Archive for Thursday, February 19, 2004

Bits and Pieces

Local doctor medicated mother’s worries

February 19, 2004

We are finally thawing out of the snow and cold that has gripped our state for several weeks. My fingers and toes, which had turned to Popsicles, are doing much better, and I no longer have to wrap my hot pad around my ankles as I sit and type this piece. The snow we received was beautiful, as it came down in huge, wet flakes that eventually turned into a steady downpour.
School was closed for two days, and the kids, teachers and school personnel enjoyed some time off. The snow and ice also kept many of us inside, and I was disappointed that I didn't have a repeat of last year's sledding adventure on "The Hill" with my grandsons. They did venture out of the house, but this year spent most of their time outdoors down on Kathleen and Dick Brown's frozen pond or sledding on Tommy Pyle's hill.
Hopefully it will warm up soon, or we'll adapt and just wear more clothes. Sunday it reached 38 degrees, and it felt like a heat wave.
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I was reminded again this week how quickly time passes when I opened The Eudora News to find Dr. Kenneth Holladay's picture on the front page. Each year, The Eudora Chamber of Commerce announces its choice for Citizen of the Year at its annual banquet, and this year's choice was the good doctor. Holladay will be retiring in June from a practice that began here in Eudora in 1961.
Last fall at one of the home football games, he and I had a conversation about old times -- our children grew up together. As we reminisced, he shared his plans for retirement, and I thought about the many years he had taken care of us and our children and now our children's children. He was there when my kids needed stitches and bones set.
He was also there to receive the frantic calls in the night when they were running high fevers, and he was there with a word of comfort when things weren't going well. He also took time with my mom on many occasions when she just needed to be reassured. In short, he was always there.
I remarked in this column, after that conversation at the game, how he never really liked football and didn't want his own boys to play, but nevertheless, he came to every game in case he was needed. It was great to be in attendance to see him receive an award that is so richly deserved and perhaps overdue. We wish both the doctor and his wife, Elisabeth, a long, enjoyable retirement after the years of dedication he has given to this community. But, "We will miss you, Doc."
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A bright spot in one of the weeks of snow and cold occurred Feb. 4 when Judi O'Grady and I traveled to Topeka to participate in Lobby Day for the American Cancer Society at the Capitol. The day was spent being briefed on three bills concerning cancer, which were coming up for debate in the Legislature in the next few weeks.
We also had an appointment with Representative Rob Boyer to lobby his support for these bills. Rep. Boyer was not only attentive to our concerns, but he also had a lot of good things to say about Eudora. I was impressed about how in touch he is with our community -- he even subscribes to and reads The Eudora News. Such hands-on attention to his district is commendable.
Boyer was also in attendance at the recent Chamber banquet and addressed the group on the upcoming plan to engage his district, which includes Eudora, in the plan to put Kansas on the cutting edge of building a biotech industry in our state. It seems Eudora on the Kansas Highway 10 corridor is smack in the middle of an opportunity to capitalize on the plan with some creative possibilities for our community. We'll be anxious to hear some of the concrete examples of what these plans might be in the future.
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We buried my grandson Parker's paternal grandmother two weeks ago. Lola Allen, wife of Arlis and mother of Jerry and David, was one of those strong women who lived her life caring for her family. She is and was a symbol of so many people who live extraordinary lives in quiet, unrecognized ways. Facing an illness that was incurable with dignity and without complaint, we saw in her the bravery of those who experience the same fate and leave us in the same way with -- a short and brief description of their life in the local newspaper. True heroism so often goes unnoticed.
Both of her sons spoke of their mother at the funeral in a loving and unembarrassed manner, leaving many of us hoping that our own children could say as much for us as mothers. Perhaps lost in the larger world, Lola nevertheless made an indelible mark on her small corner of the world.

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