Amidst the horror of the closing of lola Nursing Center last week and shuffling the residents off to other facilities, one of their own passed away quietly.
There was no time for grieving, no time for a memorial service at the Center, no time to say goodbye to Andrew Still, Ill.
Andy was my friend. He was a quiet, sweet man. My visits with him would always begin with a hug, and then we would sit and begin chatting. We’d talk about anything and everything. He would always ask about my husband, and then about my dogs and cats, and I would tell him interesting things going on at the courthouse.
Then we’d move on to current events. He read the lola Register every day. After hitting the local highlights, we’d advance to national and world events. He’d pull out a Time magazine or his National Geographic and point to some article that interested him and we’d talk about that for a while.
He didn’t get out in the world, but he knew what was going on in it. At the end of our visit we’d hug again and I’d tell him to be good. I will miss him. Rest in peace, Andy.
Every now and then I take a notion to write a letter and after a day excursion to your charming community I have been spurred to do so again. I have lived in Kansas most all my life but haven’t ever taken notice of lola or Humboldt until this weekend. There really is so much just in “our own backyard” here in Kansas to enjoy and explore, your towns with the Rails to Trails being a wonderful example and for this I am writing a letter of thanks.
I have heard and read of Rails to Trails projects and always wanted to take the time to explore some but never had until now. You see, my daughter traveled with me to lola to buy a set of bikes from a find on Craigslist. The bikes were great and we were excited to take them for a spin. The trail is awesome! Very well kept and easy to ride. We had a glorious time being out and marveling at all of God’s creation. Ha! Well for a couple of miles or so and then one of those “creations” was a thorn in my tire.
Being true to my fly by the seat of my pants nature, I wasn’t prepared for a flat. I sent my daughter to fetch me at the closest cross roads with the truck and I started hiking my chubby self with my trike and little dog in tow. I really must have been quite a pitiful site. Along came the nicest gentleman cycling by. Talk about “angels in disguise.” He was fully equipped to fix my tire and was promptly going to do so. However, I told him that my daughter was on her way to pick me up so he took the time to school me on what to get for future repairs. He was most kind and helpful, a prince of a man.
I would like to apologize to the man working in his yard who I happened upon that day. I was trying to ask your permission to cut to the road, you cupped your ear to me to signal that you could not hear me, so I continued to you and boy did you give me an earful! I am truly sorry, I did not mean any disrespect to you or your property. I, too, live in the country and I’m thinking I wouldn’t be too thrilled with a public pathway in the middle of my property! What an invasion of my privacy and solitude it would be! But then on the other hand I would pray my heart’s perspective be changed and realize it is an opportunity to share in a most positive way what God has blessed us with.
Well, my daughter did pick me up and we then headed to Walmart for a new tube and tire repair kit, stopped by Orscheln’s for feed for our horses. Picked up RTE 44 drinks at Sonic and then decided to check out Humboldt.
Wow! That bandstand in the park is quite charming! Also, the Everything Fitz shop is a must stop. Very nice people to boot. They even hooked us up with lifetime resident in town, Ralph Shults, who promptly repaired the bike’s flat tire, leaving enough time to head out from Humboldt to enjoy the trail for awhile before dark.
Many thanks to all for the lovely memory, looking forward to visiting again,