by Jonah

There was a fire inspection at our building at work at this morning at 7 a.m., and someone had to be there to unlock our office. I volunteered last week and immediately set my alarm for Thursday at 5:40 a.m. I put it on both my personal and work calendars and set each to send me two notifications. There was no way I was going to forget. I checked the weather last night (not much snow) and calculated my commute time and and double checked that my alarm was set for 5:40 with the “Bright Morning” sound. I went to bed early.

This morning I woke up with Berck rubbing my belly, which is his way of telling me that my alarm is going off and it has awoken him. My phone was vibrating, which is how I usually set it. It was also going off at its usual time of 6:25, and it said I had a missed alarm from 5:40. In ideal conditions, I have a 40 minute drive to work. I was already late.

I was out the door in ten minutes, dressed and teeth brushed, and engaged in the extreme sport of driving without my windshield defrosted. There wasn’t really snow on the roads, but people were driving sooo slowly. I got to work at 7:20, twenty minutes late. The building was pretty much empty, and I unlocked our office and propped open the front door, hoping they hadn’t gotten to my suite yet.

At ten till 8:00, the fire inspectors finally strolled through the open door, sweeping the ceiling with their gaze, searching for sprinkler heads. “Hi, we’re just here to do a fire inspection!” they greeted me cheerfully. They found all the sprinklers then told me not to use the fire extinguisher because it had been recalled. Then they inspected the fire extinguisher more closely and realized their co-worker had signed off on it. Tsking and taking notes, they told me they would let the property managers know we needed a new one.

It snowed all day today, but it was too cold (edit: too warm) to stick. This is the most dangerous precipitation. As soon as it got dark, the temperature dropped, and all that melted snow on the roads froze. I started up the pass tonight after work and then realized that suddenly the cars in front of me were going REALLY slowly. When everyone around you is doing something out of the ordinary, it is often a good idea to give in to herd mentality. Sometimes there is wisdom in crowds.

So I slowed down too and turned off the radio, wondering how long I had been dangerously driving the speed limit. Eastbound traffic on the other side of the creek had slowed to a crawl as well, and that’s when I realized how many backwards vehicles there were on the side of the road. Once I got high enough, the road dried up and it was safe drive normally again. I turned my podcast back on.

The dictionary definition of luck is “success apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.” By that definition, I consider myself extremely lucky, because my ability to avoid disaster does not seem to be related at all to my own efforts. Another way of thinking about it is being blessed. Today I’m thankful for luck.

(If you have a Pixel 3 phone, make sure your alarm volume is turned up if you set it.)

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