The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill. Here we are in March with Ash Wednesday (5), daylight savings time (9), St. Patricks Day (17), and spring (20), all right here upon us in short order. My how time flys as the years go by.

I hears some folk, from time to time, complain'n of the weather and eager to see this winter over with. It hurts to hear anyone complaining of the weather fer it is God's gift and serves His purpose. To be a talk'n down any of His ways seems to be tread'n on dangerous territory overlook'n other of his many bless'ns he grants us ever day. We should enjoy each day, no matter how it comes our way, with thankful hearts.

Warm Thoughts

-Edgar A. Guest said it well in the follow'n poem:


Winter has a beauty all her own,

An ermine mantle around her thrown.

Her trees with countless brilliants gemmed,

Her hedges glistening silver hemmed.

Her fields a calm and peaceful sight

Behind a counterpane of white.

The hills a crown of glory wear,

Flashing the silence that is there.

Wherever winter's tent is pitched

Something with beauty is enriched.

Upon the humblest twigs and stems

She pins her priceless diadems.

With dignity she sits her throne,

Sure of a beauty all her own.

Louise Bryon brought back some nostalgic memories with the poem:

"Winter Long Ago'

A cheery fire, a rocking chair,

A coal-lamp that glowed,

A warm and loving atmosphere-

This was our home sweet home.

The post dispatch on the floor,

And Papa sound asleep.

The quilt top Mama worked upon

Slipped down next to her feet.

The cold North wind blowing fierce;

The snowflakes falling fast.

But more than enough wood on the porch

To last, and last, and last.

Reasons To Enjoy Winter

Reflect'n on them poems brings ta mind, fer me at least, some pleasant thoughts.

This time of year so many good things can be enjoyed if'n ya pause long enough from life's busy pace ta take them in.

There is new born lambs and newborn calves. It's amaze'n ta watch them so quickly after they are born, a frolic'n in the snow, hold'n their tails high and kick'n their heels. They are so cute and as they nurse their mothers, what can be more beautiful than life renewed.

Margaret Louise Mints said it well in her poem:

"Beauty Around Us'

There is beauty all around us

If we'll only stop to look,

Or listen to the murmur

Of the swiftly running brook.

There's beauty in the springtime

In the early morning hours,

When the birds are chirping merrily

And the dew is on the flowers.

There is beauty in the woodland

As we watch the budding trees,

And the lush green of the meadows,

And the hum of busy bees.

There's beauty in the summer

In each flower that we view,

Or the soft refreshing shower

And the rainbow's pastel hue.

There is beauty in the autumn

When the leaves come tumbling down,

And the pumpkins dot the cornfields

Mid the corn shocks, tall and brown.

There is beauty in the winter,

When the snowflakes gently bring

A message that the flowers,

Sleeping now, will wake in spring.

I like feed'n the birds both winter and summer. This winter there are many, many birds feed'n from my eight or nine feeders. They include snow buntings, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, doves, sparrows, starlings, blackbirds and several others. No less than 12 individuals of each type with sparrows and starlings outnumbering them all at certain times of the day. The birds start very early in the morning and on cold days continue whilst there is daylight.

I provide heated water for them to drink and bath ta fluff up their fathers to help keep themselves warm. The folk that sell the various types of bird seed and suet love to see me come'n on a regular basis. Helps em balance their budget!

Ruth H. Underhill gave a good poem on the matter entitled:

"Our Winter Guests'

When the soft white blanket of snowflakes

Has covered the earth below,

Down from the sky come our winter guests,

As the brisk north wind starts to blow.

Chattering gaily while cracking seeds

And eating the suet cakes too...

Snow buntings, nuthatches and chickadees,

Cardinals and jays of blue!

They fill our hearts with sunshine

As we watch their cheery style;

Even when days seem gloomy and dreary

They brighten our day for awhile.

They seem to sing songs of thanksgiving

For shelter and daily bread...

This colorful, feathered choir

We watch from high overhead.

What joy to watch from the window

Just any time of the day,

As these happy little creatures

Feast and sing in play.

How glad we are to see them

As they drop by, year after year,

Trusting us for their winter needs...

Repaying us with songs of cheer.

Several times this winter I took the grandchildren of all ages out fer sled rides on the ole fashioned steel runner sleds. I have 5 of them ole buggers, collected over the years. Luckily I've got a goodly supply fer I haven't been able to find them type in the stores anymore.

The kids just love em and we are a build'n memories ta who laid the tulips! Grandma always has hot chocolate and popcorn a wait'n fer us when we makes it ta to the warm house.

It has been said if'n ya foller's a child, ya will find yourself at the very gateway of love, joy and sincerity.

Nelle Hardgrove has a poem that puts the feel'ns well ta words:

Time Repeating

"We came out to borrow a hill," they said,

My son and my grandson, with sled painted red.

And I laughed, full knowing, for a grandson, age three,

Snow in the country is the best place to be.

They soaped the runners of the new Christmas sled,

And away down the hill the laughing child sped.

His dad pulled him up, and back down he went

With our dog chasing, barking, till a full hour was spent.

It seems only yesterday that tall son of mine

Was riding his sled! And isn't it fine

That we are all here and I'm able to see

The joy and the laughter of a grandson, age three.

So, there ya has it then-some of the reasons I am able ta find enjoyment this winter and am thankful fer it. I'm a guess'n it all depends on what ya zeroes in on fer your outlook in life. If'n ya aims to be of the complain'n sort, there's plenty out there fer ya to fix on to raise your misery index. As fer others, they have found plenty to make themselves happy and filled with joy. It's your choice as ta what ya makes of it.

That's it fer now. Wherever ya is, whatever ya be do'n BE A GOOD ONE! Keep on Smile'n and hope'n ta see youn's in church this week.

Catch ya Later