The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill. I'm a hope'n ever one enjoyed the beauty of last weekends snow. Fer those who had oats to seed and got the job done on Saturday, the snow was just right. That window of opportunity is normally fairly narrow and only available to those who are prepared. Yes, some fields may be have been a bit damp but "Mudd'n in Oats" has been a long held tradition.
Easter Sunday Rain
Some is call'n fer rain next Easter Sunday. Buster Jigs tells me that is a fer better market predictor than the upcome'n federal report. Buster sez if'n it rains and we are fallered by 7 weekends of rain there after - the grain markets will pop. He didn't say which direction, up because of delayed plant'n and maybe a result'n short crop, or down because soil moisture might be recharged and enough moisture received fer possibilities of a bumper crop. Anyways, it'll be enterset'n to wait'n see.
This snow we just had reminded me of a phone call I had with Lester who after retirement now lives near Valpraiso, Indiana, which is near the Great Lakes. They receive a great deal of snow due to "lake effect".
He said it had been snow'n since early morn'n and the depth was nearly waist high and still come'n down hard.
The temperature was dropp'n way below freeze'n and the wind from the lake was nearly gale force.
He said as we talked his wife, Mary, had done noth'n fer quite a spell but look through the kitchen window and stare.
As we talked important "farm talk" on the phone and swapped a few tall yarns, he said if'n the storm gets any worse he might have to let her in.
Well, so much fer a little humor. How many of youn's know how the date of Easter is determined?
How the date of Easter is determined:
It is important to realize that Easter is not celebrated at the anniversary of Jesus' death and reported resurrection. The year of His execution is unknown; estimates range from 29 to 33 CE. And so, the anniversaries of the actual events go unobserved year by year.
Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after Mar. 20, the nominal date of the Spring Equinox. Many sources incorrectly state that the starting date of the calculation is the actual day of the Equinox rather than the nominal date of Mar. 20. Other sources use an incorrect reference date of Mar. 21.
A little known fact is that the timing of the full moon is based upon the Metonic Cycle, a method of calculating the date of the full moon known to the ancient Greek astronomer Meton, who lived in the 5th century BCE. This calculation is only approximate; it occasionally diverges from the actual astronomical data. For example, in the year 2019, the date of Easter according to a precise astronomical calculation will be Mar. 24. However, the Western Church will observe it on Aril 21.
Easter Sunday in the West can fall on any date from March 22 to April 25th. The year-to-year sequence is so complicated that it takes 5.7 million years to repeat. Eastern Orthodox churches sometimes celebrate Easter on the same day as the rest of Christendom. However if that date does not follow Passover, then the Orthodox churches delay their Easter -- sometimes by over a month. To make matters more complex, most Eastern Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar which is currently offset by 12 days from the more generally used Gregorian calendar.
The sudden loss of a good friend, up north, Wendell Wetzel, reminded me of the story of the Woman and the Fork. It is as follows:
Woman and the Fork
There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So, as she was getting her things in order, she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.
She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.
"There's one more thing," she said excitedly...
"What's that?" came the Pastor's reply?
"This is very important‚" the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.
"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.
"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the Pastor.
The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, "Keep your fork." It was my favorite part
Because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie.
"Something wonderful, and with substance!"
So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, "What's with the fork?" Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork...the best is yet to come.."
The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled.
During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about The Fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.
He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.
If and when ya lose a loved one, give this fork idea some thought! The BEST is yet to come.
Have a good Easter weekend and if possible enjoy family and friends as ya contemplate the gift of the Risen Christ.
Hope'n to see youn's in church this weekend. Where ever ya is, what ever ya be a do'n, BE A GOOD ONE!
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later