Daily walk takes wrong turn

We had one of life’s perfect storms last week. It started innocently, as freakish things usually do.

We had both been gone most of the day and after dinner it seemed like a good idea to take our dog for his daily walk. It was hot and muggy and a storm was likely brewing, but we wanted to take our usual stroll through the woods. Plus, a big tree had fallen across the street from our field and while the county had piled up the wood, we wanted to cut through the field to look at it.

It had rained earlier that day. I snagged my keys, quickly put on my boots that Matt handed me from the closet, and off we went. Halfway through the woods, we cut down to the field to inspect the pile of logs. Around the pile were at least five or six handfuls of sticks, which we picked up and threw into the ravine.

We noticed the skies getting darker and figured the rain was about to return. Heading toward our house, I noticed my keys were not in my pocket.

No worry! We simply retraced our steps: up the hill, past the barn, into the woods, down through the field and all around the wood pile. The keys ring has my car remote on it, three keys, plus two charms. It dhould stick out like a big shiny clump, but we didn’t see it anywhere. There was a slim possibility it had fallen out of my pocket in the house, so we went to the hiding place for our spare door key and the hiding place was … empty.

The skies were getting darker. The dog was getting antsy. I began to panic. Matt thought he could likely break into a window and get us in the house, but what in the world were we going to do about the missing keys? And then we’d have to fix the window that we’d broken. Our son (who lives next door) was helping us search and he said, “I used the hidden key in February, but I swear I put it back.”

I had used it as well, a month or so ago, when I went to get the mail and locked myself out of the house. But certainly I had put it back. Hadn’t I? Just then, the tornado warning went off on my phone and the sirens could be heard.

Our son came out of his house, having ransacked his drawers and cupboards. He had found a key that looked like ours, and we tried it. Success! It was an old key that we didn’t know existed, but we were thrilled — and inside.

As the winds kicked up and the rain began to pelt, we found my keys hanging on the key rack, safe and sound, just where I’d left them. Right next to them was the spare key that was supposed to be hidden outside. As we huddled in the tornado-safe area, I was delighted all was well and mortified that our latest adventure had been all my own doing!