The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.
Next week is April, already, and I needs to get meself on self defense so's those grandchillen's of mine don't get me a good one fer April Fools Days.
April Fools Day
It has become quite a contest, fer shore, ta get grandpa caught off guard and do a funny one on him. As fer grandpa, well it has become an art with him to catch grandma off guard, fer over fifty years. Haven't missed a year yet! Of course she hasn't been a grandma fer that long but she has been subject to me tom-foolery every April 1 fer a long time. I will admit it's become'n harder and harder each year to catch her!
Some years in the past I have found it necessary to elicit the help of friends and neighbors, and then there was the chillen's who were quite will'n ta join in. Now the chillen's, in-laws, and grandchillen's chime in, all fer the sport of a catch'n grandma, who by this time is well prepared and carefully on guard. On guard or not, it will always be fun catch'n her where she least expects it!
Any of you readers, of this column, got any good ones you've learned over the years, share them with Dessa. I'm sure other readers will enjoy learn'n some new tricks from their neighbors. They can be from days of old if'n ya likes. Anyways ya cuts it, they should bring a smile to someone's face.
I see folk around these parts lay'n field drainage tile last week. I hear some fields worked better'n others due to the combination of mud and frost.
There are large rolls of tile be'n laid out, here and there, which indicates several folk remember last spring very well and are a prepare'n fer better drainage. Some of it is ta utilize cash reserves from some good crop sales and some of it is ta beat the government regulators to the punch before they either outlaw it or over regulate it.
Whatever the reason, it makes good sense ta maintain good well maintained drainage systems. How many recall, back in the days when we walked beans, mowed weeds in the fence rows, and cultivated crops in the summer heat and ya would stop along the nearby crick fer a good refresh'n cold drink of tile drainage water. As I reflect back on those times, it seems noth'n could match the satisfaction.
It has been some time since I have seen anyone walk'n beans fer cutt'n weeds or volunteer corn, mow'n fence rows (most fence rows has disappeared except fer livestock communities) or cultivate'n corn and soybeans ta get weeds plowed out or covered up and ta stir the soil and aerate it.
As I write this column the weather man is a call'n fer one ta three inches of snow in a day or so. In the past some of our bigger snow storms of the season has come late in March or early April. I guess it has been natures way of play'n a "April Fools" joke on folks.
Well, we can allow fer that, since this time of year, with the suns nearby location fer bring'n heat, it won't last long, or so I've noticed. I suppose it depends, however, on ones definition of "long". Fer some, one day of heavy snow is a "long" time, especially if'n ya is in the thick of calve'n or pigg'n outdoors.
I've mentioned before about me paw sow'n oats mid-March, or so, back in the 40's. A big snow storm and hard freeze came along later and he was forced to reseed both oats and small hay mixture. He carved on the main entrance of the barn door, with his pocket knife so's he'd never forget not ta pull an expensive dumb trick like that agin.
Mother Nature can sure fool ya with a spell of very nice weather follered by a wallapaloo of a late winter storm. Well, there's not so much oats be'n sowed around these parts any more even though prices have risen considerable in recent years. Hard fer them to compete economically with corn and soybeans. Any hay needed is mostly straight seeded.
I remember a few years back when a farmer or two around these parts planted a few acres corn in March just to prove they could. They never did it agin so I figures they weren't given the weather conditions fer another chance at such a foolish maneuver in most cases, and when they was they never took it. Must be a strong signal it didn't work out too well.
They sez farmers are in the fields already south of Springfield and St. Louis areas. Putt'n on anhydrous ammonia, I hears, and further south in Illinois a frett'n to get the planter a roll'n. It's not to unusual fer them, way down there, to get some corn planted in March. They is a hope'n ta hit pollination time ahead of the much hotter mid-summer weather that often comes there abouts. The last few years, however, it has been way too wet ta get any of that early plant'n done and if'n they did luck some in betwixt the rains, it became necessary to replant it.
Well, that's it fer this column. Be safe and maintain a good attitude. Slap a smile on all the friends and neighbors ya can. It cheers ever one up!
Hope'n ta see ya in church this weekend.
Keep on Smile'n and where ever ya is, what ever ya be a do'n, "BE A GOOD ONE!'
Catch ya later