Sound the alarm: the new way to welcome

Last night, my husband and I were eating to the tune of the new driveway motion detector alarm, apparently. I didn’t mind the addition when it meant I arrived home after work to a husband “alarmed” by my return and therefore at the ready to help me unload my car. But when the chimes signaled movement in the driveway multiple times in the few moments it took me to eat a bowl of soup, I minded. I minded very much.

The cat triggered it once. Or so we thought. Then a random car — one we assumed was dropping off our son — triggered it pulling into the driveway and again backing out. And yet no son walked through our door. Which meant my husband had to be on the alert. (I, of course, kept eating my soup.)

He walked the perimeter of the house, saw nothing but set off the alarm himself multiple times, and returned to the table.

Then the phone rang. It was our son Adam, telling us to welcome Peter and his wife and baby, who were in the neighborhood and decided to stop by. (How he knew this we knew not.)

We heard no alarm, but we went to the door. No Peter. No car in the driveway. False alarm? Perplexed, we sat back at the table to resume eating, when, of course, the driveway alarm sounded again. Ah, Peter, we thought. But the door opened, and it was our son. Followed by more chimes and Peter.  And then a nice visit with Peter, his wife, and their first child.

Both Peter and his wife, Ally, were students of mine — students in Algebra and 11th and 12th grade English classes. (Peter was a bit of a reluctant student, but he confessed his error when he joined the Marines and wrote me a letter to encourage my students to study hard.) He had since completed his stint in the Armed Forces and is happy to be in college, preparing to be a nurse. Ally is studying business. They were headed to a Bible study somewhere in our neighborhood, recognized our house, and decided to stop for an impromptu visit. Steve and I got to admire their sweet, sleeping Sophia and catch up with their family.

What a nice, albeit alarming, surprise for my husband and me last night!

It was actually alarming for Peter and Ally, too, as Peter could hear the alarm going off in our house and figured we, too, were alarmed, which is why he carefully backed his car out of our driveway without attempting to reach the door. I am thankful they reached the street just as Adam reached the driveway, which gave them an opportunity to chat and Adam the chance to reach us via phone.

So we wouldn’t be alarmed — just delighted. Which we were. 🙂

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