Danny Ocean I'm Not

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

When one's five-year-old manages to turn the little knob on the front door on his way out to eat watermelon (thereby locking the door), and there is no one left in the house, there are several things one realizes immediately:

  • your house keys (which you never use anyway) are inside the house
  • your van keys are inside the house (with the house keys)
  • your husband doesn't even carry his house keys, you're pretty sure, but that doesn't matter, because
  • your phone is also inside the house
  • your afternoon is going to look a little different than you thought it would
I'm sure you have guessed that the "you" in the above list is actually me! 

I took stock of my options as I finished the chore I was working on. I could try picking the lock. I could try getting in the back door. Or I could try going in through the window.

The "back" door of our trailer does not latch properly, so Jason had screwed it shut from the outside not long after we moved in. If he hadn't, it would be caught by every strong wind and slammed backwards on its hinges with an astonishingly loud noise. So, I might be able to get in that way if I unscrewed it. But that would definitely require finding and moving the ladder, as well as the other tools needed. The same could be said of going in through a window.

I decided to try the simplest solution first. I have never picked a lock before, but they make it look so easy in the movies, right? Just put something thin and straight into the lock, jiggle it around a little, and it just pops open. How hard can it be?

Note to self #1: look up a "lock-picking" tutorial on the internet the next time I have a few spare minutes. I suck at it.

Not yet discouraged, I went to the next option. Ladder and screwdriver at the ready, I made quick work of the four screws holding the door closed. (The ladder is necessary as there is no staircase leading up to the back door. The bottom edge is about two feet off the ground.) The outer door easily popped open, hanging there like a sigh of relief. The inner door was grumpier--it wouldn't budge along the bottom.

I did not want to get too forceful with it for two reasons: the ladder I was standing on did not offer the best leverage, and also, I wasn't sure if the inner door was maybe screwed shut at the bottom, too. It could just be caught on the carpet, but I didn't want to risk ruining the door and/or plunging to the ground and being helpless to even have Jude phone someone to assist me if I was injured. (Later inspection from the inside proved it to be just the very plush carpet, untamped by lack of use, that was the culprit.)

I turned around and sat on the top step of the ladder. "I need inspiration here, Lord," I muttered quietly.

I thought of the holiday trailer sitting behind the house--at least we wouldn't be shelterless, if we needed it. However, there was no water hooked up to it or in it, and I was getting thirsty. Also, Jason still wouldn't have keys when he got home, so what was the point of waiting?

Just then, Jude's lip connected with Jabin's head on the trampoline, where all three boys had been happily playing. They had stripped down to underwear, since two of the three had still been dressed for the cool morning when we got "trapped outside" in the bright afternoon sun. If it hadn't been for the fact that he was screaming, it would have been slightly comical to see Jude's head sticking out of the zippered entrance in the safety net and his be-Spidermanned backside pointing at his brothers.

Jude's wail sounded more like it was related to the blood now pouring from his lip than actual pain. I jogged over to the van, thankful that I had extra paper towel and napkins in there and spied my water jug while I was there. As I jogged over to the tramp to proved first aid and comfort, I thought "wouldn't it be great if I kept an extra house key somewhere?"

Note to self #2: Get another key cut. Store it someplace not in the house or van. (My kids have managed to lock me out and the keys in to the van before, too. Not for years, now--I learned that lesson when Jude was still a toddler.)

With Jude's bleeding and distress under control, I knew what was next, and just hoped it would work--frankly, if popping out a screen and going in through the window didn't do the trick, I was down to a literal "BREAK"-in. I know we are done with this house in a few weeks*, but I still want to keep it sound enough to keep our things dry and mouse-free until then.

I decided the likeliest window was the living room. It had a screen, and the sliding glass was partially open. The screen did not fit extremely well, and the window was large enough to easily allow me to enter. Also, on the other side was a chair to make it easy to clamber through. Most of the other house windows were either closed, too small, too high, or had too much stuff on the other side--frankly, it was usually a combination of three or more of these issues.

My prayers were answered. A minute or so later I was climbing through the window and unlocking the door, and three minutes after that I was re-screwing the back door closed and putting away tools.

Now, to go check things off my "mental notes" list...

*We will not be "swapping out" trailers this weekend, due to varying issues with schedules. It looks like that will be happening the weekend of June 25/26, if we can arrange everything for that date.

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  1. Thanks for the giggle!! I did the same thing to myself at the shop the other night. Fortunately, I remembered that since I wasn't REALLY leaving yet, the back door was still unlocked. It was simply a matter of unlocking gate (which key WAS available), and walking around to the back.


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