There are times when life tries to teach you a lesson.  Maybe this morning was one of those times.

 After several days of flat-on-my-back sickness, I woke up feeling almost human again. I decided to celebrate by making a full breakfast for my also-back-from-the-dead husband. Omelet, bacon, toast, coffee. Bacon perfect, eggs almost done, toast made from those little end-of-the-loaf scraps because I am trying to be frugal. Only they stuck in the toaster. And burned – just a little, honest. But you would think I had started a blazing inferno. Smoke alarms began shrieking throughout the house.

 I threw open the windows, propping them up because our house is crooked, so the windows don’t stay up. Waved a towel. Put on the kitchen fan.

 Meanwhile, the little dog, the crazy one, head-butted the screen door and bolted out to the yard, a grim look on her face that said, “Save yourselves, suckers!”

 With memories of fire trucks screaming up when something similar happened in northern Virginia (I promise I don’t burn food on a regular basis, no matter what it sounds like), I frantically called the Charleston fire department. Where I was reminded once again that this isn’t the high-paced metro area I came from.

 “Thank you for calling,” the soothing recorded voice said with maddening slowness. “Our office hours are…..if this is an emergency, call 911.”

 As I called the alarm company to cancel the fire trucks that surely would be turning the corner any minute, my husband called the emergency number – 911 – to call off the emergency.

 Surprise. The smoke alarm connected to the alarm company never went off. Apparently the screaming demons in our ceilings were not hard-wired, they were just to alert us to smoke. So, no fire crew had been dispatched.

 What had seemed an emergency – wasn’t.

 I’m pretty sure this was one of those moments intended to teach me a basic life lesson. Slow down? Stop and watch the toast? Keep perspective amid chaos? Not sure. Still trying to figure out the lesson and resist the urge to slip a little booze into that morning coffee to slow down to a Charleston pace. Now to coax the dog back inside.