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Helping Our Community 2020

downtown Medicine LodgeAs we come to the end of 2020, everything looks different! We are living life behind masks as we go about our day-to-day activities. Instead of meeting the gaze of those passing by, eyes seem to be cast downward as we hurry through what we need to do. Instead of relaxing into conversations with others, many avoid the luxury of that connection in fear of being the target of a sharp tongue, fueled by hate.

Doubt and uncertainly casts a shadow on the upcoming holidays. Should you or shouldn’t you travel, invite, or gather together like you do every other year? What is the best for those you love? We all individually have to ascertain the answers to these questions.

Things are different; maybe we need to roll with it the best way we can and make some unique memories. If you can’t be with the ones you love on Thanksgiving, write them a note and tell them just how thankful you are to have them in your life. Maybe take advantage of social media and modern technology and let it be a part of your holidays. Turn your imagination loose and let it gallop around the pasture that is fenced in by Covid-19 restrictions. Although the grass may be greener on the other side, it is definitely safer inside the pasture.

There is a group that has gathered together to recreate the Medicine Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce and they are amazing. All of them are extremely busy in their personal life with jobs and families. They still meet and plan activities and events to enrich the lives of those who live in this community. They have a couple of things on their calendar for this month. There will be a Community Work Day on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM. Everyone is meeting behind the old middle school building and working on setting up the light displays.

They are also sponsoring a Christmas Open House on Sunday, November 22, 2020 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Your support and participation in these community activities will nourish your sense of community spirit while helping and encouraging the sponsors and vendors. Lincoln Library will be doing a Story Time that day from 3:00 to 3:30 PM.

Activate your common sense and take the suggested precautions! If you are sick, stay at home! If you know of someone sick, make a porch drop of food and other necessities, books, magazines, or other luxuries. Call those who are sick and offer to run errands or assist them in other ways. Check on people who are alone a lot. Mental health is as important during this stressful time as physical health.

If we all do what we can to make our corner of the world better and take care of those around us, we can make it through this! Yes, things are different, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t squeeze a whole lot of positive out of the negative and make life better for others and ourselves! One thing I think we can all agree on is that we can be extremely thankful that there are only a few weeks left in 2020.

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “excogitate”! The word is a verb and is pronounced /eksˈkäjəˌtāt/. The word means to plan, to think out, to devise. Some problems are harder to solve and thus takes longer to excogitate a solution.

Failed Expectations

girl in pretty dress reading book on lawnIt is not being pessimistic to acknowledge that 2020 has been a rather difficult year for everybody; it is being realistic! There are times that life gets a little overwhelming and you have to try to fit in a few moments of escape time into the chaos!

Back in July when I was feeling a little stretched, I carefully planned a day to celebrate my birthday in a manner that would sooth my soul, revive my spirit, rest my body and bring peace to my mind. I chose a book, stocked up on comfort food, and made sure there was Dr. Pepper in the house. I decided to go with a middle school book. I didn’t want a wild roller coaster ride; I just wanted a heart-warming story to mesh with the goals of my day.

I curled up on the couch with my dog and cats that were all in the latter stages of aging out of life. I read the entire book that day and was so emotionally angry by the time I finished the book, I couldn’t sleep that night. The dog, the best character in the book, died. I finished the book and sat with my old animals and sobbed for a long length of time. I was angry. I wanted to email the author and let her know that if someone or something had to die, it should have been one of the characters who had caused the death of the dog, not the dog! After the emotional storm passed and logic slowly returned, I realized that it was her story and her right to write it as she wished. I also realized that I was upset because my expectations of a perfectly wonderful day were obliterated by the book I chose!

I see it all the time in here. Looking for a getaway, a patron checks out a book and that book does not live up to their expectations. This has the tendency to derail the reader from life’s railroad track, and they have to search for a side track to sit and wait out the emotional upheaval! Although, I know that sounds a little theatrical to nonreaders, readers who get inside the books they read know exactly what I’m talking about!

Failed expectations do not affect only readers; I’m guessing that very few people can say that life has lived up to all of their expectations. You can’t give up! You have to carefully read the review of the book, choose to read it with hope that it will nourish the areas in your life that are hungry, take responsibility for where it takes you, and go for the gamble knowing everything is not going to happen according to your expectations. The same can be said for life! Don’t ever stop reading books or living life; just adjust your anticipations and expectations, if 2020 hasn’t already done it for you!

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “querulous”! The word is an adjective and is pronounced /ˈkwer(y)ələs/. The word means complaining in a petulant or whining manner. No one can be happy all of the time, but you don’t have to be querulous.

Brenda McLain Memorial

blue stick personLincoln Library has recently been the recipient of memorials from friends and family of Kathryn Roberta McSpadden McLain, but she was known to most everyone as Brenda. Her obituary, although less than a page in length, tells of a woman who lived just a little over 98 years. I read her obituary with interest; I didn’t know her, but I did have numerous conversations with her.

After moving here, I noticed two women out walking together a lot. Although they were always moving quickly and were in deep conversation, they seemed happy to stop and chat with others who were out walking. They were the duo of Brenda McLain and Imogene Carr, and both were amazing women. They smiled and laughed and encouraged, but what I noticed most were how their faces would just shine while they talked to you. It was always good to talk to them and they made an impact on my life as a newbie to Medicine Lodge.

Brenda may not have had an easy life, but she made it a good life. Included in her obituary was her interest in most everything that life has to offer. She set a good example for all of us in dealing with all of the details in life!

We have the money set aside until we can settle on a project that we can do in memory of a very special lady! We appreciate everyone who gave!

We also appreciate all those who have brought candy to the library for the Halloween parade! We are planning for 250 and we are about a third of the way there. The parade needs to be a little different this Halloween! Instead of conglomerating at the door of the library, we ask that everyone line up down the sidewalk on First Street towards the City Office. We also ask that you line up with family members, with six feet between families, so the parade will be single file. It will make the parade longer, safer, and more enjoyable to watch! The Barber County Health Department is also encouraging everyone to wear masks, even if participant’s costumes have masks. Things will be a little different, but there will still be costumes and candy. It’ll be a good time!

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “deleterious”! The word is an adjective and is pronounced del-i-teer-ee-uhs. The word means harmful, often in a subtle or unexpected way. Divorce is assumed to have deleterious effects on children.

Words Are Powerful

be kindIf you think about it, there are not many things more powerful than words. They can make you laugh and they can make you cry. They are powerful enough to break hearts and are effective in mending broken hearts. They are so powerful that they alone can change lives, for the better or for the worse. Words can inspire an individual to do great and mighty things, but words can also send a person spiraling down and drowning in a cesspool of discouragement. Words can destroy a country and words can slowly repair the damage.

Words are a tool most all of us have to help us in maneuvering the maze of life. We can use the words for good or we can use our words for bad. There are a lot of words to choose from; we need to choose wisely. There are those words that are fun to say, such as ballyhoo, scalawag, piffle, namby-pamby, mollycoddle, and I could go on and on! Then there are those words that are difficult to pronounce, for example: Worcestershire, anathema, quinoa, isthmus, ignominious, and onomatopoeia. I could go on and on with this list also, as long as I can write them and not have to say them.

We at Lincoln Library have decided to do a “word of the week” to increase our vocabulary, and we would like to invite you to join us. Our first word of the week is a difficult word to pronounce; the word is “acquiesce” (a·kwee·es).” It is an intransitive verb that means to consent or comply passively or without protest. We are going to incorporate this word into our daily conversations, as soon as we learn how to say it correctly.

It is good to increase our vocabulary so that we have a better understanding when we read and are communicating with others. But even better is choosing to be careful with not only what words we use, but also the tone we send them forth with. If you can talk, acknowledge the power of your words. Choose kind words, whenever possible, that will encourage others, energize the tired, entertain the sad, exhort those needing a lift, empathize with those who are hurting, and work at excelling in the practice of the Golden Rule.

Just because I do believe in the Golden Rule, I acquiesce many times in confrontational matters due to the insignificance of the issue. (Did you see how easily I slid that new word in there?) Come on in and practice on us!