As soon as I read this week’s photo challenge theme – unusual – you know what happened? An old Tom Jones song from the year 1965 popped into my head.
“It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone, it’s not unusual to have fun with anyone…It’s not unusual to go out at any time…It’s not unusual, to be mad with anyone, it’s not unusual, to be sad with anyone…”
Of course, Jones was singing about being in love, which is not unusual. Happens pretty often to us human beings. So what is unusual? More than we think.
I’m venturing on a different route here today. Usually, I showcase a photo that personifies the photo challenge and I expound on that theme with one story or thought centered on the subject.
But instead, I’m compiling some unusual events I’ve noticed in totally random order in list form. So here’s my catalogue of uncommon or rare happenings lately:
- Respect for law enforcement. Several months ago when a good bit of verbal bashing of law enforcement officers was publicized in social media and on the news, I witnessed something which stayed in my mind ever since. At a very busy restaurant, our family waited patiently to be seated. The queue of folks giving their names to the hostess just kept getting longer and longer. The restaurant doors opened and in walked two uniformed state policemen, obviously on a dinner break. I watched with interest as the hostess called a couple who had been waiting longer than us for an open table. Instead of following the hostess, they walked over to the officers and offered the policemen their table. What a kind and respectful thing to do. And how often does that happen I wonder? Unusual, I think.
- Kindly concern for a stranger. I have a strange skin issue happening; I seem to be losing pigment. As a very fair-skinned person, I’ve always been subject to sunburns easily unless I use sunscreen. Now, I’m even more fair-skinned with the loss of melanin, yet despite the fact that my skin turns very red and looks burned if I’ve been exposed to the sun without protection, it doesn’t hurt and my skin doesn’t peel away as in the past. Instead, the redness just fades away. While on our second day of vacation in the
blistering heat and sunshine, I forgot my sunscreen. By the third day, I was definitely doing a lobster impression based on the color of my skin, even though I had sunscreen applied by that point. A considerate stranger approached me and asked me if I was alright and did I need some sunscreen because as she stated, “I don’t know if you realize it, but you’re getting very red.” I thanked her kindly, told her I did have sunscreen on, and that I truly was just fine. Random act of kindness? Surely. Unusual, I think.
- Loving in-laws. Recently, we enjoyed a visit from my sister and brother-in-law who live out west. On one of their last evenings with us, they invited us to join them, our other sister and brother-in-law, and a couple who have been their long-time friends for dinner at a local eatery. We enjoyed lively conversation and started talking about our parents. As always, we sisters reminisce often about our folks because we are a close family and miss our deceased parents so much. A wistful look passed across my western brother-in-law’s face for a moment as he commented, “They were the most wonderful in-laws a person could ever ask for.” They truly meant the world to him. What a tribute to the kind of people my parents were. And how many folks could and would say that about their own in-laws? Unusual, I think.
- Thickly Settled. On yet another vacation day, Papa and I were traveling through Massachusetts and stopped at a quaint little town. We missed a turn, so we found a side street in which to turn around. I noticed a street sign reading “Thickly Settled” causing me to pull out my camera. Perplexed by the wording, we assumed that thickly settled meant a densely populated area, but that neighborhood didn’t fit the description to us. The streets of Boston – now those were thickly settled. After we came home and shared this unusual sign’s photo with other family members as well as the one that said “Speed Hump” (our signs caution us that there is a speed bump), I conducted a bit of research about why those signs are worded in that fashion. According to the Massachusetts driver’s manual, “a ‘thickly settled’ district is an area where houses or other buildings are located, on average, less than 200 feet apart.” The significance though is an unposted speed limit – 30 mph – exists in those areas, so if you exceed that, it’s considered unreasonable and improper, and you will end up with a speeding ticket. So how would tourists know that I wonder? Should we consider that a speed trap? Unusual, I think.
- Foxy neighbors. Papa enjoyed some lobster for his birthday dinner while we were in Connecticut on our vacation. We ate a simple meal one evening, sitting outside with a view of the waterfront directly in front of us. While driving back to our hotel in Mystic, we passed through a picturesque village on quiet neighborhood streets. Quite suddenly, Papa applied the brakes and exclaimed, “Look!” Two foxes were cavorting and playing right in the middle of someone’s yard. And it was a ‘thickly settled’ area too. I managed to snap a quick photo of one of the daring critters. It’s not often you see foxes so close to human houses. What does the fox say? Unusual, I think.
- Scene from “The Birds.” And finally, one day as I composed blog posts at our home office desktop computer, I saw a flash of movement outside the window. I have to admit I was a tad startled at the sight on our front lawn. I couldn’t count, but it seemed like at least a couple hundred birds the size of robins had descended. I grabbed the camera, stepped out onto the porch and whoosh! They rose up into the air and I swear, I felt like I was in a scene from that scary Alfred Hitchcock movie in the 60’s – The Birds. Creepy and fascinating all at the same time. Would anyone believe me? Here’s the photo above to prove it. Unusual, I think.
So what unusual occurrences have you noticed in your world? They’re out there, you just have to be on the lookout – and if you’re anything like me, that’s usual.
“Today is a most unusual day, because we have never lived it before; we will never live it again; it is the only day we have.” ~ William Arthur Ward