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Rachel and Andrea

2 books

There are these two girls — Rachel Hargett and Andrea Strobel!!! They grew up in Medicine Lodge and they have both experienced more than their share of obstacles on their path through life!!! They have pursued and persevered through the challenges as they strive to bring their dreams alive!!!

Rachel, writing under the name of Ralynn Frost, had her story, “Workaholic”, accepted and included in the compilation of award-winning stories in the book Winners!

Andrea, writing under the name of Ankye Sunoman, wrote and illustrated the book The Stew Crew!

We have both of these books in the library to check out, or better yet, they are both available to purchase on Amazon!!!! We wish these girls the very best as they work on their next literary project!!! We are just so proud of them!!!!

Living Life and Giving It All You Have

woman holding quiltWe live in a world that sometimes seems so very superfluous and superficial. It makes me wonder if some very important aspects were left out through the years as each generation was driven to make life easier for future generations to come. Did it make us all happier? Did it make us healthier? Did it give us more mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial stability? Or, did it just give us more options on how to take the path of least resistance. Sorry, I’ve had Covid and the extra time gave me way too much time to think. I won’t go into my opinions, but I will share with you where the wanderings of my mind took me.

I was thinking about how choosing the path of least resistance may be the easiest, but it is definitely not the best in the long run. It started me thinking about my friend Norma Ricke. She’s the mother of six children. Well, now with all of those children married, that number has doubled. Then of course those children had children and I believe the current count of grandchildren is 26. No, it does not stop there; one of the grandchildren is married and the mama of a couple of babies. You don’t have to get far into a conversation with Norma to understand that she stays present in their lives, all of their lives.

two girls looking at quiltBesides taking care of the home, she’s a business partner with her husband. She is also the caretaker of a multitude of animals; she’s the first on the list when someone in the area has the need for a petting zoo. Now all of this is awesome, but I say it just to assure you that she is a busy woman and has not chosen the easy path in life.

What is beyond awesome is who she is. She’s herself! She loves abundantly, cares deeply, hardworking, trustworthy, funny, easy to talk to, always interested and interesting, grounded spiritually, and she’s fueled by common sense. Having the same allotted time as the rest of us, she fits it all into her 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week life.

Did I mention she is also a quilter? She is, and after making some I Spy quilts for her grandchildren, she took the time to make one for the children of the library. It is beautiful, we appreciate it a lot, and we are going to have so much fun with it! She is such a good example of someone who has made the choice to live good, not easy.

I also thought of the many people who do choose to live life and give it all they have. This weather made me think of calving season and all those out there fighting to find those babies and keep them alive. There are those who have cleared the roads so that people can safely get to where they need to go. There are those who stand watch over our electricity, law enforcement officers always ready for the next call, medical workers taking care of the sick, teachers going above and beyond just teaching, and grocery store and convenience store employees selling the necessities. The workers who show up, work hard, and don’t give up. These are the people who keep America going. These are the heroes, the ones making the difference. They have not settled on taking the path of least resistance, and their strength reflects their choice. They are the backbone and lifeblood of America!

Special Friends at St. Mark’s

Judy, Malorie, Doris with cakeI grew up in a small town, and like most small-town youth, I thought it would be so much cooler to live in a city. I did eventually end up in a city, and yep you guessed it, I missed living in a small town. Returning to small-town living is something I’ve never regretted, and I’m so glad we landed in this small town. Writing for The Gyp Hill Premiere gave me a condensed compilation of the history of the area, and the people who settled here and kept the community viable through the years. One of these families was the Rickard family. Little did I know during the times I talked with Dub Rickard about some story, that years down the road I would become acquainted with one of his grandsons, Arron Small.

Laurel Harrison “Dub” Rickard, the youngest of twelve children, was born in Zenda in 1920. His parents, Charles and Mima, moved to Barber County with their five youngest children in 1925.

Dub was just a few weeks from his 95th birthday when he passed from this life in 2015. He had packed his life full to the brim with events, experiences, and encounters as he had sampled college life, had seen some action-packed military years, had married and became the father of two daughters, and in due course, he purchased the Hibbard’s Rexall Store from his father-in-law, George Allan Hibbard. Even after retiring, he stayed busy and involved in several different organizations and his church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

Dub’s interest in the people and happenings of this community turned his mind into a huge storehouse of stories that he was more than happy to share with all he met. His jaunty way of telling stories, with his head tilted, eyes sparkling, and lips twitching in laughter, brought those stories to life in the mind of the listener. Some of that storytelling went on in the Lincoln Library.

Dub married Mary Jean Hibbard in 1945. Their family increased in size to four with the addition of two daughters, Georgia and Martha.

Georgia’s son, Arron Small, returns to Medicine Lodge, when time allows, to stay active in St Mark’s Episcopal Church. While he is in Medicine Lodge, he uses the computers in our library to take care of his internet needs. His visits to the library often include cookies, good stories, and great conversation. During the holidays, he invited the library staff to the church for a get-together with members of both St. Mark’s and the Presbyterian Church. They served us up a lasagna meal with all of the trimmings, along with a great time of fellowship, and our own special cake.

Soon after, the library received a card from St. Mark’s with a generous donation for Phase Two tucked inside. We appreciate the donation and those who gave. We appreciate the members of the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and the First United Presbyterian Church, churches that were established in Medicine Lodge in the 1800s. We appreciate Arron and his wife Cathy; it has been a real pleasure getting to know them.

I feel it is safe to say that Dub would be proud!