I have a fairly specific morning routine worked out since I started working. Wake Up, Shower, Quiet Time, Clothes, Hair, Makeup, Breakfast, Make the Bed, Get Things Together, Go. One of the most important “things” to get together before I leave is my keys. I don’t think it’s a very good thing that I’m only three weeks into this routine and I’ve already managed to forget this essential and locked myself out of the house.

As much as I wanted to just drive away and deal with the dilemma when I got home, the whole key thing created a problem there, as well. Can’t drive without keys. Can’t get back through a locked door without keys.

Crap.

Ok. I had an armful of stuff to take with me to work, plus a few trash bags to take out, so I sat all that down to think. I wish I could say I’d never done something like this before, but no. I’d done worse. I’d driven all the way from Birmingham to Auburn just to feed my cats last summer and didn’t bring a house key with me. Fortunately, this previous error had given me a little experience in this area. At that time, I’d had deck furniture, so I’d hauled a chair around the house checking windows to see if any were unlocked. Bingo! I found one. I crawled through the window with a big boost from the chair, no problem.

This time, however, I didn’t have any chairs on my back porch. I took a box crate thingy and went to the window I’d left unlocked from the time I climbed through last year. The window was wet with condensation and pretty dirty. I couldn’t slide it up without getting a better grip on the glass. Two minutes later, I returned with some paper towels from my (thankfully) unlocked laundry room. I dried and cleaned the window and tried to push it up. Hmm… it still wasn’t budging. For a few seconds, I panicked. What if I’d locked it? Generally speaking, keeping one’s windows locked is the smart course of action…maybe I’d gotten smart during the year that followed my last attempt to get into the house without keys. “Nah,” I told myself. I kept pushing. Finally, the window slid up. “Praise Jesus!” I actually said loudly, to no one in particular.

I used to be such a star in the pool that I could lift myself up from the edge, no problem. Considering the crate got me up to about shoulder high on the window ledge, I knew I was going to have to test my skills.

I jumped and managed to get myself hung halfway in, halfway out of the window. I felt like I was going to break a rib at any moment. I couldn’t get a foothold on the wall and my arms were useless for getting myself further into the room. This is also when I realized that I was wearing a skirt and that was probably not a good thing. Fortunately it was a knee length skirt with a some room to move, and after a few moments of hanging indecisively half in, half out, I threw a knee up onto the sill of the window and propelled myself into my dining room. Through a set of blinds, I might add.

Brutus’s head appeared over the edge of the dining room table as I lay sprawled on the carpet I was so glad I’d recently vacuumed. He cocked his head to the side and meowed at me with concern.

I stood up, straightened my clothes, closed and locked the window, grabbed my keys from the counter, and made a resolution to make a spare house key to hide somewhere ASAP.

Believe it or not, after all that I was only ten minutes late to work!

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