Story Weekend: Warning Signs

First, just a quick mention for those of you in the US: Secret Lives is still in Kindle’s “100 Books Under $3.99” promotion and it’s priced at only $1.99. It’s been selling like the proverbial hot cakes and I love hearing from all my new readers.  Thanks for taking a chance on me!

Now to Story Weekend. We’re going over to the dark side here. Warning Signs can mean different things to different people (some of the men I dated prior to John come to mind, but I think I won’t go there!) What do those two words mean to you?

If  you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:

▪   The story must be true

▪   Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.

Have fun!





  1. Cindy on June 23, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I am first and I will keep this light tonight. When I was a child living in Texas, we would visit my Grandma in Oklahoma. On our trips, the warning signs on the bridges seemed funny…”Ice Forms On Bridges” An adult infers that this means in the winter. In the summer, it seemed silly.

    On the Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Lawton, there are “Do Not Drive Into Smoke.” I had never seen smoke on these Highways…I always looked for it, but thought this was a useless sign. I know better now as our wildfires can cause serious complications when people drive into the smoke.

    I am older now and can infer what signs mean…but on our way from Silverton, CO and Durango, CO we traveled on a beautiful stretch of road that looked like we were in the bottom of a canyon. This area had open ranges and there were no fences, just cattle guards on the highway. Signs everywhere that stated “Watch Out for Cattle on the Road”… the 2 hour drive, we never saw any cows on the roadway or even on the side of the road. Driving across Utah, there are signs that said “Watch Out for Eagles on the Road”. This was one I had never seen…and of course my mind thinks backwards. I thought…Why are the Eagles walking across the Road??? Duh… Of course they are not walking, they are Flying and Swooping across and down the highways.
    One more warning sign. We were crossing Bear Tooth Pass on the
    It was August and at home our highs were in the 100’s. So this did seem very strange…the warning sign said “Roads are not maintained after 4:00 pm” Earlier that day we passed some folks that said the road had been closed a little while to clear the snow. I know that as we crossed it and it began to snow…we didn’t hang around too long as we were way above the tree line on Motorcycles… We sure didn’t want to get stranded there.

    • Cindy on June 23, 2012 at 1:36 am

      On my trip from Silverton CO, we were not headed to Durango..We had already been there. We were on our way to Ouray, CO…It was a beautiful road that a very nice man in Silverton shared with us. Apparently it isn’t the more traveled road. None the less, the road was perfect and beautiful but alas, we missed all the Cows on the road…lol

      • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

        You sure have seen some beautiful places!

  2. Sheree Gillcrist on June 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

    My dad hated cats. He tolerated them while never connecting to them in any way. One night in May1979 , Mom went to church and I stayed with dad as he hadn’t been feeling well. I was 7 months pregnant with my first child.We had company who left when they saw that they were tiring him out. He was 59. After they left the cat named Peppy wrapped herself around his legs and he stroked her behind her ears and said.’ Nice Puss Puss’. Warning signs for me. Gale force category. He then said I’m going to lie down. Hurricane warnings. Ten minutes after he took to his bed I went to check on him. He lay slumped lifeless on the bed , vomit coming from his mouth and I knew, I just knew that the storm I had been dreading my whole life had arrived. I ran for the bread board to put under his back while my baby kicked inside of me. I started my bargaining with God. Please save my Dad.Please. I will do Anything. Cue major guilt afterwards. I wrestled his lifeless body on the board and started CPR. I called for an ambulance to come to our home in the wilderness and I continured the CPR fo an hour and a half on route to the hospital. Seeing as it was a volunteer ambulance service the man they put in the back to help me, just sat their and cried.He just kept saying ‘Please God Not Lloyd.’ He had shared a trench with my father in Germany many years ago. I was on my own. At the hospital they did all that they could do and ushered us to ‘The Room’. Not a good sign as signs go and I told my mother before the doctor came that the writing was on the wall. All she had to do was Read the Signs.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Sheree, how terribly traumatic and sad. I’m so sorry you went through this, yet I’m glad your father wasn’t alone.

    • Cindy on June 23, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      I am so sorry Sheree, And I am sure that all these years have not dulled the pain. I know that it was painful and bittersweet too. You were there when your dad had his last moments in the world and as Diane said, He was not alone.

      • Sheree Gillcrist on June 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

        Thank you Diane and Cindy. It was a life changing moment in my life which after all these years I now can see as the gift of priviledge that I was given.Even more strange is that my life’s work is being with people when they go from the light of this world into the light of the next. It is so important to me that not one of them ever have to make that journey alone.x

  3. Corey Ann on June 23, 2012 at 10:30 am

    My first wedding (note the FIRST ha ha) was riddled with warning signs the marriage wasn’t going to last. My Maid of Honor had to be threatened to show up to the wedding as she went missing more often than not for most wedding activities. Then she got caught smoking pot in the bathroom BY THE PASTOR the day of the wedding. The Pastor lost our wedding not once, but twice. Right before we walked down the aisle, my Dad told me that I didn’t have to do it and we could still have a party and he’d be a-ok with it. My hand caught on fire while lighting the unity candle and my husband didn’t do a thing to help but stand there. After the ceremony his brother informed me that I was a real bitch and my husband laughed. A fight between two of the bridesmaids boyfriends broke out at the reception. The honeymoon? A cruise through TWO hurricanes.

    Needless to say, that marriage was doomed. Ha!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      This sounds like it would make a great movie, but I’m sorry you had to live through it!

  4. Kathy on June 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for reminding me to order Secret Lives. It’s now on my Kindle. I discovered you a couple of weeks ago when I read The Secret Life of CeeCee Wikes.

    Story Weekend – It’s the signs of the times. I have always thought of this phrase relating to a time period. For example, when I think of the year of 2012, I think of economic hardships, the war on terrorism, and all of the technology we have available. My children certainly are more tech savvy than I am, but I have come a long way. I have wireless internet in my home, a computer, e-mail, a blog, a cell phone, and a kindle. My boys have all of that and more. There are many musical groups that have songs with that title. But, in actuality The Signs of the Times is related to religion. Both secular and religious people consider this to be extrordinary times and it could be that many bible prophecies are coming true. Who knows?

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      extraordinary times indeed!

  5. flutter on June 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I just read Secret Lives and am well and truly in love. What a beautiful storyteller you are

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you, Flutter.

  6. Rob lopresti on June 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    many years ago I was best man at a wedding that was held in the home of the groom’s family. they had several cats which were locked outside for the ceremony which was held in the living room. when everyone was in place except the bridal party someone opened the front door and in strolled an all-black cat who marched to the place where the wedding was to take place, and dropped a dead bird on the spot. they got the cat and bird out before the groom and bride arrived.

    Of course the cat was just providing a gift, but the marriage did end in divorce. true story…

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      That’s classic, Rob. Sorry about the marriage, though.

      • Cindy on June 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm

        Diane, was that a story about you???? Just kidding…

        • Diane Chamberlain on June 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

          haha. could have been, but no.

  7. susan on June 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Warning sign? When you have been married for three months and your husband tells you, “you need to choose between your parents or me>” This was a no brainer. My parents are my parents. Divorce three years later!!!! True Story

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      I’m amazed it lasted that long, Susan.

  8. Cindy on June 23, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Some awesome stories….they prove that Hindsight is 20 20…lol If we all listened to our hearts and all those SIGNS, we would probably make less mistakes… Of course our mistakes is how we learn….The result of the mistakes are called consequences….But some of life’s best moments are lived while making mistakes 🙂

  9. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on June 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    The reality is, unless you have a dark side, most of us are not looking for warning signs so we tend to overlook them. However, once tragedy falls upon us it becomes all too clear that the signs were there but unfortunately we did not heed them.

    Sadly, there is nothing left to do but shed tears of remorse as we try to forgive ourselves for not safeguarding what was most precious to us. Reflections of our past are carried with us forevermore; fortunately we learn to cope with the pain!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm


  10. Gee on July 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Just finished Secret Lives – lvd it. Googled you to find more books by you and stumbled onto your blog. I too am social worker and psychotherapist (and occasional social work teacher – elective “Animal Assisted Therapy in Social Work Practice”)
    Your sign “swooping birds” would have been helpful recently. My Pet Partner (for animal assisted therapy) and I were on our way for a visit at Children’s Hospital when a Mockingbird decided we were the enemy and began “swooping”, chirping and dive bombing us. My poor dog couldn’t figure out why we were being attacked. She (I’m assuming she and that we went too near a nest) followed us two blocks and was waiting at the hospital entrance an hour and a half later to “chase us” back to the car and away from her turf.
    FYI this is my first ever blog entry (with exception that my students and I blog during the course).
    Can’t wait to read another of your books.

  11. Diane Chamberlain on July 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Gee, welcome to the blog. I love that story, and love that you have a therapy dog. I bet the kids at Children’s Hospital loved the visit, even if the bird was not happy!

  12. carolyn on August 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Please! have your publisher make Secret Lives available on the Kindle Fire. Amazon says it’s only available on their cloud reader or the kindle reader for iPad. Neither of these work on the Fire. 🙁 I have read the first chapter and really want to purchase and read the rest of the book.

  13. Diane Chamberlain on August 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Checking into this for you, Carolyn.

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