It’s official….

This week I learned I am officially old. After an exhausting, scorching summer with so little rain the state is officially in a severe drought, I woke up to a lovely old fashioned thunderstorm. The mere thought of lawns turning green and the flowering bushes in my yard being able to bloom once again was enough to put a smile on my face even if this particular turn of weather wasn’t to Annie’s liking. She had been in her hidey hole in the basement since the first clap of thunder was still too distant for my ears and when a seriously loud boom let loose right above my house, I wondered if I should join her in the basement!

But work was calling and knowing that I had a big day, I headed out. Dark as night, there were few other cars on the road and as my windshield wipers tried and failed to do their job against the fierce winds whipping the rain sideways, I drove slowly in part out of caution, but also because I truly like storms. Always have even as a kid. But after only a few blocks, I drove through an intersection that had seemed perfectly normal until my car carved a path through standing water that created waves higher than my roof. Now that got my attention. Risking a ticket in this state that is serious about distracted driving enforcement, I called the Public Works Department and reported the intersection (before the water overflowed into people’s yards) and continued on.

I hadn’t been expecting a storm that morning and even with an umbrella knew that I was going to be soaked by the time I got to work. Even the quick run to the car had done a number on my perfectly styled hair and by the time I actually got into the building I was sure to look like a drowned rat. Pulling into the parking lot I noticed the road that runs between the parking spaces and the building was now a river of water – certainly much deeper than the top of my shoes – but there was a blessing. The bus garage had an open door. Those doors are usually only open for short periods and if I wanted to get in that way and not have to stand in the rain trying to unlock the front doors, I knew I would have to hurry.

So I grabbed my things, cracked the car door open just a bit to pop open the little umbrella that had been in the car and ran for that open door. I made it and felt pretty proud of myself for doing so. The bottom half of my body was completely soaked, but I had made it!

Shaking off as much excess water as I could I stood in front of my office door and started digging through my purse for my keys. After several minutes and finding nothing even resembling a key in the massive purse, I dumped the whole thing out. Where the heck were they?

Finally I had to admit the key chain with my house, car and office keys was gone. Note I said “car” keys? That’s when I realized that in my mad dash to get in the garage I locked my keys in my car! 😦 It was going to be an even worse day than I had imagined and suddenly that storm I was enjoying, was not so wonderful.

Using a spare key I got in eventually. There was a spare house key in my desk and a spare set of car keys at home and the plan was when it stopped raining I’d ask a friend for a ride home and all would be right in the world. Then I did something I regretted. I told people at work I had locked my keys in the car. As you can imagine incessant teasing ensued!

It rained for about ninety minutes after I got to work and as the rain was tapering to just a light drizzle, the thought came to me that in my mad dash to get inside, maybe I hadn’t even bothered to lock the car doors. Usually I give the fob a push on my way in the door and without the fob in my hand I might have just left the doors unlocked. There was hope at last!

Here’s where the story takes a dramatic and even more embarrassing turn. Once I got close enough to my car, actually right in front of the engine, I discovered that not only did I not lock my doors, but the car was still running! And to make matters worse, the two people who arrived after me and parked on either side of me, had said nothing about it! As I stood there alternating between laughter and a few swear words, I realized that with the rain/thunder those two people most likely were unable to hear the car running…heck I barely heard it until I was right at the front of the car. This was all on me.

After getting teased for locking my keys in the car you would think I would keep this latest turn of events to myself, but what is life if we can’t find humor in the twists and turns of our day? The story was shared with friends and family alike and a day that started out with a lot of drama, ended with shared laughter.

The whole experience made me think that there just isn’t enough laughter in the world. If we could all learn to laugh at ourselves, even when we do something embarrassing, maybe we would all be able to get along just a bit more. So feel free to laugh at me. I don’t mind.

Be well my friends. ~BAL

Published by walkbal1372

Barbara A. Luker is the author of "Remembering You" (publication 2020) - a story of love, loss and finding the way back. She is a life-long resident of Saint Peter, Minnesota where she hones her writing craft working for the City of Saint Peter. Luker is a Certified Municipal Clerk, a devoted fan of the Minnesota Wild, and a supporter of numerous animal rescue organizations.

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