I was preparing to make a cake last night when I realized I didn’t have any eggs in the fridge. As I ran out the door to go to the grocery store, I saw that my daughter’s car was parked behind mine. Not wanting to deal with moving cars around, I just grabbed her keys and took her vehicle instead. Once on my way, I noticed that there was a tire-pressure warning light lit up on the panel. When I got home, I asked how long it had been on. “About a week” was my daughter’s nonplussed response.
“A whole week?” I gasped in disbelief. We got out the gauge, tested the tires, and sure enough one of them was almost flat. She was lucky she didn’t have a blow out!
The whole episode reminded me of the last time my husband and I stayed at one of our favorite old historic hotels in St. Augustine. At about 5am, we were woken from a dead sleep by a deafening fire alarm and a strobe light flashing in our room. It was the most disorienting thing I have ever experienced. It took me about 20 seconds to get my bearings. I groped around to find my shoes and my purse and we tripped out the door into the hallway.
By this time there were other guests milling around talking to each other about how they were NOT going downstairs because they were “sure it was nothing.” My husband and I passed them all as we headed for the exit. If it was nothing, or something, we’d get the news outside.
There had in fact been a small fire in the hotel kitchen, but it had been quickly contained. The firemen did a thorough check while we sat in the lobby and waited for the all clear. I would say fewer than 50 guests actually made the choice to leave their rooms and head downstairs.
Sometimes they’re as loud as a siren, as bright as a light or as subtle as an uneasy feeling in our gut.
We usually know what the ‘signs’ could mean, and yet so often we still choose to ignore them–