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Artistic Composition is all about sharing joy, laughter and inspiration as a means of celebrating life. To join me in this celebration just click on any post to share your thoughts. Images can be viewed larger by clicking on them.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wonders N Wishes

There are so many wonderful things about Wednesday!
My short list:
  • It is Hump Day! That wonderful middle of the week, half way to the weekend, let's celebrate making it over life's hump day!
  • It is Wordless Wednesday! Whether you celebrate by seeking quiet solitude or by sharing image only posts, there's a sense of wonder in the wordless approach. Click here for my contributions to the sound of silence.
  • It is 'not so' Wordless Wednesday over at Curious as a Cathy. Absolutely perfect for the chatter box in me. Of course I will be sharing this post there. :D
  • It is Wish Day! That is right, the day designated by Claudya @ Unknown Mami's as the day to put a voice to our wishes. You will find my wish below. 
  • It is Wonders N Wishes Day! The day I am designating to share a 'Wonder' as well as a wish.
  • This Wednesday is extra wonderful as our car got fixed today! YAY!

This week's Wonder Award goes to:
Dr. Richard A. Kaplan

I was going to find a different wonder for the week as I wrote a post about Dr. Kaplan on Monday, but I decided to share a tiny bit here as well as the link to my earlier post. My children and I were blessed to have Doctor Kaplan as their pediatrician before he switched to specializing in the care of abused children. He was wonderful as a pediatrician but his work with and for abused children is my reason for choosing him as this week's wonder. In a way it seems a bit late as he passed away three years ago, but the work he began lives on. Dr. Kaplan was a known and well respected around the world as one of the leading voices in establishing guidelines for the care and treatment of abused children. Working with such organizations as the Child Advocacy Center and The Midwest Regional Children's Advocacy Center. He even spearheading the creation of the Sioux Falls Children's Advocacy Center.  I hope you will click on the link to my earlier post where I share fun stories of this wonderful doctor.

Now for a bit of wishing!

Today I'm calling on the universe to grant the following wishes.

- The leaves are changing and I love it! I just have one request as far as Autumn goes. Please oh please can you make it longer! It would be so nice to have say five months of Autumn and one month of Winter.

- I could use a tad bit of help keeping track of time.

- My last wish for this day is that all of you a fantastic week!

As Claudya at Unknown Mami's says go ahead and wish, be it simple or big, when we give a voice to our wishes it helps us realize those wishes. So what are you wishing for? I would love to know, just put your wish in the comment section and I will gladly lend my wishing powers to your wish. Please join me in visiting Unknown Mami's Wish Wednesday so that we can lend our wishing powers to her and those she is wishing for.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Richard A Kaplan MD: Beyond the degrees

Over the years I have met and worked with many doctors, both in a professional capacity and as a patient or advocate of a patient. It is sad to say that having done so my overall opinion of doctors in general is not a very good one. 

But today I feel the need to raise my voice and tell my story of one of the greatest doctors I have ever had the pleasure of working with, Doctor Richard A Kaplan. A few years back, even though my children were all adults I made a call to his office in Minnesota in to leave a message for him because I knew he would enjoy an update on my youngest who was a bit special to him. His office told me he was out on family medical leave but they would relay the message. I did not hear back and although I worried some and hoped who ever was ill in his family was doing better, I got busy with life and forgot to check back. Then the other night my youngest and I were sharing funny stories of Dr. Kaplan with a family friend when she decided to google him to find an email address to send him a note. What she found rocked us both. Doctor Kaplan had passed away in August 19, 2013, just a few weeks after my attempt to reach him.

In reading the news report and obituary on line not only was I sad because he is no longer with us, but I was disappointed by how cold they were. Sure they told of his many professional accomplishments and of his dedication to children but few spoke of his amazing spirit so full of love and joy, except the one that included comments from a few friends and colleagues. Even those did not even scratch the surface of what it was like to know this amazing man and have him for your doctor. So I would like to share some fond memories of Dr. Rich Kaplan here for all to read.

When our family first moved to Yankton, South Dakota in March of '93 I scheduled an appointment at a local clinic for my four children. At the time I had no idea how fortunate we were that out of all the doctors in the clinic, Doctor Kaplan was the doctor that would be caring for our children. 

I will never forget that first visit, and how I was shocked when the door opened and in walked a rather wild looking man. He wore tan Bermuda shorts a loud Hawaiian T-shirt and if memory serves me correctly argyle socks with bulky sandals. His hair was a bit long and wild, but looked right at home with his bushy beard and multiple earrings in one ear. My shock was quickly replaced by laughter and admiration. Before even that first visit ended I knew that this eccentric man was one of the most down to earth compassionate doctors I had ever met. 

Well check ups were a time not just to make sure everyone was healthy and on the right growth trajectory, but they were also a time to catch up. He would ask the kids what they had been up to and if they had gone on any adventures. Then he would tell them about his latest adventure, sometimes it was bicycling from South Dakota to the east or west coast other times some fun time spent in the Black Hills with his family. But always it was sharing and more times than not it inspired the kids to explore the world around them. 

Over the years, his care was unwavering even when we moved away and "cheated on him" by taking the kids to as he called them "horse doctors". He still considered our children "His kids".  When I found out he was practicing in Sioux Falls I was so excited that the children would be able to see him again. But when I called to set up the appointments the receptionist informed me that he was no longer in general pediatrics but saw only children who were referred by various agencies because of abuse. I was glad he was helping those children but at the same time I was disappointed and I guess it came across in my voice, because she said she would tell him I called and ask him if he wanted to take on my children's medical care. The next day I got a call from the receptionist telling me in a bit of a surprised voice that Doctor Kaplan had instantly said to schedule appointments for the kids because they were "his kids". So even though he was doing some very important work with children who desperately needed his expertise he still cared and made time for those that could be treated by other doctors. Of course well child check-ups sometimes were scheduled way out because he was so busy but if they were sick he always squeezed them in.

The kids were always more than excited to get to go see him. A few times I even suspect they faked being sick just so they could go see him. That may sound odd, but honestly I can not think of a single time the kids complained about having to go see Dr. Kaplan. I am sure the following had a great deal to do with that. What other doctor writes a prescription for a Happy Meal, or gives their patient the silly animal looking flashlight that they just used to peer down the child's throat? Yes, these were common occurrences during visits to Doctor Kaplan. One time when my oldest was a teenager and had a mild case of pneumonia Dr. Kaplan turned to me and said "What K needs is plenty of fluids so I recommend a six pack a day and while you are at it a few extra holes in his head would look good." K's face lit up until Dr. Kaplan finished with "Just make it a six pack of root beer." 

Not long after he began his work as an expert witness in cases of child abuse I ran into him on my lunch break at the county court house. I almost didn't recognize him, he was clean shaven with short hair no earrings and was wearing a three piece suit. To say the least I was shocked and asked what on earth he had done with our Doctor Kaplan. His reply showed just how dedicated he was to the children he cared for. He answered with a flip 'Well, Judges tend to only take one seriously if one looks like this". 

Now don't get me wrong, I am not trying to make light of the extraordinary work Dr. Kaplan did with and for abused children. He was everything the articles and obituary claimed him to be, but he was so much more than an advocate for abused children and an expert in his field. He was a proud husband and father, a roll model to countless children and adults, a joker, an outdoor enthusiast, and most importantly a man who truly cared for his fellow man and touched so many people.

I share this here as a tribute to the whole man that was Richard A. Kaplan and not just the professional Doctor Rich Kaplan, because I want to make sure that there is a lasting public account of more than his degrees and contributions to abused and neglected children. This is also my way of telling his family how very sorry I am for their loss and how much he was loved by our family.

Dr. Richard A Kaplan 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

SIMC: Redlin Art Center

Today we are going to take a trip a few hours north of Sioux Falls to the small South Dakota town of Watertown. Watertown is home to one of my favorite places, The Redlin Art Center. This wonderful museum houses over 150 of the most gorgeous oil paintings I have ever seen, by artist Terry Redlin. Like Thomas Kindade, Redlin's paintings capture the light so perfectly that they almost come to life on the canvas. 


Front entrance to the Redlin Art Center
After Charles Redlin asked his father to stop selling his original paintings in 1985 the plan for the art center was born. Twelve years later, in 1997 the art center opened as  a free exhibit designed to draw art loving tourist to South Dakota.

Often successful individuals give back to their communities, but I don't know any that have given in such a way. The Redlin family built this beautiful complex to house Terry's amazing art and then prior to it's opening to the public they donated the art and complex to the State of South Dakota.

The main building is surrounded by a beautiful park like setting with meandering paths and tranquil ponds. The art center is just off Interstate 29 in Watertown, South Dakota.

The complex includes this octagonal Pavilion, which is an event venue that sits on a small island in one of the larger ponds on the property. In addition to gorgeous granite floors, floor to ceiling windows and a brilliantly sparkling chandelier, the elegant interior, which seats 150 guests, includes eight larger than life panels featuring Redlin's America the Beautiful paintings.
Turning back toward the back of the main building the path winds through the park with benches along the way.

The lawns and ponds create not only a favorite stopping point for large flocks of waterfowl but a soothing setting for humans as well.

Back of the art center as it can be seen from I-29
While the exterior of the center and it's surrounding grounds are beautiful, the interior is what pulls me back time and time again.

I shared this photo earlier Here.

Once inside, as a lover of art, I tend to revert to a viewer and all thought of taking photos is relegated to the back burner, so I don't have but these two photos of the interior to share. 

Thank you for visiting me here in South Dakota.
This is my contribution to 'Sunday In My City'. 
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