The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. Here we are in the month of March already.
It has come in like a lamb and we'll wait to see how it goes out. The old say'n would have you believe, it'll go out like a lion.
I remember over 70 years ago the first weeks of March have'n been very mild weather with the soil dry'n out suitable for field work.
Those were back in the days when farmers sowed oats for feed and as a cover crop for alfalfa.
Around our parts, that was usually accomplished in the later part of March.
Well, here it was the first part of March and the cornstalk ground was ready for disc'n.
So, dad went ahead and worked up the stalks. Then he got out the oats seeder and put it on the wagon and installed the gear on the wagon wheel to drive the chain which drove the oats seeder.
He took the last years oats out of the bin and fanned them to clean them up, gett'n the chaff and light seed out.
By now he was ready to get a jump on the job of sown oats even though the calendar said it was too early compared to normal practice.
The oats went in well along with a good mixture of alfalfa and grass seed.
There was enough moisture in the soil and days were warm enough to germinate the seed and get the plants out of the ground in good manner.
Everything looked "hunky doory".
Comes the last part of March and then it hit with unforgive'n vengeance.
First rain, followed by ice, along with bitter cold winds, and finally snow.
It wasn't a pretty picture for the young seedl'ins of oats and alfalfa seed. The whole field was a loss.
Dad was plenty disappointed. Money was tight in those days and a bunch of it was lost due to the weather on that oat crop.
Dad promptly went out to the barn and diligently carved on the main entrance door in deep letters so he would never forget: "Never Ever Again Seed Oats in the Early Part of March-No Matter the Weather!
In Like a Lamb, Out Like A Lion!"
It was a reminder to all future generations to "be patient" and "not jump the gun" when farm'n.
I expect many of you'ns is gett'n along well calve'n with the fair weather and all.
It shore is nice see'n those young calves romp'n around in the sunshine.
The last few nights the coyotes have shore nough been yapp'n at the stars.
When the night is calm it stirs up the farm dogs for miles around. I reckon given half a chance they'd like to have some veal for midnight supper. The long cold snow spell has make them a wee bit hungry.
I wonder if'n you heard about my Swede and Irish neighbors who were watch'n the 6 o'clock news one even'n.
The Irishman bets the Swede $50.00 that the man in the lead story threat'n suicide by jump'n from a 40 story build'n, will jump.
"I'll take that bet" the Swede quickly replied.
A few minutes later, the newscaster breaks into the on'going news to report that the man had indeed, jumped from the building.
The Irishman, feel'n rather guilty for have'n beat the Swede on such an incident, turns to the Swede and tells him he does not have to pay the $50.00.
"No, a bet's a bet", retorts the Swede. "I owe you the $50.00 and I'm a gonna pay it".
The Irishman, feel'n more guilty than before replies, " No, you see you don't understand, I saw the 5:30 edition, so I knowed how it was a going to turn out".
"That's okay", the Swede replies, "I saw it earlier also, but I was will'n to bet he wouldn't do it again".
Well I'm a hope'n the evening news don't run that story any more fer if'n it does, its liable to break that Swede.
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later