Friday, February 28, 2014
Ten minutes after my Dear Husband flew out of town for a business meeting our bedroom smoke detector started chirping. It is, of course, the highest smoke detector in the house. It sits ten feet in the air on a wall supporting a cathedral ceiling. I knew a “chirp” meant a dead battery.
I can do this, I told myself. I will fix it!
First I put together our ladder. This is one heavy piece of gear. On one hand it is collapsible, on the other it weighs 42 lbs! It took all my worked-out muscles to bring it up the stairs to our second floor bedroom. And uncollapsing it is complicated. I needed to take a break and view a Utube demo on my computer to figure out how to make it extend.
Standing atop the ladder, 10 feet in the air, I immediately thought to myself, “What am I doing up here? This is terrifying!” But I quickly answered, “I Spark; I can do this!” And a little wave of gratitude to Spark and my gym for having pushed me to work on my balance passed through me, making me a little giddy.
I was breathing hard (hyperventilating?) when I replaced the battery with a shiny new 9 volt. But then, the smoke detector was still #!!@ chirping! Confused and frustrated, my attitude took a real dive. When I tried a second battery: chirp, chirp! My attitude then tanked.
Retreating to the basement I flipped a switch breaker to cut the power to our smoke detectors. Still nothing changed. After tanking, my attitude officially went into meltdown. I was mad that my DH had left me ALL ALONE for the weekend (forgetting how I’d looked forward to some alone time), mad that I was acting like such a baby about a difficulty that did not involve life and death and mad that after being so BRAVE--putting together ladder, taking up stairs, standing on it, etc. my plan had not worked. Chirp, chirp!
So I gave up. (There is no Spark emoticon for this, btw) I shut the bedroom door and walked down the hall to sleep in our guest room where a somewhat muffled CHIRP could still be heard as I dozed off.
The next morning I called in an electrician. He scaled the ladder and pulled the whole smoke detecting gizmo out of the wall. He came down the ladder with the device in his hand. Would you believe me if I told you it was still chirping? Well, that is almost true. It was only then that we discovered that the chirping was not coming from the smoke detector at all. The chirping culprit was a carbon monoxide detector that sits in an easily accessible wall plug in the same room. It would have taken less than 10 seconds to pull that baby from the outlet…
My face was red, but it seemed like a small price to pay for the return of peace and quiet. I lit a fire to “chill,” and knocked out an outline of this blog.
I can proudly say not a single pint of ice cream was eaten in response to this crisis. And did I mention I was wearing a Fitbit during all this? I got points for all that ladder climbing! Spark on. We can do it!