Do you know that moment that happens so fast. Like the blink of an eye? That’s the moment I realized I shut the door behind me. Locked. Keys inside. I was rushing around at the last minute as I needed to be somewhere soon. I was savoring a book I’d bought for Liam and I couldn’t put it down. It’s called The Giver. Jonas was turning twelve and he had just had the Stirrings. What was going to happen next? I looked at the clock and knew I’d have to rush to make it in time.
What is it they say when you make plans that dissolve in an instant?
Usually it’s God’s way of telling you to slow down, right? Or maybe this time He was telling me – you’re going to slow. You want to lay around reading a book when you should be getting ready for your meeting? I’m going to lock you out of your house in the dead of winter while you can think that one over. Ha.
So there I was. Locked out. Luckily I had my coat on, but I quickly realized I hadn’t put my phone in my pocket. The phone that goes everywhere I do. I stood for several moments marvelling at the craziness of the situation. I told myself it could be worse. I’m warm enough. I’m a quick thinker. I’ll solve this.
My first thought was the secret key we keep when we get locked out. I would be a little late for my meeting, but I was relieved thinking I’d be back in the house in no time and then on my way. I went to said secret key place and found it keyless. Plan A went out the window. No phone. That was a biggie. Who was I going to call to my rescue? Our neighbors on either side work and there wasn’t a car in their driveways. Plan B. Check all the other doors.
Locked. Every single door was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Keep people out. Next up were the windows. I retrieved a ladder from the garage and dragged it through the snow, abutting it the the house along each window. Locked. Locked. Locked. I felt some semblance of peace knowing that we were safe from murderers and burglars, especially since Jim had left for Florida earlier in the morning. Next I found a big mallet and banged away at the back door which looked like a couple of good hard slugs would take it off. Nope. Solid.
I wasn’t getting in the house with anything I could come up with short of taking the mallet to a window which would be all too much trouble. Broken glass I’d have to replace before this evening when I’d already made plans to go skiing with Liam. Think, think, think.
Across the street, our neighbors were having work done on their house. Work that’s been ongoing since early fall and I knew I could at least amble over and borrow a phone if the homeowners weren’t there. I made my way to the garage where I found a young man working on a piece of wood over a sawhorse. He looked up, startled to see me. I quickly explained my predicament and he readily offered his phone. But not before relaying his own woefully long tale of being locked out of his running car.
I called Jim in Florida, hoping he’d have some idea of how to get me into the house. He told me to look in the secret place to which I explained I’d already come up empty there. My brother-in-law has a key but it’s likely he’s working out of town. He’d call since I only had the borrowed phone and I didn’t know anyone’s number off hand, this previously memorized information a victim of smartphones, a device that doesn’t require you to remember anything anymore, especially phone numbers.
A few minutes later he called back to report that my brother-in-law was indeed, out of town but their son was home and would be able to get me a key. If he could find it. By that point, Lisa, my across the street neighbor had come into the garage to find out what was going on. I briefly explained again the saga of how I locked myself out and she invited me in to look at the work they’d had done on their house.
Honestly, this was something I’ve been extremely curious about after seeing the non-stop flow of workers in and out of their house for the past four months. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be asked to see it since we weren’t friendly. It’s not that we don’t like each other, but my street is not a normal neighborhood where you get to know your neighbors. Especially the across the street ones since it’s a very busy road. The house is going to be gorgeous and the kitchen was a dream. A dream I’ll likely never experience for myself since we’re now owners of two homes which are both fine but not the stuff dreams are made of.
Tour completed and a last phone call to assure me my nephew was on his way with a key, I bid my goodbyes to Lisa and the workman, thanking them profusely for the kindness they’d shown a cast out in the cold, locked out neighbor. A few minutes later, I was back inside and found my keys and phone just where I’d left them. It was too late for my meeting so I sat down to write instead.
Do you have a woeful tale of being locked out that you’d like to share?