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Donna's Journal
Winfield, Kansas, January 21, 2004

Paper White bulbs I had been forcing to bloom. My Aunt was in the Winfield, Kansas hospital and they would be so enjoyable for her. The buds were so ready to pop open but did not make it by the time we were ready to go. Didn't stop us, we took them anyway. It was my thinking Auntie certainly loved to watch growing things. She was alone except for a daughter who visited daily.

Mother went with me and as usual it was her pleasure to do so. Straight long Oklahoma and Kansas roads make the trip easy and relatively made in a short time of about an hour. We drove through Newkirk, past the Chilocco arch, through Arkansas City and easily followed even better Kansas roads into Winfield. Years have past since I've been in that town. Isn't it strange how age causes us to see things with a different eye. This time I noticed a very wide street. There was plenty of room for four lanes plus very much extra space for angled parking.

“Some of these former fathers of the city sure had some kind of long range thinking  to build these streets like this. Can you imagine how awfully wide they were when only horse and buggies used them”  I mentioned to Mother.

“They did have more thoughts for the future than most.”  Mother had lived through the years and knew of many small towns in Oklahoma with just a track through them. Later the highway was only a two-lane road.

As we turned off the main street to go toward the hospital, the width of this residential street was very narrow. Houses were relatively close to the curb. They all looked to be of  very antique structures. However, when we arrived at the hospital that building was  new and impressive. A circle allowed me to drive directly up to the door so Mother wouldn't have to walk from the parking lot.

My mind was going back to when I went to school in Kansas. The German blood of the people was strong.   This was evident in their fair skin. Completely blond hair also was a common sight.  They  had a healthy, clean look about them.

The walls of the hospital was decorated with the hand crafts of the local residents and they were beautiful. Intricate crochet doilies were framed behind glass. Large quilted wall hangings were fastened to decorative rods. There was one enclosed window display with various hand made craft articles for sale. It was all a feast of another time and a different era. Something about it gave the classy modern building a unique air, like stepping back into another century.

If that feeling was upon us it soon disappeared when we entered my aunt's room. Her surgery was on her knee for torn ligaments. There was a small machine hooked up to her leg and it was continually moving the leg in a bicycle riding motion. The apparatus was too modern and innovative for us to remain in that other world of hand-crafted works.

I took time off I didn't have to go but I'll never forget the look of joy and appreciation on my elderly aunt's face as we walked in the door with our pot of Paper Whites about to bloom.

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