The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke "YEAR-END/NEW YEAR REFLECTIONS"

Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.

Here it is, a new year 2014, we've received a dustin of snow, and cold weather is upon us with fortunately not so much hard driven wind pester'n us thus far. We shore has a lot to be thankful fer in start'n the new year out.

I look back years ago in my younger years on friends long since gone and reflect on those years in which they approached a change in the calendar to a new year just as we are now.

Many of those dear friends and loved ones were born before the turn of the century and had close friends, yet alive, who had fought in the Civil War, fought Indians, gone thru an economic depression of the 1890's, fought with Teddy Roosevelt in his "Rough Riders" and knew a lot of hard physical work.

They never really ever had much in terms of hard currency and by todays standard would be economically considered "quite poor".

But in other terms were quite wealthy as it relates to relationships with their neighbors, their God, their work ethic, and their outlook on life, just to name a few.

They never looked to the government or anyone else fer welfare or a handout. Indoor plumbing was a rarity on the farm and electricity was yet years away from rural farmsteads.

Most farms had livestock, include'n a dairy cow or two fer family use, and the use of their family root cellar stock full of produce from the efforts of a large family garden.

The home grown food they ate, stocked away without the advantage of refrigeration, would be considered mighty fine as it relates to todays commercially store bought packaged food.

There were yet ice houses around where they harvested ice from cricks, farm ponds, and rivers, sawed up and collected in a family and community effort, and stocked the ice away in large square chunks in sawdust and straw to keep things cool, well into August.

They made precious few trips to town and then only to do their trade'n and neighbor'n on a special day of the week - either on a Friday night or a Saturday night town.

Whilst there they would visit the barber shop fer a haircut and could receive a shave'n, if'n they so chose.

No government regulations against a shave fer fear of receive'n Aids or some other such disease which hadn't yet been heard of.

Aids was somethin' given out by various churches in the community to help out a widow or some family that had endured a tragedy of house fire from chimney over heat'n, or cholera move'n thru the community cause'n the loss of loved ones and sometimes whole families. The cemeteries were yet to receive the many mothers who lost their lives in childbirth.

Abortion, live'n together outside of marriage, marry'n someone of their own sex, was not talked about and childbirth outside of marriage was mostly kept a secret.

In fact a great number of topics, so frequently seen and heard on TV, radio and movies, were never a topic of conversation.

Unknown to them was many wars of destruction yet to come. The war to end all wars (WWI) was a way's off, some good times were yet to be had in the roaring 20's before the "Great Depression" was to hit and life in a way was somewhat of a fairy tale with its yet "Victorian Ways" as a holdover.

Those folk all had their dreams and hopes fer the future, just as we have today. They knew not what that future held but fer the most part held strong to an optimistic attitude fer times a come'n up.

A lot of our older folk today, some in nursing homes and some already passed along to their "Just Reward" and final rest'n place, were yet several years away from be'n born.

And so, time marches on, as the clock ticks along, have no idea what the future holds or even if we'll be around next year at this time or fer that matter if'n we'll be well or alive tomorrow.

We do have, fer the most part, optimism and hope fer the future. While a great deal of change has taken place these past 100 years, since 1913/1914, and fer the most part we have adapted to that change. Some fer the not so good and some fer the better.

So I wonder how the folks in the begin'n of 2114 will look back on our time now of 2014. With nostalgia and wonderment? Will they understand our goals and appreciate our efforts? Will they be able to relate to anything at all about what drives us and why our actions were thus and thus.

Will they pass our generations and read the dash of a line betwixt when were born and when we died and hold a feel'n of appreciation fer the world we gave them?

It would be enterest'n to be around at that time to hear their comments and know their thoughts. What will they be a do'n to preserve what we value today? Will any of what we value now be yet personal and held in high regard at that time?

Well, lets hope so, but there are no guarantees. What is fer sure is that change is inevitable and those who will not bend with the winds of change will be broken! And those who bend too easily will be shaped into quite a deformed tree!

Thanks fer share'n with me a few reflections. Have a "Happy New Year" from the Bruke Clan and be sure to try to go to church this week.

Pray for wisdom, common sense and good judgment.

Wherever ya is, what ever ya be a do'n BE A GOOD ONE!

Keep on Smile'n (if'n fer no other reason than it catches most people off guard and puts em in a state of wonderment)

Catch ya later