The other day I had a full schedule of errands and appointments. I turned the key in the ignition and, to my horror, the tire pressure warning light was illuminated on the dashboard. I immediately hopped out of the car and walked around to see if any of the tires looked flat. Back in the Corolla, I slowly drove to my first destination, on alert for the sensation of a wobbly or squishy tire. 

As I turned onto Route 35, I remembered that I had the tire pressure checked in June at my oil change. The tires were not even a year old, purchased last December before the winter weather set in. Neighbors had their roof re-shingled, perhaps a stray nail on the ground punctured one of my tires? I decided to stop at the gas station after a quick trip to the library and tried not to dwell on the impending cost of replacing a brand new tire.

After ninety minutes of doing research at the Lewisboro Library, I got back in the car. I didn’t want to be late for my next appointment in Goldens Bridge and promised myself that I would stop at the Shell Station in Cross River on the way back. I drove slowly along the curves on Route 121. The tire pressure warning light remained illuminated.

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My appointment in Goldens Bridge lasted one hour. I got in the car and started driving back along Route 138. My driver’s seat felt hot underneath me. It was not an exceptionally warm day. As I continued to drive I swear that my car seat felt hot. Was my car on fire? I drove slowly and hoped that the car would not break down before making it to Cross River. Did that oncoming car just flash its headlights at me? Are flames leaping out from underneath my vehicle?

Long story short, my car was not on fire. The kindly mechanic at the Cross River Shell Station checked the tire pressure in all four tires and the spare tire, as well, and added air where needed. The warning light disappeared and I was able to drive home in peace and gratitude.

Warning signs are all around us. Isn’t the yellow traffic light supposed to be a warning that the traffic light is about to turn red? I often feel uneasy when I approach an intersection and the green light changes to yellow. Should I stop or zoom forward? Being the cautious driver that I am, I slow down and stop. But in the back of my mind I remember when a co-worker told us her tale of approaching an intersection as the traffic light turned yellow. She was driving with a group of friends on the way to the mall. She stopped her car on the yellow light only to be plowed into from behind by another vehicle. The guy who hit her, jumped out of his car and yelled, “The light was yellow, I thought you’d keep going!”

Those flaggers on road crews make me nervous. Half the time they don’t even have the warning sign pointed towards the oncoming traffic. One joker was just standing in the road staring into space and twirling the sign back and forth. Should I STOP? Should I go SLOW? Am I supposed to guess? And what about the car barreling down the road right behind me? Drivers have enough to worry about continuously glancing around for deer, groundhogs, giant turtles and broken branches on the road. And don’t get me started on those orange cones!

Kim Kovach finds writing inspiration everywhere she goes! Kim is teaching a new writing class for adults at Ridgefield Continuing Education on Wednesdays at 10:30am starting October 2nd.