Friday, July 13, 2007

A Crummy Day... but Wonderful Neighbors

So... I'm not sure, but I think this Florida sun may be melting my brain. I have just had the weirdest morning/afternoon.
Keenan and I went for a walk with the stroller this morning to the Bealls outlet that's a few blocks from our house. (I Love that store!) Upon returning home (very hot and looking forward to the A/C), we discovered (okay, actually I discovered, Keenan didn't really have a clue) that we were locked out!! Now, I wasn't so stupid that I forgot my keys, I had them, but... we usually only lock the dead bolt on the side door, and for some reason, after Philip left this morning, I turned the doorknob lock (and we left through the front door).
That was terribly uncool, so I went around the back of the house to the "grilling porch" (which is about five and a half feet off the ground), and climbed up there (I had to stand on a chair) to see if just maybe the patio door was unlocked. Nope. By this time, I'm Very hot and rosy and very frustrated. To add to this, Philip had the car and cell phone with him, so I had no way of reaching him or getting his keys.
Our next door neighbor, Phil, had offered his help if we ever needed it, (and I did now!) so I took Keenan and went next door, to see if we could use his phone, but he wasn't home. So... across the road we went to Frank and Myrtle's (we had met Myrtle a couple times when she came by the house to welcome us and bring us a dessert and some of her fresh tomatoes, she's very sweet). When I rang the bell, Myrtle invited us in before I could even open my mouth to tell her why I was there. Air conditioning has never felt better! They were happy to let me use the phone to page Philip, and Myrtle was thrilled to get to hold Keenan. "He's a mighty fine baby", she said. While I waited for Philip to call me back, we chatted about their huge garden, string beans, pole beans, mustard greens, collard greens, tomato gravy and other southern things I know nothing about. Then she gave me a tour of the house, and we drank iced tea (sweet, just the way I like it). Philip finally called me back, but was way too busy to be able to drive home and bring me the keys, and my military ID was in the car too, so we decided that Frank would drive me to the hospital. He had worked in the military for quite a while and said he had never had a problem getting on base with his Civil Service ID (I didn't really know what that meant, but I sure hoped it would get us on base!)
Keenan was ready for his nap so Myrtle offered/begged to watch him while we went. I was really relieved and felt completely fine with leaving him with her.
We arrived at the gate and found out that Frank's ID expired in 1993! (He hadn't mentioned that in the last few years when he went on base, he was riding with his retired military buddy, and so had no idea that his ID was expired). However, that wasn't a huge deal, the guard just sent us into the visitors center (saying that they could look me up in the system and I could get us a day pass).
We got inside and took our seats in line just in time to catch the tail end of a heated conversation between a young guy trying to get on base and the guy behind the counter. Apparently he'd had a "less than honorable discharge" from the military and had been banned from Beale Air Force Base and that ban was now Air Force wide until 2009. He shouted something about "this happens every time", grabbed his ID, and slammed angrily out the door. (Hmm... I wonder why the Air Force didn't keep Him around?)
The computer system was down for a while (big news, it seems like it Always is), but we finally got our passes and got on base. We got to the hospital, got Philip's keys from the receptionist, drove around the parking lot to find our car, got my military ID, dropped the keys back off, and drove home. Yay, we're finally getting somewhere!
Keenan had slept the whole time we were gone, and woke up shortly after we got back, and then he and I went home....and realized that I had gotten the wrong key off of Philip's keychain! I got the same one that I had for the dead bolt, not the one for the doorknob lock!! Aaauugh! Could I be any stupider??? Well, there Was one other key on my keychain with the deadbolt key (that didn't work in the side or front doors), so I decided to try it on the patio door. Back around the house, up on the chair, up onto the porch...and no deal.
I sheepishly slunk back over to Frank and Myrtle's and Frank readily agreed to take me back to get the right key. As we were approaching the gate, Frank discovered that he couldn't find his pass from earlier (oh no, not another trip inside!), but at the last minute, I said "Quick, switch to the left lane", I recognized the guard as the one who had been inside earlier and printed our passes... thankfully he remembered us and waved us on through (huge sigh of relief). At the hospital, I paged Philip to ask him which key was the one, and he didn't know any more than I did. I looked at all of his keys, and the only one I couldn't completely rule out was a smallish key that didn't really look like a winner... making us both start to realize that maybe Neither one of us has the right key on our keychain (it was apparently on the large keychain of random keys, inside the locked house).
Frank took me back to the house, where I made a last ditch effort, hoping somehow this small key actually fit the lock, and it didn't. But hey, maybe This was the key for the patio door...back on the chair, over the railing...no again!!
We went back to Frank and Myrtle's and called a lock smith to come over and unlock the door. While we waited, Myrtle made me lunch and played with Keenan again. They had fallen in love with each other, and Keenan was soo happy and giggly with her! When Myrtle talked about Frank to Keenan, she called him "Grandpaw Frank", it was adorable. Thankfully, Keenan was an angel throughout all of this.
About an hour later the locksmith finally showed up and let me in (and charged me $60 for his five minutes of work). Keenan and I were tired, hungry, a little bit poorer (and I had a headache), but soo glad to be home!!
(Oh yeah, the locksmith tried Every key on our "random keychain", and None of them fit either of our doorknob locks!) Yet another "unpleasant surprise" to add to the list that the former home owner left us to find out.
After an hour long nap for each of us, we both feel much better...and hope that tomorrow proves to be a bit less eventful! =)
(And yes, I've taped over the doorknob lock on the side door, and plan to hide a key somewhere outside so this Never happens again!)
LOL - I just remembered that today is Friday the 13th, I'm sure a lot of people would blame today's happenings on that! =)
* Just a quick note about Frank and Myrtle: They have the most Southern accents and use the funniest sayings, like, "She was like a blind pig, lookin' for acorns." They are 80 and 78 right now, and were apparently high school sweethearts back in the 40's. After a couple years they drifted apart and Myrtle married a musician, had no children, and got divorced 17 years later. Frank married a girl from Crestview, had four kids, and 35 years later "for some crazy reason", he said, they got divorced. A couple years later, he met a woman in the FBI who said "she could find anyone", and said that she once found a man's former high school sweetheart for him. Frank said, "Really? Can you find mine?" She asked what he knew about her and Frank said all he knew was the town where she had lived in Alabama and that she had twin brothers (born while he was dating Myrtle) and that one of them had been named after him, Frank Ray. A few days later, the FBI agent called him and said, "I found your girl!" They met back up, fell in love (again) and got married. That was 20 years ago.

3 comments:

flakymn said...

WOWOWOWOW!! This story was AWESOME!!! Not only the locked out story ... but the falling in love story. Wow. They definitely sound like everyone I knew in Kentucky (where they eat squirrel). :)

This also reminds me of the longest day of my life. I blogged about it:

http://flakymn.blogspot.com/2006/08/blogging-from-memphis.html

Anonymous said...

Wow, you had quite the Friday the 13th, Joia!!
This is a great idea to keep your family/friends updated and I will look forward to reading it often! Keenan is SOOOO cute!!!!
Glad to hear things are going well for you, despite locked doors (!).
I love the descriptions of your neighbors, they sound like quite the couple, and so lucky to have found each other again!! Wow!
All is well here with me and mine in sunny Ontario.
Take care!
Cheryl B.

jsings115 said...

What an insane day, Joia! I would have probably shed a few tears in there somewhere! =) You are a trooper and what a major blessing to have some interim grandparents next door! I am sure Myrtle was blessed by watching Keenan just as much as you were blessed by their hospitality. When you have a 4-month old, that counts as pouring into others lives! There is only so much you can do and you opening your home to so many already (including us) and cooking for us...etc., etc. is a HUGE blessing! I am so glad you are joining MOPS too...it is a really great group. Love yoU!