Posts Tagged ‘Iowa’


1.  a person or thing that is atypical, bizarre, eccentric, or nonconforming, especially one having beliefs that are unusual but harmless.

2.  whimsically free-spirited; eccentric; atypical:
an oddball scheme.
Every Sunday until the following Sunday, you have a chance to participate in the Oddball Photo Challenge.  Look through your photos and what catches your eye?  What photos did you take just because they were weird or fun or unusual?  Those are oddball candidates.
Recently I was visiting our older daughter in Shenandoah, Iowa.  On Saturday morning, we walked to The Donut Shop, where we picked up some quintessentially light, delicious  glazed doughnuts.  While we waited, a tray of fresh ones were brought to the front and the woman behind the counter gave us our half dozen from these.  By the time we got home, the bottom two were compressed from the pressure, but they still tasted great.  Nothing like a fresh, warm glazed doughnut every so often!
photo 1(135)
Later we drove to the big city, Omaha, just across the river, where I grew up many years ago.  The old market area has been renovated since we lived there and the entire city is vibrant.  We drove by the church and grade school I attended as well as  the small house where I spent those grade school years.  The first house we lived in is now part of the interstate system.  🙂  It was an enjoyable day and yielded a number of photos, some of which are oddballs.
photo 2(135)
photo 3(104)

The Wabash Trace Nature Trail, running through southwest Iowa from Council Bluffs to Blanchard near the border with Missouri, is 63-mile route converted from a railroad right-of-way.  Although the trail is new to me, I’ve been familiar with the song by Johnny Cash since my father used to sing it around the house, evoking the glamor of train travel in the days before Amtrak.

 “The trail’s roots go back to the Wabash Railroad, which was one of the most important connections between the farmlands, factories and people of the American heartland and points east in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Indeed, the railroad is perhaps best known for the “Wabash Cannonball,” a passenger train that connected St. Louis to Detroit and was enshrined in a popular song from the early 1900s.”

My experience with the trail has been much more plebian and certainly slower.  While visiting our older daughter in Shenandoah, Iowa, one of the towns through which the Trace runs, I went there for my morning walk.  The wind was as chilly as that at home, although what surrounds the Trace is very different from that of my park in a Chicago suburb!  Here there was a cemetery, fields (both harvested and with corn still waiting on the stalk), windmills of the kind on my grandparents’ farm, not the enormous, sleek high-risers of today, and other rural surroundings.  My walk, however, was as calming to the soul and as good for the body, which is, after all, why I walk.

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