Most of us have experienced it a time or two in our lives, some of us more often than others. I call it the spidey sense. That feeling that something just isn’t right, though we can’t figure out what is wrong or why we are feeling that way. I’ve learned to be aware and heed it.
I’ve been told the term spidey sense is a sense of danger, a kind of sixth sense that originated with comic book superhero Spider-Man. I don’t recall ever reading a Spider-Man comic or watching a Spider-Man movie, and I certainly don’t claim to be clairvoyant. But more than once I have experienced the feeling. I have also known cops, combat soldiers, firefighters, and first responders who have mentioned it.
As a teenager I lived in a rather rough blue collar neighborhood where you sometimes had to be careful where you were and who you were with. I remember walking home from a friend’s house late one night and coming to the darkened alley we all used as a shortcut and abruptly turning away and taking the longer way down a lighted street. I don’t know why I did that, I just knew I didn’t want to be there. I had been down that same alley in daylight and at night many times, and I wasn’t afraid of the dark. But something caused me not to take the familiar route. The next day the news was all over the neighborhood that someone had been robbed and stabbed to death the night before in that same alley.
More than once in my time in the Army I chose one path over another with no other reason than that tingly feeling on the scalp and back of the neck that I can only describe as the hairs standing on end. And yes, I actually had hair back then.
When we were fulltime RVers we once pulled into a casino that allowed overnight RV parking somewhere in Oklahoma, as I recall. It had been a long day and we were both worn out, but all the while we walked to the building to confirm it was okay to park there overnight I was feeling that old spidey sense. The security guard assured us we were welcome, and when I asked if there was any reason to be extra cautious, he said they had never had a problem in the five years he had worked there. But I still felt it walking back to our rig. I had not said anything to Terry about how I was feeling, but once we were inside the bus she said, “I don’t know why, but I don’t like it here. I just don’t feel comfortable.” That was all I needed to hear, and five minutes later we were back on the highway. We drove another half hour or so and found a rest area where we both felt better spending the night.
We had been at my cousin’s place in Traverse City, Michigan for a couple of weeks in September of 2000 and were going to leave the next day. But that morning, September, 28, as we started stowing things away to hit the road we again both felt like something was off kilter. Neither of us could say why, but we did. We decided for no real reason except that feeling to extend our stay an extra day. That was the night Terry started hemorrhaging and I took her to the ER, where her stage 4 cancer was found.
Would something bad have happened to me if I had taken that familiar alley home as a teenager so long ago? What would have happened if I had not chosen a different trail as a soldier? Were we really safe in that casino parking lot, just overanxious for no real reason? If we would have left Traverse City as we originally planned, might Terry have bled to death before I could get her to a hospital?
I don’t have an answer to any of those questions. All I know is we’re still here today. How about you? Have you ever felt the spidey sense? Did you heed it? If not, did anything happen to make you wish you had?
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground rating, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – My mom didn’t raise no dummies. And if she did, it was my sister.