What To Expect When You Journal the Unexpected

For the past several years I have been keeping a journal, the main purpose of which was to keep track of the unusual events that take place almost daily in my everyday life. Then, at the end of each year, I look back over my journal and compile a list of the top 10 most unusual events of the year. Once again, the year 2017 did not disappoint with lots of unusual events. Hopefully you can relate to some, if not all, of the events I’ve selected.

In August, the Great American Eclipse took place. A seventy-mile wide swath of eerie twilight spread from the west coast to the east coast of our great country. Prime locations along the path of totality witnessed the moon completely blocking the sun for over two minutes. I could not resist the opportunity to see the eclipse for myself so I was one of millions of Americans who traveled to be in the path of the total solar eclipse.

Another great cosmic event happened less than a month later although it did not receive nearly as much attention. On the morning of September 23, the sun, the moon and the five planets closest to the earth all lined up in a row in the eastern sky. Some saw this as a sign of the end of the world, others as a fulfillment of a prophecy from the Bible’s book of Revelation.

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation arrived on October 31. It was on this day 500 years ago that Martin Luther posted his 95 theses, the spark that ignited the most important religious movement since the days of Jesus. Something tells me that I will live long enough to see more profound religious changes in the near future.

Another event that made my list may end up not being very unusual in the years to come. The Owatonna Huskie football team won the state High School football championship with a convincing victory over Elk River. The way the Huskies have been playing in recent years suggests that state championships might not be all that unusual for them going forward.

In July we had family visit us who traveled through Chicago’s O’Hare airport to get here. One of the family members left her ipad at the security checkpoint in the airport. Believe it or not, we were able to contact the security folks at the airport and they located the lost ipad and returned it to us.

Number six on my list of top ten unusual events for 2017 is getting my fourth primary care doctor since moving to Owatonna sixteen years ago. It seems just when I get used to my doctor he moves away. Then the process of getting used to a new doctor begins. I am pleased that my new doctor looks first to underlying causes instead of just prescribing pills for every health issue that comes up.

Speaking of health issues, last year I found out the hard way that giving blood every two to three months can make the iron level in your blood drop to unhealthy levels. My career as a blood donor is temporarily suspended just shy of the eight gallon mark.

Two of my top 2017 unusual events took place on Thanksgiving weekend. The Thanksgiving feast I attended this year did not feature turkey as the main dish. Instead, we were served prime rib which was a nice variation.

And the day after Thanksgiving I was talked into joining throngs of shoppers for a Black Friday run. The big-box store I went to was so busy that the checkout line started at the entrance of the store, snaked all the way to the back of the store, then made its way back to the front of the store to the checkout area. People were parking on the grass surrounding the store’s parking lot and if you wanted a cart you had to follow someone with a cart to their car, wait for them to unload it and then hope that they would give it to you.

And the tenth most unusual event for me in 2017 is in the category of history repeating itself. I come from a family of eight; six kids and two parents. When I was a boy the eight of us lived in the town of Mayer, Minnesota where my father was the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Mayer. With the birth of their sixth child this year, the family of the current pastor of Zion, Mayer is once again a family of eight, almost fifty years after we lived there. Years ago a family of eight was not very unusual but it sure is today.

I had to have some reason to motivate me to write in a journal every day. Keeping track of and writing about the hundreds of unusual events that happen every year has been a great way to keep me writing in my journal faithfully and allows me each year to look back and say, “Wow.”

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