Note to self: Get a spare key

November 1, 2006 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

So this morning at 7:00, I took Callie (our dog) for a brisk walk, as is my habit. While I was gone, my dad left for work, and my mom locked the back door behind him, not realizing I was coming back. I returned half an hour later to find the house completely locked up and all the lights out inside.

I knew Mom was supposed to be home, but I banged on the door for ten minutes, and she never appeared. I started getting worried, so I went over to the neighbors’ house and borrowed a cell phone.

I tried calling our home number. No answer.

Then I tried Mom’s cell phone. No answer.

After 20 minutes, I called Dad at work.

“Well,” said Dad. “That’s not good. I can’t let you in, because I don’t have a house key.” (Why that would be, I don’t know, but he didn’t.)

“What about a garage door opener?”

“Don’t have that either.”

I pounded on the door some more and tried Mom’s numbers again. I had no idea where she could be and was afraid something had happened to her. Finally Dad told me I would have to break a window pane.

My neighbor, Jeff, who had graciously stayed with me all this time, went over to his basement to get a short-handled sledge hammer and some gloves. Then we stood at the basement door, forty minutes after I had first returned home, and prepared for him to break the window.

Just as Jeff was standing next to the door ready to swing, he suddenly paused.

“What’s that noise?” he asked, leaning closer to the door.

I leaned in and listened. “Oh my word,” I gasped. “That’s Mom. She’s in there working out and couldn’t hear us upstairs.”

Jeff began banging on the window, and Mom appeared at the door, flustered at the sight of her neighbor standing outside her basement with a sledge hammer in his hand. Meanwhile, I got choked up with relief.


At 7:00pm, as I was walking to my car on my way home from work, I checked my phone and saw that I had six missed calls and a new voice message. All were from Mom.

“Jamie, Jamie, Jamie,” crackled the message, “please call me. I’m at Lowe’s. I’ve locked myself out of the van and need you to come let me in.”

I pulled out of the parking deck and dialed Mom’s cell phone. “Ah,” I teased her, “I know how you feel!”

Meanwhile, I forgot that I was supposed to take Barrett Parkway toward Lowe’s, and I instead turned off on Due West toward home. Half an hour later, after taking the long route, I finally arrived at the van. Whew.


Mom and I turned the corner onto our street at ten after eight. Oddly, we were met with the sight of Dad sitting in his car in the driveway of our house, engine running, not doing much of anything.

“What’s he doing in the driveway?” said Mom quizically.

But you know why he was sitting there. That’s right—because he doesn’t have a house key.


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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

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