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And no, I’m not referencing the 80’s band by the same name. I’m talking real ones. Before moving to Maryland, I had never seen a seagull up close. I saw them on television and had read that they could be pretty bold when it came to food and stealing it out of a person’s hand. They aren’t really seen in Kansas. Here in Maryland, I live near a river and the bay, so you see seagulls. Of course, most of those sightings are in the parking lots of stores. The gulls have learned that parking lots are a good source of food. After all, people love tossing things away and a few don’t care where they toss their trash and parking lots seem to find a lot of it.
Last weekend, my husband and I were running errands. He wanted to run into Target and I decided to wait in the car. Within a few minutes, a mom came out of the store pushing a cart with her child in the main section. In the upper section were two drinks and apparently some sort of food. The mom stopped and lifted her child out of the cart to put them in the car, and in the blink of an eye, a swarm of seagulls swooped in and picked the shopping cart free of the food. I thought I was seeing things when I saw a seagull with a bag of chips flying away. Another lifted a cup from the cart and dropped it. The mother turned and looked, screamed and dashed into the back seat of her car. The seagull with the bag of chips dropped it a few spaces away and the swarm was all over it. Chips disappeared quicker than snow on a hot grill. The gulls were hovering over the cars. Two literally hovered in front of my car. I wanted to get a picture, but my purse with my cell was on the backseat and there was no way I was getting out of my car in the middle of a scene from The Birds.
Once the food was gone so were the birds. A few minutes later my husband came out of the store. As we drove out of the parking lot we passed the seagulls sitting on the ground about twenty feet away. “I always wonder why seagulls seem to hang out in parking lots,” my husband stated. “You should have come out two minutes ago.” I replied. “You would know exactly why they hang out here. It was an all you can eat buffet. They apparently like potato chips.” I don’t think he believed me. But he will. Next time I’ll have my cell close at hand.
I recently read a blog post on The Adventures of Travel Penguin and one of the things that stood out to me was a question of when was the last time you laughed. I admit that I had to stop to think about it for a few minutes. I mean we probably laugh several times a day, but I would say that most of them fall into the category of nervous laughter or laughing along with others regardless of whether we think something is funny or not. But when was the last time that you really laughed at something that was just stop you in the tracks funny?
I have to admit that it took me a few minutes to think back to when I truly laughed and it didn’t have to do with memory and age :), but had more to do with the fact that we really don’t have enough laughter in our lives. For me, I have been focused on dealing with work lately and that hasn’t been a fun situation. But that shouldn’t be an excuse. I should be able to put things aside that do not bring me joy and focus on those things that do.
So to answer Travel Penguin’s question of when was the last time I laughed, I will tell you that it was about two weeks ago and it involved our new car. I had a job interview after work so when I came home, my husband said that he wanted to go out to dinner. He said I could tell him about the interview and didn’t have to worry about dinner. One thing about our new car is that it is synced with our phones and it will read the texts out to you.We have chuckled once or twice when it reads a text that has words misspelled because it reads them exactly how they are written and the text will make no sense at all. On our way home, we were stopped at a red light and the car gave the notification that my husband had received a text message from a friend. He pressed “Read Text” and the car read off the text which was “Hahahahahahahahahahahah!” Hearing the car try to read a message of ha ha’s was just so weird and she sounded too funny and we laughed. We laughed for several minutes and I even texted him the same thing just to hear it again.
As we were driving, my husband looked at me and said, “Should we be worried that we are laughing at something so silly?” I looked over at him and said, “You’ve been making me laugh for 25 years, nothing is too silly to laugh about.”
So when was the last time that you truly laughed? If you can’t think of something and your car can read your texts, get someone to text you a bunch of hahahahahahahahaha’s and you’ll be laughing soon enough.
November is Lung, Pancreatic, Stomach and Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Month. The ribbons that are shown represent each individual cancer. Please honor those loved ones who have passed and support those who are continuing their fight. Look to your local communities to find out how you can help in the fight against cancer. Or visit one of the links below to find out more information. Anything, no matter how big or small, can help make a difference.
I wrote earlier about our trip to the Poconos. While the trip was enjoyable and the views absolutely spectacular, it wasn’t without some minor moments that made me say WTF. So I’d thought I’d share them.
The first WTF moment were the bees. It happened upon our arrival at the train station. I have never seen so many bees in one place before. They were everywhere. On benches, chairs, swarming around the trees and if you thought you could escape them by going indoors, you couldn’t. They were even in the restroom, so there was no escape. The surprising thing was that once you left the train station, we didn’t see another bee the rest of the time we were there. So the town really needs to find out what is causing the bees to stay in one area and try to eliminate it.
Another WTF moment was when we realized that most of the little shops in town were only open for a few hours a day, usually between 11 am and 4 pm. That was rather surprising because the area describes itself as an outdoor lovers destination. It has hiking and biking trails throughout the country. There are also kayaking and canoeing trips that leave from the town as well as zip lining up in the mountains. People are taking part in all of those outdoor activities and when they return to town in the evening, very few shops are open for them to shop and spend tourist money in. We left in the morning and returned later in the day, but there really weren’t many places to stop in and shop.
Shopping provided still another WTF moment. I am a visual shopper. I like to look at the windows and see what the shop is telling me about what they are selling. If what I see is interesting or something catches my eye, I will go in and explore further. If not, then I move on to the next window. But we realized that many of the shops had windows that were blocked out. Some were covered with some sort of film or with a color painted on them. WTF was that about? Maybe the idea was to stop people from staring inside. Other windows were just plain dirty and you couldn’t see in them. Many had nothing written on them to tell you what the shop was. I don’t know about you, but I’m not someone who will walk into a shop where the windows are covered and you can’t see inside. We walked past one shop several times while we were there and on the last night as we walked home after dinner, a person came out with a coffee cup. As we passed by we realized that it was a coffee shop, ut there was nothing on the outside showing that’s what it was. Even the name was obscure. I couldn’t help wonder how much business they were losing because people had no idea they were even there.
The drones provided another WTF moment. I know that drones are being used to capture the beauty of nature, but continually flying over the businesses, one of which was the B & B that we were staying at, was just plan annoying. I mean really, what were they looking for? My mind immediately goes to someone searching the area to find something to steal. I’m sure that wasn’t the case, but the buzzing and hovering was just too much and it drove us inside when we were trying to relax and enjoy the view around us.
And the last WTF moment was that we didn’t see one police officer for the entire time we were there. Not one police car, police bike or even a police officer walking. There was no police presence at all. It was strange. In this post 9-11 age that we live in, we have gotten used to seeing police everywhere, so to see none was really surprising. As we drove home, my husband and I commented on that and we were rather surprised. He said that they were probably there, but just keeping out of sight or were in plain clothes. I said they were probably using the drones to police the town.