here I am



So, this morning I’m getting ready to leave for work. I’ve spent a significant amount of time doing my hair up in a cute way.  I NEVER do my hair up in a cute way. I put on a fuzzy girly purple sweater.  I rarely wear girly clothes.  I’ve just turned on the house alarm and left the house.  I’m not wearing a coat or gloves.  It’s cold.

I lock the first lock on the back door, and put my keys into the second lock.  My hands are cold, so I fumble the keys.  They fall – but not onto the deck.  They fall 3 1/2 feet down into the 4″ wide gap between the deck and the back door.

I’m locked out of the house and I can’t get into the garage.  I’m trapped in my own backyard.

I proceed to spend about a half hour getting the keys out from under the deck.  I start by standing there with my mouth gaping open.  I whimper a little.  I pull out my phone to call my husband – maybe he has an idea. Then again, I say to myself, he’s the brilliant one who – yesterday – put away the rake that’s been sitting on the deck for the last week.  The rake that could have saved me the forthcoming horrors.  I grumble about responsible spouses as David’s voicemail picks up. He’s in class.  I’m on my own.

Seized by a flash of inspiration, I run through the dog poop-infested yard to the compost pile where my husband and teen Zach have been throwing leaves and fallen branches.  I can’t find what I’m looking for – a branch that grew into a coat hanger before falling from the tree – but I find something that’s long enough, at least, to stick down in the gap.  I run back across the poopy yard and lay down on the deck.  It’s still cold. With my head against the dirty back door and wall of the house, I slide down the length of the deck, pushing the keys inch by inch to the edge.

Now, I have to get the keys from beneath the side of the deck.  There’s a tall lattice wall in the way, so I have to go off the deck to the 1 1/2 foot space between the lattice wall and the 6-foot privacy fence surrounding the yard.  I’m not a small girl.  Still, it won’t be so bad, I think to myself.  All I have to do is squeeze along the fence and bend sideways to grab the keys.  Then I look at the fence.  The English ivy that covers it (and is boring into our foundation) is going to make this difficult, not to mention dirty.  Then I look closer.  There are red ants completely covering the ivy.

I run back to the pile of branches and find one that’s long and not straight.  I beat off as many ants as I can, then prop the longer ivy back over the fence with the branch.  With my makeshift ivy arbor in place, I stand staring.  I cover as much exposed flesh as possible with my scarf, then I count to three and charge in and grab the keys.  I charge back out, shuddering and itching.

After brushing off and thawing in the car for 10 minutes, I arrive at work, late and disheveled.  All day I’m picking leaves and sticks from my no-longer cute hair and clothes.

The lesson I learn from my morning foray into the wild of the deck’s environs: keep a coat hanger handy in your backyard.  You never know when you’ll have to go key fishing.

posted under gripes
One Comment to


  1. Avatar November 11th, 2007 at 1:14 am billy Says:

    Perhaps you need to get a keypad door lock, a remote control wireless lock, or a fingerprint lock. This should solve your problem not able to find a key to your home. I ran into the same situation before. A friend suggestion that I buy a reostyle keyless lock from reostyle.com. Anyway, problem is solved.

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment: