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Columbia Missourian

ROSE NOLEN: Taking a look at sleep, surgery and summer vacation

By Rose M. Nolen
July 9, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — I don’t like to forget things. It makes me uncomfortable.

I like to keep a calendar that tracks what I have to do and when I have to do it. In other words, I like to know where I am, all the time.


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So, it still bothers me that I can't remember when I went to sleep. I was having surgery. It happened a month ago, and it is over with, so it doesn't really matter.

Still, I don’t remember when I went to sleep, and it bothers me.

I have been writing weekly columns for a long time. I felt fine, but my hands got tired. I had carpal tunnel syndrome. So, I was lying on the bed, waiting to go to surgery, when I fell asleep.

Modern medicine is wonderful. When I woke up , the surgery was done, my hand was wrapped in bandages, and I didn’t feel a thing. After a little while I was able to go home.

Time for vacation

Now, that the surgery is behind me, I can start to think about vacation. I like to take little Missouri vacations. Every year I try to discover as much of Missouri as I can. I enjoy going to the little villages and towns sprinkled over the map.

As a teenager I spent my vacations in Minnesota. I love Minnesota. My aunt lived in St. Paul and Minneapolis, and every summer I went to visit. Most of my family lives there now, and I’ve been there so often, it feels like my second home.

I’ve also done big vacations. I’ve been to both the East and West coasts. I think my favorite place in the United States, next to Missouri, is Rhode Island. I love the little towns with funny names, and living near the ocean is spectacular.

I wish I liked California. But the thing is, it never seems real to me. Even the flowers don’t look like real flowers. They are just not the right colors. And the ocean is, well, OK.

In love with Missouri

So basically, I’ve decided that the place I really love is Missouri. I love its small towns and countryside. I enjoy riding the train from one side of the state to the other.  I enjoy going blackberry picking in the summer time. I like the way the little creeks flow and the birds sing.

I wish the cities were more law-abiding. I really liked living in Kansas City when I was younger and the city was more orderly. It is a friendly place, and I’ve always said that if I had to get lost any place in America, let it be there where I could always depend on somebody looking out for me.

So anyway, I’ll probably spend another summer exploring Missouri, but I’m still going to try to figure when I went to sleep. As I remember, I was talking to a nurse ... .

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at