The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.
The cool'n off last week with fall like weather around these parts was shore welcome by most folk who had chores ta do out doors. Some folk received one and one-half inch rain whilst others didn't get but a few tenths of an inch. It slowed down harvest a bit but not fer long.
I'm hearing quite a range fer corn yields. Some fellers are report'n very good yields whilst others report a yield drop over last year of ten ta twenty five bushels per acre. When ya think about it, it is still not too bad.
Soybean yields thus far are be'n reported as good. There are a lot of soybean fields yet ta mature.
Last week in this column it was mentioned that "a legend" in Henderson County was laid to rest. He fer sure will be missed by many folk and in many ways. There is a sad truth ta the old philosopher who said "And this too shall pass". Such is the case of Curt in his advanced age. It causes a person ta reflect, in a way, on other things that have come ta end. Fer some things that are no longer with us, few feel'ns of remorse are held. But, fer others there is often a tinge of regret.
Who doesn't miss the lonely night call of the railroad engine's steam whistle or that of a case steam engine let'n off pressure with a sharp shrill when it has build up to much pressure whilst wait'n on another rack full of shocked oats ta be brought ta the thresh'n machine. Fer those that maybe have not heard either, maybe today's diesel locomotive engine horn or the muffled engine noise of a modern large combine will do just as well, but not fer folk like me.
I search in vain fer the wildlife we used ta hunt in the miss'n hedge rows that used to dot the many farms in our area. Pheasant, rabbit, quail were once abundant and a source of nourishment fer many a farm family when times were hard. Squirrels that would eat on the "hedge balls" are no longer hunted to any large degree by young boys that now spend their time oft cowered over a computer or punch'n through a cell phone.
I miss see'n young lads deliver'n the water jug on top of a pony ta men work'n hard in the hayfield. Oft times barefoot, but most generally happy and satisfied to contribute to the farms work force. Now a days he's on a "four wheeler" or "Kawasaki mule" listen'n to the radio or engaged in a cell phone conversation or tweet'n or facebook'n aways off.
I miss the wildlife and shike pokes that no longer wade in the drainage ditches and backwaters of the streams around these parts. Maybe they miss the crystal clear water of our streams that has become a dull, drab brown.
Who could forget the refresh'n feel'n of a cold drink from drainage tile with a pause from the field ya was engaged in. No worry about pollution of those tile lines that I recall, in those bygone days.
I listen at night fer the call of the screech owl and the sight of the barn owl that is not seen in the many barns that no longer exist.
I listen in vain fer the shrill creek'n of iron clad wagon wheels in the snow on a cold winter morn'n. I yearn to hear the whine of the old end gate oats seeder early in spring or the beautiful sight of a field of wire checked corn. The sound of the neighbors "two lunger Johnny popper" work'n the field nearby is missed.
I walk through the center alley way of our barn and listen fer the stomp of horses' hooves on the wooden floor of their stalls as they wait fer oats in the morn'n - but there is no sound.
I long on a crisp cool morn'n with a fresh coat'n of snow dust'n the scenery, to catch the aromatic aroma of wood smoke come'n from the kitchen range and "cowboy" tank heater.
It would be nice once again to catch the wonderful fragrance of fresh bread bake'n in a cook stove that also warmed the wash water on Monday in the old wash house.
I miss the railroad stations that used to dot the small towns and villages with people wait'n fer the next train. The people are not there, nor are the depots , and in many cases even the track has been removed.
Yes, and I miss the many barbershops where folk would gather ta "raise their ears" or even get a shave whilst the women folk did their weekly Friday night shop'n and trade'n. The small town grocery store is missed along with many smaller country churches that used to dot the country side. No longer do I see farm folk "trade'n" cream and eggs with the stores or women folk in their traditional Easter bonnets on Easter morn.
I miss the sound of sleigh bells and the joy of children on their "American flyer" sled as they slide down the many hills in our area. I miss the enjoyment of ice skate'n on the farm ponds and creeks. I miss ice hockey with brothers and sisters on those farm ponds utilize'n an empty bean can fer a puck and smaller limb of a nearby tree for a hockey stick.
Fer better or fer worse, these things along with many others have come and gone. Only those who have personally known them feel a twinge of loneliness. In accord with the philosopher, "And this too shall pass", fer better or worse. right or wrong - it is oft referred to as progress and enlight'nment.
Hop'n ta see ya in church this week.
Wherever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!"
Keep on Smile'n
Catch Ya Later