Sunday, November 2, 2008
My husband, my kids, and I headed out the front door this morning. They were heading to the zoo. I was heading for the recycle bin. In my pajamas and slippers. I turned around, headed back up the porch stairs, turned the door handle and . . . the door was locked.
Has this ever happened to you? Locked out of your own house? I started to call out to them, but they were speeding away.
Did I really want them to come back? (It's always such a feat just getting them all out the door.)
I remembered the key I'd hidden, but I was almost certain it wasn't there anymore. I was right.
So I knock on a neighbor's door and start calling friends with spare keys.
But it's Sunday morning, so I'm leaving messages.
I tell my neighbor Mike, whose phone I just borrowed, that I'm going to work in the garden; his wife kindly offers me some shoes.
I'm out in the yard pulling up soggy tomato plants. I'm wondering to myself "Am I eccentric? Does this qualify as eccentric behavior?" when I see Mike coming towards me with a big smile: "Your friend said she's in her pajamas and doesn't feel like driving over. She wants you to walk over and get your key." Normally this wouldn't be a problem, except I'm wet and dirty, and I'm in a NIGHT GOWN.
And then I remember another detail: I was poaching a piece of chicken when I got locked out.
I tear across the street yelling "Mike! Mike! I need your phone again!"
When I tell my key-bearing friend my predicament, she comes right over with the coveted key. I open the door to find my downstairs full of smoke, the chicken smoldering in the iron skillet.
I'm not big on this kind of drama and near-catastrophe on a Sunday morning. My style is more a cowboy coffee cake, cup o decaf, Johnny Horn preachin' the blues situation.
But there's something about being locked out, being forced to depend on neighbors and friends (and to work in the garden), that's almost baptismal. Okay, maybe that was the rain, but as I yanked out plants by the roots, watching worms come belly up from the rich, dark soil, I felt lucky to have been forced out into the wet morning to look a little closer at this glistening world.