Sometimes we take our surroundings for granted.
This week my eight-year-old daughter Alana joined me at work while she was on spring break.
Even though I gave her Tuesday off, I could tell she was going a little stir crazy.
We started our day by driving around town taking construction pictures. Alana was not impressed by this part of the job.
Then came lunch, which happens to be my favorite part of every day.
The only way to truly experience working in downtown Shawnee is to eat at Hamburger King. Alana used the phone at our booth to order our cheeseburger meals and the staple of any Hamburger King meal — pie for dessert.
“The cheeseburger was the best ever and we even got extra whipped cream for our pies,” Alana said.
After lunch and it being a beautiful day, we took a stroll up and down Main Street. It was a good thing I had my camera with me. I handed her the reigns and told her to take pictures of whatever she wanted and stop in whatever shops she felt like.
She was a little hesitant about going into any of the establishments, but we came to Uncommon Threads owned by Theresa Cody, she insisted we go in. Once inside, Alana was fascinated by the staircase. Even through Theresa was waiting on a customer, she happily obliged the young photographer.
“I got to meet lots of new people and the shop owners were very nice,” Alana said. “Miss Theresa was very kind and the staircase in the middle of the store was cool.”
One of the first things Alana noticed about downtown were the old buildings and that many of them were torn down.
Being a child with asthma, she has a keen sense of smell especially when it comes to cigarette smoke. Several times on our downtown expedition she noticed cigarettes tossed on the ground.
Another one of her favorite places was Celebration of Life Park.
“There must've been very talented artists that painted pictures on the old buildings,” she said.
A little further north on Main, we came to Tom Terry Park. Not much was growing yet, but there were some berries that caught her attention. She spent a good five minutes taking photos there.
She is a very quick-witted kid. Alana asked if I remembered when all the streets were made of brick.
Close, but not quite.
The kid has a steel trap for a memory. She remembered when we came down and covered Trail Days. She pointed out where the gunfighters had their showdown and the exact location of the News-Star booth set up near the Ritz Theater.
She had so many questions that I was unable to answer but all were very great story ideas if I return to the downtown theme this summer.
Sitting back and watching the wheels turn in her young mind were exactly what I needed on a Wednesday afternoon.