Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almost Paradise

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Ever since we changed the locks on the lake house, I realized that the back doorknob and the front keypad had a tendency to lock themselves. For that reason I turn the deadbolt to an extended position before shutting the back door, just like my daughter taught me to do while going to get ice in a hotel. So far, so good, until today. During a brief visit to the lake with our project manager, Michael, and our two installers who were working in the area, Terry and Derrick, (who all loved the house and can't wait to go fishing) I followed them out the front door to see the trees and a nearby house. Click. We were all locked out.

And the dark clouds were rolling in from the south.
And my dog was locked inside the house.
With my purse and keys.
Lucky for me, Terry and Derrick had tools and Michael had an idea; remove the air conditioner/heater unit from the window of my porch and enter that way. Okay, better than breaking windows. They went to work while my dog, Chloe, looked at us through the door as if we were crazy. "Why not just open the door?" she seemed to be asking. My daughter offered to drive the hour and a half to Mineola to bring me a key. Not necessary, I bravely announced. It took the guys about fifteen minutes to shatter a board, unscrew everything, and open the window. And maybe the same amount of time to get everything back in place. I have one thing to say; thank goodness for men with tools!


Terry and Derrick left for Dallas, while I got Michael a beer and I finished off the last little sip of a bottle of wine, strictly for medicinal purposes. The afternoon got darker and the lake turned to cobalt blue. Birds frantically twittered from tree to tree. That should have been a warning. Michael and I locked up the house properly this time, and began the drive back to Dallas, knowing we'd get there right after rush hour traffic. Believe me, you do not want to get there during rush hour traffic. The rain started almost immediately after we got on Hwy. 69, and increased as we drove west. About halfway to Dallas, hail pelted us. And then bigger hail. I thought about trying to get under an overhang, but I could barely see. I kept driving. Fortunately, Chloe slept through the whole thing. We drove out of the hail after maybe ten minutes, then the rain stopped just east of Dallas. We got back just after rush hour to no rain and warm temperatures. When I turned on the television, I discovered there were tornado warnings for the county we'd just driven through.
That was my day. As for my work in progress, I wrote nine pages yesterday and none today. I was too busy locking myself out of the house and getting pelted by hail. As soon as I finish writing my blog, though, I'm going to get to work. Hopefully, my characters will have a good evening, although I may throw in a thunderstorm just for spite! As my hint for the month, always hide a key. And remember where you hid it. Have a great day!

13 comments:

Leigh Duncan said...

Men with tools--always good to have around. LOL Glad the storm didn't catch you on the back porch!

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Victoria,

We were keeping an eye on those storms over toward Mineola. Sounds like Canton got the worst of it.

I did something similar many years ago. We brought our first baby home and moved into a new house the same week. All my friends and relatives helped organize the new house, got the baby to sleep and went home. I walked out in the garage to check on our 5 new kittens and the door locked behind me. Could see my sleeping newborn through the window, but couldn't get in. We changed out that doorknob first thing.

Hope you didn't have any damage at your lake house.

Anonymous said...

Locked out, rescued, then stranded at a lake house with a man with the right tools...during a storm/tornado. Sounds like the set up of a romance novel! LOL.

Winter said...

When my husband was in Iraq, My youngest two locked us out of our house. Needless to say, the spare key was locked inside my van. I had to call a locksmith to unlock my van so I could get in the house.

Then a year later, while hubby and I were on vacation after he got back from Iraq, his aunt and our kids got locked out of our house. She called the same locksmith and this time he had to remove the entire lock off the door to let her in. The next day he came back and redid all the locks to match and hubby's aunt had a ton of keys made to hide around the place and keep on hand so that would never happen again.

I always carry a key or two with me and make sure the hidden one is where it's supposed to be. We did learn one thing from this, unless you break a window, no one is ever getting into our house uninvited.

Victoria Chancellor said...

Pam, having a baby inside the house would have been much worse than having a dog! And it was good to have "men with tools." Thank you, guys, if you read this. :-) I do often use silly things I do in my books. For example, in my first Harlequin American, I included raccoons getting into the trash, which is a common occurence around our house, especially in the spring with all the baby raccoons. So, yes, this might be a good setup for a romance. (It's difficult for me to think of yesterday's events that way because Michael is just about young enough to be my son.) About the storm -- I heard on the news last night that when we being hit by hail, we were about 5 miles north of the tornado that hit Canton. Close call!

Victoria Chancellor said...

Winter, I'm getting some new keys made and hiding at least one of them. My son-in-law changed all the new locks to the same key, but that doesn't do much good when you don't have any keys. :-) I often have these premonitions of stupid things I'm going to do, and only occasionally act before it really happens. :-)

EllenToo said...

I have a spare house key in the car and a spare car key in my jeans pocket for emergencies. I had to call a locksmith once long ago to get in the car in a small town near the Texas/Oklahoma border at the break of dawn~hence the reason for a car key in the pocket.
Hope the hail didn't do any serious damage to your car and glad you missed the tornado.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an exciting day. I agree you should use that somewhere in one of your novels, lol. Glad you all got home safe and sound.

Estella said...

My car is the only thing I have locked myself out of. Have learned to carry a spare key in my purse, which I have never locked in the car.

Linda Henderson said...

My daughter used to lock herself out of her car. She insisted she only needed the one key. After the locksmith had to open it for about the third time I took her key to that same locksmith and had 5 copies made. Which turned out to be a waste because she never did it again.

Victoria said...

Linda, it's always that way with keys! As soon as I hide the key to the lake house, I'll never need it (although I did need a hidden key at our house in Richardson once after I installed breakin-resistent locks.) I have Onstar on my car, but chances are, if I lock the keys inside, my purse will be in there also, with the Onstar phone number. I'm glad your daughter quit locking her keys in her car. I'll keep my fingers crossed that mine has done that also.

Anonymous said...

We just bought a lake house on Holbrook also...closed on Dec 3rd, we are literally right up the road, you pass my house on the way to your beautiful Victorian Style home, the Williams' took us down to your house the day we came out to look at ours but told us there was a contract on it so it must have been you! I am loving every moment that we get to spend there! We live in Euless and that is our w/e get away (well every other w/e). Maybe we'll run into you sometime! Enjoy those amazing sunsets, we had an awesome one yesterday before we had to head back to Euless!

Victoria said...

Wow, what a small world, to meet a neighbor online! That's just great that you bought a house just down the road from us. I'd love to get together. Email me privately via my website and we can chat. I'll give you my cell phone. We are in Richardson when not at the lake. I have a car load of "stuff" to take to the lake right now. It's amazing what I can move out of my house but still get to keep! I'm looking forward to meeting you.