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Monday, November 15, 2010

Locked Out


Have you ever found yourself locked out of your house?   I now have a spare key hidden outside so that won't happen, but in my youth, I wasn't that savvy.

Back in 1967, I was just out of college, a newlywed, and a first year teacher, all at once.  My then husband was in his last year of college.  (Yeah, I married a younger man the first time, but you couldn't exactly call me a Cougar...he was just 2 years younger than I!)  We had rented a house a few miles from Sumner Memorial High School, Sullivan, Maine, where I was teaching English, coaching girls' basketball, girls' softball, and directing the school plays, all for the huge sum of $5,000 per year.  

My lesser half (Hey, if he was my better half, I'd still be married to him!) was commuting 55 miles each way to the University of Maine at Machias for his senior year. His classes started at 10:00 a.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m., while  I had to be at school for 8:00 a.m. and was usually done by 3:00 p.m.   We had only one car at the time, so I car-pooled with a co-worker neighbor.  This meant I left in the morning before hubby, and returned home a couple of hours before him.  He would lock the door when he left and leave our one key under the mat for me to use when I returned.

Inevitably, one rainy day he left and forgot to put the key under the mat.  I came home in the pouring rain to a locked house.  I searched the porch to see if he'd left the key in another spot; no luck.  I tried all the windows, and they, too, were locked. I was batting 1000.  I sat in the back porch rocker for a bit and contemplated my dilemma.  Waiting for him to come home could take 2 hours, of cold, wet, and dampness, plus, in an hour it would also be dark; that prospect held little appeal.

As the rain continued to fall, and the chill began to nip at my butt and extremities, I decided I had to take action.  I went around to the side of the house where there was a basement window.  With considerable effort I was able to remove it.  The opening wasn't exactly huge, but in those days, neither was I!  It was either squeeze my 5'1" 118 lb. body ( oh, I remember those days fondly!) through that window opening or literally "chill out" on the back porch. 

The ground was mushy and wet under the window.  My new London Fog raincoat would be ruined, either by getting grass stains and mud on it, or tearing it on the window frame.  I returned to the back porch, removed the coat and carefully laid it over the back of the rocker, out of the reach of the rain.  Then I glanced down at the dress I was wearing.  Living on one paycheck with hubby still paying for college, my clothing budget was non-existent.  I carefully lowered the zipper on the back of  my dress, stepped out of it, and gently laid it on top of my raincoat. 

Our rental house sat back from the road a bit, and there were several trees blocking my sight of the road, but if someone happened to drive by, they could catch a glimpse of me in my slip (yeah, we wore those, back then!).  I peeked around the corner of the house and listened for the sound of a car motor.  All I could hear were the raindrops slapping against the roof and the house windows.   I quickly ran to the opening where the window had been, dropped down to my hands and knees, and entered the basement, feet first.    I was able to reach the workbench with my toetips, and get my whole self in out of the rain and the sight of passing motorists. 

Once inside, I dropped to the floor, then ran up the basement stairs into the main house.  After I'd thrown on some jeans and a sweatshirt, I went back outside, replaced the basement window.  Able to rescue my dress and my beloved London Fog raincoat,  I was pleased at my resourcefulness.  By the time hubby came home, I had dinner on the table.  I recounted my adventure and, dutifly impressed, he apologized for forgetting to leave the key.

That should have been the end of the story, but of course, a few weeks later, the key was again missing from under the mat.  This time there was snow on the ground...cold, wet, icy, snow.   Without hesitation, I grabbed a piece of firewood from the small pile on the porch, slammed it against a pane in the door window, reached through the hole in the shattered glass, and let my fully-clothed self in.



 When he returned from campus that evening, Hubby was not pleased that he had to replace the window, but guess what?  The key was never missing from under the doormat again!



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24 comments:

My name is PJ. said...

PERFECT!!!! You mention hubby not being pleased the window was broken that second time.....how sweet were you to him when he got home? I may have put broken shards of glass on a nice plate and set it on the table for dinner that night!


Yeah. I'm not so nice the second time something like that happens...

jules said...

Aren't you resourceful! Taken care of business!

Lexi said...

I would probably react the same way the second time but depending on his reaction when he got home the glass shards could be on his plate or in the trash.
I hate it when my hubby does something utterly thoughtless and then acts like I'm to blame for blowing up...

Jen said...

That should have been a short story in your book!! That has happened to me before,( not that same episode) now I make sure I have spare keys, and my kids do too!

DJan said...

We keep a key well hidden in a secret place in order to get inside in case of being locked out. Never had to use it, but I can see why the guy in the story is your EX-husband!

Brian Miller said...

hehe. you made your point the secnd time...yeah i probably would not forget again...

natalee said...

LOL!! Im still laughing at the lesser half

glnroz said...

I always figured you for a "thinker",, lol you thunk that one out for the next time... hehe

MOMSWEB said...

LOL! I love reading your posts! You're a GREAT story teller.

Helena said...

AWESOME story. I loved every minute of it!

Michelle Saunderson said...

We now have a garage door opener that can open with a code. I love it, no more lock outs. I like your resourcefulness by the way.

Pat said...

You were VERY resourceful - BOTH times! You've got some cajones, girlfriend! That oughta teach 'em! I love the "lesser" half! I had one of those, too!

David Waters said...

I hate when that happens. But you certainly are a resourceful gal;)

cheers

Kristina P. said...

Ha! Why mess around.

I was locked out and we now have a spare outside.

Eva Gallant said...

Jules: You just do what you gotta' do!

Lexi: And that's just what he did, too!

Jen: I've smartened ups some since then, and I have an extra key hidden outside, too!

Glen: I sure did 'thunk!'

Michelle! That's great! No garage, here, though.

Boom Boom Larew said...

I remember the days when I could have fit through the basement window. These days, they'd probably have to send the jaws of life to pry me out! Much better just to break the dang window. I bow to your awesomeness!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Ah yes, breaking into one's own house. Who hasn't had to do that once in a while? Either that or we've spent quality time in the garage or garden shed or lying in the car. By "we" I totally mean ME. And by "once in a while" I mean "regularly". :)

injaynesworld said...

At that point I would have changed the locks and let him see how he liked being locked out.

You're far nicer than I am.

Cute story.

expressmom said...

Eva,

You are too cool! I hope my daughter will 'teach' her (in the future) husband so cleverly.


Thanks for the laughs!

Eva Gallant said...

Veg: Like I said, I now have a key hidden outside, so I can't get locked out again! Have you considered doing that?

Jayne: Well, I was younger then. I'm no longer as nice! lol

expressmom: Just have her read my blog; I'll teach her all kinds of bad things! lol

Unknown Mami said...

He's lucky the only thing that got hit with the firewood was the window.

gayle said...

This is so funny!! It brings to mind the time I locked myself out of our house. I was cleaning in my nightgown and went out to shake some rugs. I forgot to unlock the door. Thank goodness we had a spare key!!

Vanessa Rogers said...

Ha ha ha! That is a great story. I have a similar story I should tell one day. I had to crawl into a bathroom and do a handstand to get in. Thanks for sharing.

Eva Gallant said...

I have not been without an extra key since!