I was listening to Real Oldies a couple of Saturdays ago when Paul Petersen’s fun She Can’t Find Her Keys wafted through the speakers. Little did I know it was a prophetic song — with she replaced by he and he referring to me.
Yup, on my weekend journey from Kentucky to South Carolina — with an overnight stay in Asheville, NC — I indeed lost my keys … just as I was getting ready to check out, my keys just vanished. I knew I had them earlier in the morning when I jetted out for a Danish and coffee. But when I reached for them on the credenza, they were gone. The room keys were there. Some loose change was there. The dog’s leash was there. But the car keys? Nowhere in sight.
You go through a little stage of panic when something as important as your getaway keys disappear. It really wasn’t panic … it was more like a reallly loong deep breath. They had to be somewhere, I reasoned. So I retraced my steps. I went out to the car to check if I left them in the ignition. Nope. I checked the doors. All locked. I peered in every window. Nothing even remotely shiny except for my charger which I remembered putting the car when I went out for that Danish. I looked all around the car, even kneeling to look under the car. Negative except for a couple of crushed water bottles and a wayward penny. I followed my original route through the back door, looking to the right and left and under the stairs. Absolutely nothing. I walked to the front desk to see if someone turned in the wayward keys. Nah, although they did extend my check out time to allow for an additional search. I returned to the room and completely emptied my bag — the main compartment, the front flap and both side pockets. Nothing, although I found a couple ofreceipts and notes I forgot I had. I trashed the trash, going through the cups, bags, an d styrofoam remnants from the last night’s dinner. Nope. I checked the towels and even moved the furniture, all to no avail.
No, I lost my keys. Actually, I figured they had fallen out of my pocket and lodged between the seat and door, but I couldn’t see them, as much as I tried.
Still, I refused to fret about it (it wasn’t the first time I lost my keys — as my son quickly pointed out — and probably won’t be the last). I called AAA. However, we discovered my coverage expired in November. As my end of the conversation lagged, the agent said, “We can renew it now.” They did and set the wheels in motion to set me up with a locksmith. All was good with the world, except …
I am currently using my son’s car on my travels — my Massachusetts son, with Massachusetts plates. They needed his authorization for a new key. I called and messaged him, although he works nights and was sound asleep. So with an urgent message to my grandson and daughter-in-law, I wait. A more urgent request went out as I opted to just shelter in place at Rodeway Inn for an extra night. He called me, then the local AAA Carolinas office, and we were back in business. Except …
While I was waiting, I noticed my phone battery sinking quickly into single digits. I was awaiting a call back from AAA and remembered my charger was in the car — the locked car. I made a frantic call to AAA to at least get an estimated time and advise them I might not have phone service much longer. They pulled up the order and said there was a slight problem with the authorization. Apparently, my son authorized the service, but without specifically saying it was for me. As AAA explained, the authorization could have been for anyone so they flagged it. It would have been nice had they let me know, but we were able to amend the authorization with a scant 2% left on the battery. I went to the front desk to see if someone had a charger I could borrow. Nope. The cleaning lady overheard the conversation and offered me hers, but it wasn’t compatible. They suggested I walk over the gas station and get a new one. Great idea, except I still had the dog with me and she wouldn’t be allowed in the store. They agreed to watch her at the front desk, so after a few minutes to get acquainted, I walked over to the store for a new charger. Except …
They had chargers galore at the gas station — all except the ovalish port I needed. As I was just about ready to yell out “Damn” the manager appeared, assessed the situation, went into the back room, and emerged with the correct port — the last one tucked in a corner of the stock room, apparently. Of course, it was just the cord, not the charger. But I bought it, retrieved the mutt, went back to the room, plugged the phone into my laptop, gave it a few minutes to charge, and called AAA for an estimated time for the locksmith. They said the call was dispatched and while I was on the phone with them, received a text the locksmith would be there in 20 minutes. Sure enough, 20 minutes later All Star Lock & Security arrived, cut and programmed the key.
All is good with the world — although I will admit I was tested for about three and a half hours in Asheville, NC.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. — Noam Chomsky