The Great Key Hunt

In our house the keys have a specific home to enable us to always grab the keys when we need them. The exception to this is when we back the car out of the garage to allow us to get at the lawnmower and look after cutting our lawn. My habit has been to leave the keys on a shelf on the garage until the lawnmower is returned to its rightful place.

Yesterday when I went to retrieve the keys from the shelf they were nowhere to be seen. I asked “the Old Guy” if he had picked them up and he advised me that he had not seen them. That is when the ‘great key hunt’ began. First we checked under the wire shelving and generally looked around the garage. We checked the recycle bins. No keys were found. Next place to check was the car, no keys. Checked under the car.  Returned to the car with the “Old Guy” in the backseat and myself in the front, checking between the driver’s seat and the consul. No keys but we did recover a pen, a missing camera lens cover, container of dental floss, not sure why dental floss was there, and a small cardboard box.

From the car we moved into the house and checked all the rooms. No Keys! We then walked the yard thinking the keys may have been in my pocket or on the mower and dropped somewhere along the path the mower took. No Keys! Checked under the shrubbery thinking they may have dropped from the a fore mentioned pockets or mower. No Keys! At this point “the Old Guy” made me stand still while he patted me down, just like when I go through security at the airport and trigger the alarm with my artificial hip. I told him I had already checked my pockets.  No Keys!

Returning to the garage I remembered that I had been eating a nectarine and perhaps I had tossed away the pit and keys together. I held my nose and emptied out all the garbage. No Keys! “The Old Guy” went in the house and did the same with the kitchen garbage. No Keys!

Two hours had passed and we were both frustrated. Replacing car keys is no longer as easy as going to the hardware store and having a copy made. Key fobs are fancy and costly to replace. I decided to clear my mind and wash the car; after all it was still on the driveway. I let my mind wander trying to remember the exact steps I took after parking the car; but no epiphany.

After washing the car I once again walked the lawn and basically retraced all the previous places. I asked my neighbour to watch along the property line as she was cutting her lawn. By this time we were both tired, hot,  totally frustrated and resigned to accept the keys were lost.

I retreated into the air-conditioning and stretched out in the recliner. In need of a tissue I reached into my pocket. Being sweaty the tissue was wet and I pulled out a small piece about the size of a quarter. I reached again and was rewarded with another small piece. Not to be denied a tissue I pushed further into the pocket and realized that the pocket widened at the bottom and I was able to clutch the whole tissue. But wait, what was that sharp object in the nether regions of the pocket? I looked at over at “the Old Guy” and said “oh my god”. “No, don’t tell me” he said. I tugged on the sharp object and there they were. The keys ! I can’t believe that after two checks of the pockets they did not yield this hiding place. This pocket is obviously a great place to secure things but only if you remember putting something there.

I told my neighbour the keys had been located and where. Her chuckling response was “I think you just had a seniors moment”.


And the Heavens Roared

Last night the heavens opened amid flashes of light and claps of thunder. It is the first big, summer thunderstorm in this area. Many others have happened throughout the province over the past few months. We have experienced heavy rain and wind but mostly the thunder was no louder than a hungry stomach.

The storm brought back memories of my childhood. While I snuggled down in my bed listening to the cacophony of rain and thunder and watching the room light up with each lightning bolt I was catapulted back to an old farmhouse. When an electrical storm approached my parents would wake us from our sound sleep and tell us to dress. We would be instructed to sit in the middle of the living-room well away from electrical outlets and all windows were closed to prevent drafts.

We would sit like that until the storm moved on and then would be allowed to return to bed. Blessedly as children sleep came quickly.

For years I have feared thunderstorms and when high wind accompanies the storm I would hold my breath in fear of what might happen. When the ‘old guy’ and I lived in the country we built our dream house in the woods. Wind became a bigger fear for me and our life there was not without incident.

Shortly after moving in rain and wind arrived as we slept. Why do these things seem to like to interfere with my sleep? I heard a thump outside the window and decided that something had blown over outside. Now my head was beneath the window and when I woke in the morning I peeked out to see what a blown over and much to my surprise I was greeted with the branches of a large tree tickling the side of the house. The tree had fallen parallel to the house. It was a narrow escape and the only good thing was that we now had additional fire wood.

A second wind storm twisted the top off a majestic pine tree and deposited it across our backyard. Once again firewood was harvested. It seems that wind is as dangerous as the feared thunderstorms of my childhood.

For health reasons we sold our beloved home in the woods and moved into a sub-division. The small flowering crab tree in the backyard the small red maple in the front-yard do not pose a threat other than they might be destroyed by the wind but definitely will not damage our home.

Now, back to last night’s storm I feel that I may have overcome some of my fears and only cringed a couple of times when the storm seemed extra close. I listened to the rumble of thunder move away and sighed thinking it was over but like a large jungle cat on the prowl the storm would turn back and roar loader making its presence known once again.

I may have overcome the desire to get out of bed, dress and sit out the storm but some fears linger on. I wonder if my parents had any idea of how traumatic it all was for their children.