I’ll Have the Unusual

About two years ago I started a journal, entitled “The Journal of Daily Unusual Events”, since I maintain that just about every day something unusual happens. This past week I’ve taken time to go through my journal and pick out the top ten most unusual events from the journal. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Finding one of those plastic hotel keys stuck in a Bible in one of the pew racks at the church where I am a pastor. This is the event that started it all. When this happened I told myself I should start a journal of the everyday strange things that happen and here we are two years later.

The pew is in the area where families usually sit during funerals so my theory is that the person who left the key in the Bible was in town for a loved one’s funeral, did not leave the key at the hotel when he checked out and for some reason decided to stick it into the Bible at church rather than dispose of it somewhere else. I guess it’s no big deal when you take those keys with you. I talked to a bus driver for a tour company recently and he told me he had collected a large pile of those hotel keys over the years.

I’m pretty sure whoever left the key did not do so because of something I said at the funeral. Another theory is that he was reading through the Bible during the funeral and found a passage he liked and decided to mark the place with his hotel key. Or this event could have a whole different explanation.

2.  I was walking down the hallway at the local clinic recently and I heard what sounded like someone shaving with an electric razor. I rounded the corner and sure enough an elderly gentleman was sitting in the waiting room of the clinic with an electric razor shaving himself. When we were out of earshot I turned to the person with me and said, “Now we can honestly say we have seen it all!”

3. This next one started with what I thought was an innocent question. I asked a man I was visiting with if he and his family were going on a vacation for the summer. He answered that they would not be going on a vacation because of his daughter’s condition. As it turns out, his nine-year-old daughter gets crippling migraine headaches every 88 days without fail. The doctors have no clue what is going on. They are just hoping that she will grow out of them. In the mean time it’s hard to plan a vacation.

4. There’s protection and then there’s protection. We were hosting the family for Christmas. It was the early morning hours of Christmas Day. One of our family members couldn’t sleep so she got up and was out in the living room reading. She made a noise. This noise awakened another family member, the one who is perhaps the soundest sleeper of us all. He thinks we have an intruder in the house so he finds his handgun and creeps down the hallway towards the living room. Before things get too serious he realizes who is out in the living room and puts the gun away. The rest of the family sleeps through the whole thing but have a good laugh the next day.

5. Speaking of Christmas, last year was the first time in many years that the church of which I was the pastor had its Sunday School Christmas service on Christmas Eve. The tradition had always been to have the Sunday School Christmas service on Christmas Eve, since, after all, Christmas is about the birth of a child, And that is what the first church I served still did when I was their pastor. But as more emphasis was placed on family traditions on Christmas Eve most churches have gone to having their Sunday School Christmas services a Sunday or two before Christmas.

When Sunday School started in the fall we had a new mix of Sunday School kids and leaders so I threw out the idea of having our service on Christmas Eve and the people embraced it. Besides, it also meant that I could sneak my oldest grand child into the program.

6.  How many times have you used Google maps? How many times have you seen the Google car that drives around on every street and road in the country recording all the data needed so that they can make those maps? During a three day period last summer I saw the Google maps car three times! The first time was on the interstate just north of our town but the second and third time the car was in our neighborhood. This does not explain, though, why sometimes when people use Google maps to find our house they get lost.

7. Staying with the internet theme, have you ever gotten a call from your credit card company saying that they suspect unauthorized use of your credit card? I came home for lunch one day and the credit card company called with such an issue. I logged on to my account and saw that indeed there had been some suspicious activity on the account so they closed it immediately. That, in itself, was not all that unusual. Getting the new cards issued was. The primary account holder of this credit card was out of the country. Enter Facetime. While I was on the phone with the credit card company I was able to reach the primary account holder overseas via Facetime. I literally held the ipad up to the phone so that the folks at the credit card company could talk to the primary account holder and get the authorization to issue new cards.

8. Children are always good for unusual events. The birthday of one of our grand children falls in the heart of the summer. She lives in one of the hottest states in the country. Yet on her last birthday the temps struggled to make it into the 60’s and a jacket felt good when we went outside. We all agreed that she could spend the rest of her life in that state and never have another birthday that was that chilly.

9. Last fall was my first experience with jury duty. On one of the days I had to report for duty, as we were waiting for instructions, one of my fellow potential jurors shared with us what her young daughter had told her as she was leaving for jury duty that morning. She said, “Mommy, I don’t want you to go to that dirty Judy!”

That same evening was the night our church had scheduled to do the cleanup on the section of highway that we have adopted. As we tromp through the ditches picking up what motorists have deposited along the road we get dirty. One of the people on our cleanup team that day was a woman named Judy. So as we are standing around in our dirty clothes at the end of the cleanup I got to tell her and the rest of the team my dirty Judy/jury duty story!

10. Sometimes timing is everything. I had left my cell phone in the car. I went out to get it and decided to check for Facebook updates. A friend had just posted that she was getting ready to watch the series finale of Parenthood, one of my favorite TV shows. I checked the clock. I had just minutes. We had been watching something else. We changed the channel. Crisis averted.

So that’s the list. No, there are not unusual events that happen every day but, as I’ve found out through this journal, strange things do happen fairly often if we take the time to notice.

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