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Writing Group

             Libraries have always been special to me. When I was a child,   we lived so far out it forced my family to collect books for a library of our own. There were many great things to read.   We  didn't know we weren't  supposed to be reading Shakespeare at nine years old. The understanding wasn't always complete but a wonderful synopsis of the material was made which allowed an chance for a quicker read when we were older. An English teacher made the remark, “you couldn't have read Hamlet in such short time.

            He wouldn't have believed me either if I had said, “I've been reading it for years. In my mind I'm thinking, “can't you tell? There is something rotten in the State of Denmark!”

            All jokes aside, I think the most unbelievable use of a library was one I witnessed when we lived in Dallas.  There was a continual following of the story in the Dallas Morning News  about a young mother and her child.

           She had moved to Dallas with her husband and three children. Two of them were teens and one was a very young child. The woman and her husband had divorced. He was remarried and the teens chose to stay with him. This left his first wife homeless with her young child.  She stayed in a shelter at night where she was allowed to leave her child while she worked.  No one was allowed to remain there during the day so the woman had to find ways to stay out of the weather with her little girl.

            The library was where she stayed the most. The long rows of books, reading stations, and quiet nooks became a refuge for the woman and her child.  Sooner or later someone reported the situation to the authorities but to no avail. The woman kept the child so close to her no one was able to snatch the girl, not even the crafty child welfare people.

            All at once the stories in the paper stopped. Nothing more was published about the woman and her plight. I always wondered what happened with her. At the same time there were other thoughts in my mind too. I wondered how a city of such a great civilization who was so orderly, organized and systematic could have something like this happen. My small town thinking could not understand the ways of that city.

            Up until that time I had always been happy to brave having my small family there even though my extended Native American family was in Ponca City. Suddenly it occurred to me that this sort of thing could happen to anyone. Needless to say, this was my last foray into the metro cities of Ft. Worth-Dallas. All at once the simple uncomplicated ways of my extended Oklahoma family looked very good to me. The aunts, uncles, cousins, mother, father, nephews and nieces took on a whole different dimension as far as security.

            I must say the decision to stay in my rather humble home in the Osage as never been a regret. Oh sure, some parts of the city I miss. Orange Juliuses, wonderful doctors, endless, and I mean endless shopping, opportunities regarding my art work were just some of the things left behind. But, on the other hand, one has to consider the balance tilting toward the other decision for living in a rural location.  Learning to really know family members, sharing in special occasions, having dear one's there when crisis situations arise are just a few of the positive.

             To have had friends from childhood one knows are rooted in their place is wonderful. Good friends made in the city, of course, are for always, but a bit difficult to enjoy when they are living in England, Houston or California. This is the way of the city. A constant moving and changing is inevitable.

             Once in a while I do hum the tune Buttons and Bows, with the lyrics, “let's move down to some big town where they love the gals by the cut of her clothes and I'm all yours in bottons and bows,” but the mood soon leaves and I'm back to smelling the wild roses on my own front lawn in small town, U.S.A.  Of course, there is no perfect guarantee of security. It just seems with family about one ups the odds for an escape should circumstances demand it.

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