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Thursday, January 7, 2010

An Epic Tale Of Keys

So, after an uneventful drive back from Wisconsin on Tuesday, the bottom fell out. I pulled into my driveway and grabbed my purse and a few bags from the front seat to take into the house. I entered through my back door, set my bags down, and then unlocked the front door to go get Peanut out of the car.

Empty-handed, I figured I should take a few bags in with me while wrangling Peanut. I grabbed about four. I still had my keys in my hand. I was standing between the open back door and the back seat and was trying to unleash Peanut AND hold all those bags. That is when I heard the keys drop and hit something metal. I was carrying a bag with my percolator, so I figured they must have fallen into that bag.

As I got Peanut out of the car and shut the door, I second guessed whether I should lock the car without really knowing where my keys landed. Peanut dragged me down the driveway for a potty break in the neighbor’s front yard as I toted the bags along. Then up the stairs we climbed into the front porch where I threw the heavy load of bags down and began turning them upside down, dumping the contents all over the porch floor looking for my keys. Nothing.

I looked in every nook and cranny—inside the boots, in the arms of the coat, between the layers of quilt and crocheted items, under the boxes of food—and still there were no keys. I had a spare set, but moments earlier I had safely locked them in my now impenetrable house. After spending a little frustrated effort trying to break down my door, I easily broke into my house and unlocked the door from the inside.

Peanut was way past his dinner time and was more than happy to gobble his food down while I grabbed my spare keys and headed back out into the cold, cold night. I figured those keys must have fallen onto the floor of my back seat and hit the metal water dish I had sitting there, so that was my first attempt. Nothing.

I headed back inside for a flash light to check the ground and the interior of the car. Still nothing. I took a warm inside break and then one more attempt searching the driveway on my hands and knees, kicking snow aside, and rechecking the car. I went in with cold, dry hands, but they were empty.

As I curled up on the couch with Peanut by my side and a beer in my hand, I hoped nobody else had found my house and car keys. I checked several times to make sure my car was, in fact, still in the driveway. The next morning’s search in the grey light of the early morning proved fruitless as well. It wasn’t until I came home for lunch that I had any luck. The temperature was up to about 20 degrees and it felt like a heat wave. The sky was blue and the sun was shining down on me as I raked through the snow next to where my car had been parked. I was about to give up before taking one last pass over the grass with the rake when low and behold, my keys popped out of the snow, glistening in the sun. Those puppies must have gotten stepped on to embed that deeply in the cold, crunchy snow. I vowed right then and there to buy the biggest key chain I could find.

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