Been on a hiatus


These are some of my beautiful flowers from the hospital stay.

I’ve been on a hiatus. On July 14 I had major surgery. I can say it was one of the strangest experiences of my life. I far underestimated the immediate recovery time/pain/challenges/ALL OF IT.


This was my lovely monitor, which the first day included a lovely pain pump. 🙂

But, I’m happy to report I had an amazing surgical and post-op team at our local hospital. I was home after two days inpatient and now I’m 11 days post-op and feeling pretty well. I’m still not able to do everything — or even near everything — I was doing before, I tire easily and still have some residual pain/limitations. You don’t just jump up and do everything you did before after a surgery like I had.

During this recovery process I’ve learned how amazing the body is at repairing itself and I’ve also learned that it’ll ding you if you overdo things.

So, I’ll be back soon with some new and improved ideas for this blog, including writing more about my travels. I’ve got some plans in the works, but will need to take things slow at first.

Thank each and every one of you for being a reader of my blog.


Birthday wanderings

In true Wandering Pigeon style, I got lost for my birthday. What an incredible day it was.


No food left to serve. REALLY cool building though!

First, one of my passions is photographing old and abandoned things. Especially buildings, and my birthday road trip didn’t disappoint. It provided some surprises along the way too.

Osage City provided my first photographic opportunity. But they weren’t selling slushes that day. 😦 The new Sonic is across town. But, I didn’t want a slush by then…


The next stop was Osawatomie. I hadn’t been there in a while, and I love driving past the grounds of the state hospital. First, let me tell you if you don’t come in on the major highway, the hospital is not easy to find. After driving around town for quite a while (no, I did not ask for directions), finally we found it…the signs are right on the highway!

The first thing you spot when driving near campus is this huge 11666224_10152869854677035_7320978375395732835_nabandoned structure. The building is beautiful so we drove on campus to get some quick shots. Sure enough, we were spotted and not allowed to stay long. But we got a few pretty cool shots. Would have loved to see the inside of the building, but, of course, that wasn’t possible.

11667427_10152869857382035_4644211741100903781_nOn the way back out of town to our next destination we stopped at a memorial. There are only numbers on the headstones: no names. A faceless cemetery. It’s a very somber, sad place. Each and every stone represents a person — someone who lived and someone who died. I find it a tragedy that we don’t even know their names.11698395_10152869853517035_5001088201834398_n

The next stop on the map was Rantoul, which I honestly didn’t even know existed until this trip. Again, another charming place with a few abandoned structures to photograph. But the real gold mine of this place wasn’t in town, it was outside of town. We were driving and I looked off to the right. I had to do a double-take — there was a field and it was full of jets. Just a random pasture full of planes. We looked to the left and there was a company. The company, called Dodson International Parts, also has a salvage yard full of planes.

11665687_10152869862762035_7393019342610639299_nThe next stop on the list was Neosho Falls. Neosho Falls, located in Woodson County, was founded in 1857, according to Wikipedia. According to the 2010 census, the town has 141 people. The town was once the county seat, but today is mostly abandoned. Entire streets are deserted with e11709611_10152869864792035_3562376862052619439_nmpty lots replacing what was once a block full of homes.

As a newspaper person, I was interested to learn this: “The first newspaper in the county was the Frontier Democrat, which was
started in October, 1869 by Isaac Boyle, who published the paper 11698694_10152869861012035_3849727224818170149_nat Neosho Falls until January, 1870, when it was sold to William H. Slavens, who changed the name to the Neosho Falls Advertiser.” See entire article here.

I got some great pictures in Neosho Falls, especially of the high school, which, according to the article sourced above, closed in 1961.

So, I spent my birthday in wandering bliss! Many more wanderings to co11707528_10152869865072035_5041031833055878670_nme!

I’ll end with one final house: this one actually has a “for sale” sign on it. For $2,500 you can own it! Oh and air conditioning, compliments of nature, is free! (The house to the right is not in Neosho Falls).


Tomorrow is my final day of being 38 years old.

After tomorrow, I’ll never be 38 again.


I realized that fact tonight as I was thinking about things. And what I figured out is this: while I’ll never be 38 again after tomorrow, I’m not even promised 39. If I’m lucky, I’ll have 365 days of being 39 — like I’ve had each year of my life.

I look back at the last several years of my life. Am I happy with every single moment? No. Am I happy with most of them? I’m lucky enough to say yes, especially the past few years.

Each and every day is a gift — because not one of us are promised we’ll be here the next day. It’s not morbid, it’s a fact. This life is never predictable.

Tonight i posted this question on my personal Facebook account: “Tomorrow is my final day of being 38. How shall I celebrate?”

I got several answers from pampering myself to getting myself a treat.

After much thought here is what I plan on doing tomorrow.

I’m going to go to work like I normally do. I’m going to laugh and smile and spend my day with some of the most amazing, dedicated and hard-working co-workers I’ve ever had the honor of working with. We’ll laugh. We’ll get the job done. We’ll all go home.

Then I plan on going home and spending time with those I love. Living this amazing life I’ve been given with the amazing people I have the true honor of spending my time with.

That’s what I shall do tomorrow. On the eve of my 39th birthday I shall celebrate this life — celebrate another day on this Earth — another day I was gifted.

Because another one is never promised us.