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Donna's Journal
August 25, 2005

   What about the pyramids and tombs in Egypt? Why are they so fascinating to so many people? Scientists have literally sacrificed their lives to study their secrets. Great archaeological digs have been made to uncover their history. I've thought about it many times since I was a girl, in fact. I've come to the conclusion it was simply the way the ancient artists depicted their everyday life that keeps us captive. All of the scenes showing activity of the common place and the royal, as well, hold us and we are intrigued by them. Even before we could read the script everyone was fascinated by those simplistic, stylized figures of people fishing, hunting, making bread, or of Pharaohs on barges sailing down the Nile river. There is something in our make up that makes us want to know about another place and time even if we must give up some comfortable part of our lives to do so.

    Pawhuska, a town which means, White Hair in Osage, is not more than 65 miles from my home, if that far. It is where the county court house stands. Paying of taxes, legal work, and searching records, make the small town a place, sooner or later, everyone has to visit. I always enjoy going there because it brings up memories of my Uncle who seemed to have one or more chores he had to do even until he became elderly and a bit senile. He always had a way of entertaining a young person though and the trips were most enjoyable. A meal at one of his favorite Bar B Q places which, indeed, bordered on being a bar was entertainment and pleasurable. He always stacked up nickels on the table so I could plug the juke box in order to hear the latest country western toons. Life was simple then.

    Driving over the now smooth highway was nothing like it was when I was a child. The winding narrow strips of roads of yesterday, then, were black topped and that was a plus but this was the end of what could be considered good roads. Many a person was killed on the sharp winding curves that went around the hills instead of through and over them. As a result of this knowledge I appreciated today's road which was allowing me to skim easily over this beautiful land called Green Country. It was living up to its name today because of the rains we've recently had. There was no where one could not look without seeing the majestic creations by a higher intelligence. My mind was exercising and creating a pallette for the rich earth, its produce upon the far hills and the ones closer to me. I wondered about the genius of The Intelligence, Who was able to balance these together with that touch of a mother color in order to bring harmony to all the hues.

    However, true to the inherited ways of my genes, the most pleasant part of my trip was the people themselves. The quick and sharp librarian put my books and table almost directly in front of the door where people had to see the presentation first thing as they walked through the door. Of course, my advantage was that I could see who came through as well as the clever staff worked with them. What a lesson I had.

    Prairie people are a breed apart, so to speak. They are from persons who have quick thinking ways (they had to have for their survival). There is nothing indecisive or weak about them. It was my pleasure to watch the library staff take care of each one's requests very carefully but with an equal measure of disciplined, unwavering firmness all the while displaying the greatest respect and courtesy. For a moment I was transported back to another world to a time and place of my childhood. The remembered blessings of having grown up where the people who were responsible for our education, indeed, must have come from the best of people. It was wonderful and a salve to a sometimes injured psychic,  just to recall these gentler times.

    When I drove away from the comfortable, pleasant surroundings of my family and household to embark on the afternoon for a book signing at Pawhuska I had no illusions of great numbers of books to be sold. The population alone would not allow this.  A mix-up on publicizing the event made no turn out past the everyday traffic and that was my fault. I should have double-checked the date and, so forth.

    Here, I am, caught in this new world when all things successful are often measured by the amount of money we make,  and that is okay, too. One has to think about the necessary things. However, for just a tiny sparkling  flash like one we see on television of those mysterious neurons in the brain, a memory is brought back to us. All, the little,  daily things with life and living that are only pictures in our mind are once again played out in an artful way but more, like on a living stage,  rather than as is shown in pictographs in colored ink on stone walls. Surely this understanding of our past is worth-while. I sold enough to pay for gasoline and isn't that saying something?

    By the way, I was encouraged to drive over and back home amidst quite a few drivers in Toyotas. I saw not one large gas guzzling car. Even the driving habits were different. No one was rushing at all. Sixty miles an hour was their choice of speeds. There is more than one way to skin a cat, or win a war, they seemed to be saying. That alone was ointment for my frustrated feelings for being high-jacked at the gas pump or worrying about was happening to the ozone layer.

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