What happens when a desert rat moves out of the desert? Life, the universe, and everything! The way I see it and take it all in, anyway.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The two Kims
Getting Jesse off to preschool in the mornings can be pretty trying. Sometimes, instead of climbing into his seat when I open the car doors (mine and his), he’ll climb into my seat and play with the seat adjustment buttons. Or he’ll stand around chattering instead of getting into the car. This morning was no different and it didn’t help that I have been sick with a cold all week. I had a hard time getting him IN the car and a hard time getting him out. I was also a little mad that we got there late.
So I didn’t realize I’d forgotten to take my keys out of the ignition until ... after I closed his car door shut. The car was now locked up – with my keys inside! ARGH!
When I got Jesse inside the preschool, I explained to his preschool teacher Kim (who is also my friend) about what happened. She offered to call a tow truck service for me but I told her I didn’t have any money to pay for it. Then I asked her if I could use a wire hanger, thinking I could try to unlock it with that. But after she handed me the hanger, she asked if maybe I should try contacting my husband. I told her he was asleep. (He works the night shift and I usually wake him up at 11ish.) We considered maybe I could find some way to wake him up or get in. (I DID try texting him but, predictably, there was no answer.) So I decided I’d go for it; try walking home and either pound hard enough on the door to wake him up (he is also deaf) or try to break into my house to wake him up. I asked Kim if it was okay the car was in her driveway until I could move it out and she was okay with that.
Then I was on my way, walking home! (As Kim noted, I was dressed for the occasion: I was wearing exercise pants and my running shoes. Good thing, too!) It was quite a walk from the preschool to get home but the weather was a beautiful 61 degrees and the sun was shining. The walk was just a little over 1 ½ miles.
On my way home, I passed the Little Free Library that is on our street. I decided to check it out since it’s been a while since I have last paid it a visit. Several months ago, both Jennifer and I donated books there, one of my books, The Yellow Rose, and her signing and donating a copy of Dogs Forever: Poems for the Dog Person that she co-wrote with me. I checked and those books weren’t there anymore. (I hope whoever is reading them is enjoying them!) I borrowed a copy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo then I was back on my walk.
When I got home, I tried to pound on the door as well as my son’s bedroom window (since his room is right across from ours) but that was not enough to wake up my sleeping husband. I sighed, shook my head then muttered to myself, “Looks like I’m going to have to break into my own house.” (Side note: This is not EXACTLY “my own house.” We’re renters.) As a kid, I often got locked out of the house or would come home to find everybody gone. I often jimmied open a window and climbed inside.
But it’s been YEARS since I have jimmied open any windows. Or climbed fences. Or picked any locks!
So I tried opening a gate that we had on the side of the house. The gate was BLOCKED. So much for that idea!
Then I went around, examining the fence. Would I be able to climb over this thing? I even debated using my neighbor’s fence to help me climb over but wasn’t sure if I could balance myself very well on that. And, anyway, the fence itself was not very stable. That wouldn’t work.
I pulled out my phone and it was THEN that I realized that, in all the craziness of trying to get the gate open or try to figure out how to climb the fence, I somehow lost the book I’d been carrying. I started looking all over for it but couldn’t find it anywhere! I started to feel bad; this book was BORROWED. It was not mine to keep. I’d have to return it at some point.
AND I’D LOST IT!!!
I started trying to log in at Facebook on my phone, planning to send Kim a message, silently cursing my luck. Maybe the book had fallen out of my hand while I was trying to open the gate. It had to be around here somewhere.
Oh, but it was about to get more interesting. I could NOT send Kim a message ... because the battery on my phone was low and I could NOT log into Facebook. Gah! (Well, I wasn’t sure if Kim would even see my message, anyway.)
I tried pounding on the door again, on the very, very OFF chance my husband would feel my pounding and wake up. (We used to awaken when someone was pounding at our door.) But of course that did not work.
I stood there looking around, sighing. Then I noticed one of the neighbors was on the back porch step, pointing in my direction as he talked to someone in his house. I gritted my teeth and wanted to scream at him, “I’m not trying to break into this house; I LIVE here!” But decided not to when he went back inside.
Then I realized something; maybe I could try to text a friend who might be able to help me out somehow. I tried to think of who I could text and decided I would send a message to my OTHER friend Kim. She told me before she was willing to help me out last time when I had car trouble (I was able to figure out what was wrong with the car before she answered) so maybe she’d be able to help me out again.
I sent her a text, praying it would go through despite the low battery. It did, and a few minutes later, Kim #2 texted back saying she’d be there in a few minutes. I pumped a “yes!” into the air, replied with my thanks then sat down and waited. Even though this was a frustrating situation, I still had to laugh about it. It’s like one thing after another went wrong. This was CRAZY! But also a little funny.
But then things got better. Kim arrived and I told her about what happened. She drove me back to the preschool and when she parked the car, I was mentally and physically preparing for a workout with that wire hanger. But then Kim got my attention and told me she had AAA and could help me out. I was surprised; she could DO that? Really and truly??
She said yes and we got out of the car. Her phone battery was low and she asked if she could use mine to call AAA with. I was doubtful if my phone would even work but handed it to her, anyway. And thankfully, it DID work and she could place a call for a tow truck. Yay! They told her a truck would be there in 30 minutes so we hung around and made small talk.
Guess what? The truck was there in FIVE MINUTES. Wow! We both cheered it got there so fast!
When the tow truck driver got out, he didn’t look at me or even say a word. He just got to work. I was looking at him like “uh, hi?” and almost felt a scolding from my mother for being rude and not properly greeting someone. But he smiled and nodded at us when Kim and I cheered after he got the door open. I thanked him then hurriedly ducked into the car to grab my keys (quick! Before the magic went away!) then cheered again as I looked at Kim happily holding up the keys. (Thank YOU, Triple A!) I thanked Kim for helping me out, we hugged and she was on her way.
I tightly clutched my keys as I closed the car door then went inside the preschool. Jesse cheered when he saw me holding up the keys and Kim #1 was happy, too. I told her about what happened and we were both relieved that I was able to have a tow truck driver come out to help without being charged for it.
Now I was back in my car and driving home. I did enjoy my walk but it was good to be driving again. (I love walking, but I love driving, too!) When I got home, I texted Kim #2 to let her know I was home now then charged my phone. I also went out back looking for the book. Sure enough, there it was on the ground. I HAD dropped it when trying to open the gate!
Later, my husband asked about the texts that were on his phone. I told him about what happened and he said pounding on the door or window was NOT going to wake him up. Also, there would be NO WAY I could get into the house even if I got into the back yard. (Well, ya know, the bathroom window IS kinda broken...)
But I know all that NOW. And now we’re going to get a spare car key made. Maybe it’d be a good idea to get one made for the house, too.
Writing by the name of Dawn Colclasure (my maiden name). Author of books for children as well as poetry books, writing books and books on the paranormal. I occasionally collaborate on books with Martha Jette or Jennifer Wilson.
Former editor and publisher of Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine. Book reviewer for Night Owl Reviews.