The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "How Are Ya Livi'n It'

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

Here we are into the month of March already. As we enter March and draw close to the end of most of winter, we have much ta look forward to.

Full moon was last Tuesday, March 2, and with all the snow we has, a feller can negotiate interestingly well at night utilize'n light reflected from the sun.

For those of you'ns calve'n this time of year, it helps a great deal when check'n cows at midnight ta see how they's a gett'n along in the process.

I am told those already calve'n are experience'n a goodly number of twins.

Don't forget next Sunday, March 8, ta spring your clocks ahead one hour fer daylight savings time change.

I reckon it's time ta review once again the poem, "The Dash" written by Linda Ellis.

She calls it, "uncomplicated poetry in a complicated world". Linda was moved ta write the poem one afternoon by a letter from a lady who was dying. Her words in the letter were as follows:

"Regret? I have a few. Too much worrying.

I worried about finding the right husband and having children, being on time, being late and so on. It didn't matter. It all works out and it would have worked out without the worries and the tears. If I would have only known then what I know now. But, I did and so do you. We're all going to die. Stop worrying and start loving and living".

The words in the dying woman's letter stuck with Linda Ellis. Her letter made Linda stop and think. "This is it. This is all we get".

Several years after writing the poem, it was read at the funeral of her best friend...her father. Never had the words of the poem meant more to her.

The poem has been performed in an elementary school play, was part of a state supreme court justice speech, printed in best-selling novels, and placed in high school yearbooks. "The Dash" has truly affected millions.

"The poem's words have convinced mothers to spend more time with their children, fathers to spend more time at home, and reunited long-lost loved ones".

"The words have changed attitudes, and changed the direction of lives. They have, in their own way, made a difference, "as quote by Linda Ellis. "Live Your Dash".

An old man read an inscription he had written in a journal years before. The words read, "Wasted the whole day fishing with Jimmy. Didn't catch a thing".

Later on with a deep sigh he found Jimmy's journal, now deceased, for the same day. Very large printed letters read: "Went fishing with my dad. Best day of my life".

It has been said, "I've never known anyone who, on their deathbed said....I wish I had spent more time at the office.

"Our dash is a fleeting moment in time, and what we do with it is up to us". (Linda Ellis)

"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child".

So here it is, fer your own review titled, "The Dash". 36 lines that have touched millions of lives and have literally taken on a life of their own by traveling all over the world. Hopefully ya will read them carefully and thoughtfully.

The Dash

By: Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth

And spoke of the following date with tears.

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

That she spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved her

Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

The cars, the house, the cash.

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend out dash.

So think abut this long and hard;

Are there things you'd like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what's true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more.

And love the people in our lives

Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile.

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read

With your life's actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how your spent your dash?

There ya have it then. One of my favorite and most meaningful poems.

Have a good week, visit friends and neighbors, pay calls on nursing home residents as well as those in the hospital. Do someone a favor or special act of kindness. Take time to live your "Dash" well!

Wherever ya is,

What ever you be a do'n,


Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya Later,