Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Songs in the KEY of Life

I manage to get myself into the strangest situations. Or maybe the situations are run of the mill annoyances that are made extraordinary because Maggie is present. Either way, it can be head shaking.

All day yesterday I carried around a card that I was sending to a friend. I wrote it early in the morning, addressed and stamped it. I went to the post office and forgot to mail it. I went out five more times and forgot to mail it every time. Late in the afternoon I was out with Maggie and her nurse, Joy. We were in the Inner Sunset District. I remembered the note and knew the post office there picked up mail until six o'clock and it was about 5:30. I was feeling quite smug about finally remembering, even though it will take the card less time to get to its destination than it took me to remember to put it in the mail box. 

I saw a parking spot and grabbed it. It wasn't a handicapped spot, but it didn't need to be. Maggie and Joy could stay in the car while I pop my letter in the box. All I had to do was turn off the engine and run to the mailbox about 30 feet away.

The car key I was using is the spare and it is a single key without a ring. I should not be using a single key. I do have a set of key with the van key on the ring, but I grabbed the spare as we were walking out the door because Joy and Maggie were waiting for me and I didn't bother to hunt for my keys.  The spare key is broken and cannot be attached to a ring. The key works fine, just the little plastic part that allows one to attach it to a ring is broken. Considering those keys cost $200 to replace, I figure this can be a spare. 
I pulled my single key out of the ignition and it flew out of my hand. I saw it fall down below the raised floor below the drivers seat. Remember the van floor is lowered about 18 inches to accommodate the wheelchair, so there are large metal boxes below the two front seats so that one's feet don't dangle in the wind.  Now the key was underneath this large box in a dark abyss.

OK, this is problematic. I was finally understanding why the key had a panic button on it, but of course I could not find the key to hit the panic button.

I was very close to the car next to me and had to squeeze out of my door. I opened the sliding passenger door on the van side and knelt on the street trying to see underneath the large box for the errant key. My legs were just behind the tire of the car next to us. I told Joy to tell me if anyone got in that car because they would run right over both my legs if they backed out, and, in fairness, they would never expect someone to be back there.

Incidentally, Maggie thought this was particularly hilarious.

I could see nothing. I flailed my hands all around and felt nothing. I dumped out my purse in case the other set happened to be in there. They were  not. I was stymied.

We could have easily walked home, it was less than a mile, but I could not get Maggie out of the car. There were cars on both sides of us and  no room to lower the lift. (see picture) We were trapped.

I felt incredibly stupid and I had no choice but to call Steve to come and rescue us. Steve is used to these strange calls from me and doesn't even lecture. He was still at the office downtown, and just started gathering his things and shutting down his day. Still, by the time he went home, located my keys and came to rescue us it would be at least an hour.  I told him I would try to get a stick or a coat hanger from someone and if I succeeded I would let him know.

Meanwhile. Joy is now kneeling on the ground and reaching as far into that dark space as she could. She could see something in the same space that I could see nothing. (old eyes don't work as well). Before I hung up the phone with Steve, Joy comes up with the key.  She was definitely the hero. I took it  from her very carefully and started to get back in the car.

Joy had to remind me to mail the card.  

1 comment:

  1. Good-night Irene. That is really something.

    Now, can I tell you about the time that my cell phone slipped between the cracks of the panel that slides over the cupholders and was stuck down there for hours?


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