memories.

September 25 and 26 is Heritage Trails and I have always been forced to attend this event due to the newspaper and I am so glad I have been. Too many of us do not get out and see what really lies before them.

You experience the talent in your neighbors, the beautiful fields of harvest, the delicious meals that folks cook, the different organizations and churches, and the historical society that have worked so hard in the past to preserve our history.

The view from the Phelps house windows in Oquawka is the same that Abraham Lincoln had experienced. You begin to see the hours and hours of work that went into building our county. Travel from the Rogers Pumpkin farm in Lomax to the parade in Biggsville, see the historic covered bridge, and visit the 126 year old Weirs Apple Farm and you will have memories to treasure. Hope to see you on the Trails.