December 22, 2016
Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary—
Merry Christmas to everyone out there. This is the most celebrated holiday of the year and has been since our nation was founded. It seems like so many things come together and change right after Christmas as the new year settles in.
As I look back to Christmas when I was a kid, I remember when my father gave me a 410 single shot shotgun. I was so excited. My grandfather told me he would take me out rabbit hunting later that Christmas day. We had chores to do first. We had 10 cows to milk – by hand. But with my dad, grandfather, and another young man that helped us on the farm, we got it done. The chickens had to be fed – that was my job.
My grandfather gave me some instructions on how to use my new 4-10 shotgun, and we headed across the field next to a wooded pasture. We hadn’t gone ¼ mile and there in front of us, about 20 yards away, sat a rabbit. I raised my gun and he started to run. I aimed and fired. I missed, but as I grew up that 4-10 shotgun “brought home the bacon” many times.
My sisters and I grew up riding ponies and hunting rabbits and squirrels. We rode our ponies to our one-room county school 3 miles from our farm. At that school with 8 or 9 kids, we had 1 teacher for 8 grades. No running water. We had to pump it. We had 2 outhouses. When I think about the challenge of trying to teach 8 grades in one room, it’s hard to imagine but half of those school mates, including my sisters and I, graduated from college.
At Christmas, thanks to our teacher, we put on a Christmas program for all the families. We sang all the traditional Christmas songs – Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, etc. There are a lot of schools today where the anti-Christians won’t allow any Christian songs.
One other tradition that I can’t forget was the delicious turkey dinner that my mother prepared for us. My grandfather would be there and, some years, my aunt and uncle and their 2 kids would join us. That was Christmas down on the farm as a boy.
I hope you enjoy your Christmas holiday. In another week, we will head into a new year. I have my Paralyzed Veterans calendar ready to hang above my desk. We need to be so grateful for our blessings – grateful for those that have gone on before us, helping to build the greatest nation in the world.
If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to http://www.johnblockreports.com  .;Have a great weekend. Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.