The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. I'm a hope'n last weeks good weather put youn's in good spirits and you were able to accomplish your planned outdoor work.
With blossoms on fruit trees because of the warm weather, many are now susceptible to a killing frost.
Lets hope it doesn't happen. The cherry trees in Washington, D.C. are blooming early, as they are here.
Some folks had planned vacations to observe the event at a later date, which would be normal for D.C.
Unless they can change their plans they'll in all probability miss the full bloom spectacle this year.
In a discussion last week betwixt the "boys" George Lukenbinder, an elderly feller, in our group, was asked why he keeps on farming.
His reply was simple,"I just can't think of anything else I could do that I would be as good at or love as much".
"My hopes are that by have'n raised my children on the farm they have learned that miracles don't happen only in fiction and T.V. I taught them to learn about miracles that turn sunlight and water into something we eat.
I won't mind if'n they might choose someday not to farm, although it would be a huge disappointment, as long as they maintain a healthy appreciation for those people who do".
"We've all heard it told that morality and our country's children are in trouble these days.
We also are aware that there are fewer and fewer farm families throughout this nation". George wondered out loud, "Has it ever occurred to anyone that these two facts may have some connection"?
George continued on, "Ask'n me why I farm is like ask'n me why I breathe". He went on to say,"I have always said that I hoped I could retire at least by the time I reached 70. Upon reach'n it several years back, it just seemed way too young to let up on the throttle.
After a spell I'd be bored and it would be detrimental to my health and general well being. I'd eventually find myself help'n a neighbor farm just to keep busy and be healthy. Maybe I'll just retire when I die".
"I farm because nature is putt'n on a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week show and I have a front row seat".
The boys all agreed that often in the struggle for profit, we sometimes forget the real reasons we farm.
They all seemed motivated in unison to sincerely want to attempt to pass those reasons on to their children and grandchildren.
Fess McGee and Patty Murphy got their heads together on St. Patricks Day and somehow put together the follow'n beliefs. They shared them with us boys as follows:
"We believe in freedom, freedom to work the soil and care for the land, and freedom to worship as we please, but we do not believe freedom is free.
We believe a man's greatest possession is his dignity, and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than farming. We believe hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a persons character.
We believe that farming, despite its hardships and disappointments, is the most honest and honorable way a man can spend his days on earth. We believe our children have learned values that will last a lifetime and cannot be learned as easily in any other way.
We believe farming provides education for life and that no other occupation teaches so much about birth, growth, and maturity in such a variety of ways.
We believe many of the best things in life are indeed free: the splendor of a sunrise, the rapture of wide open spaces, the exhilarating sight of your land greening each spring or observing a newborn calf.
We believe true happiness comes from watching your crops ripen in the field, your children growing tall in the sun, and your whole family feeling the pride that springs from their shared experience.
We believe that by our toil we are giving more to the world than we are taking from it, an honor that does not come to all men.
We believe our lives will be measured ultimately by what we have done for our fellow men, and by this standard we fear no judgment.
We believe when a man grows old and sums up his days, he should be able to stand tall and feel pride in the life he has lived. We believe in farming, because it makes all this possible".
"Well Golly Gee" maybe that's the reason ole George Lukenbinder is not will'n or ready to retire, even though his age might indicate it.
I reckon if'n a feller has his health, is not a stand'n in the way of the next generation of chillens or grandchillens, and holds fast to those beliefs, he probably would continue on with some degree of farm'n until he "kicks the bucket with his boots on".
As fer me and several of the boys we don't disagree with George, Fess or Patty at all. In fact their thoughts are mighty uplift'n.
But I recken also, that its important to make room for the next generations. On this side of the grave there's much satisfaction to be derived in watch'n their progress.
Besides, its a might easier to pass along advice, when asked, on this side of the sod and plenty of opportunity to provide labor and wisdom when needed.
Anyways, it was good them fellers shared their thoughts with us boys and it made us feel right proud about the parts we all played throughout our lives in farm'n and those shared experiences with the next generations.
Now we move forward to help and watch them learn and grow in farming "as a way of life".
Mrs. Bruke sez this wisdom applies to the farmer's wife as well.
Beside, many gals are farmers in their own right these days.
She also sez a women's work is never done and fer that matter full retirement is outa their reach in most cases. I see's her point, upon proper reflection.
It is also true that many folk live'n in our rural communities, but work'n in the bigger cities, can derive many of the same benefits for their chillens.
That is if'n they'll slow down their pace of life and take the time to do so.
May God Bless our rural living!
I'm a hope'n ever one has a good week come'n up and is able to feel good if'n they either are a farmer or knows someone who is. And yes, even if'n ya only lives in our rural communities but commutes to a larger city.
See ya in church on Sunday, and be careful about mudd'n around these fields this early in the season.
There's plenty of time yet fer what needs to be done.
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later