I climb out of the truck and reach for the house key on my key chain. Which now has only one key, the truck key. Oops. I removed the house keys from both our key chains yesterday.
One of my jobs was sorting all of the keys, separating and labeling them for the new owner and it dawns on me that in the excitement of the Title Company’s call — “The papers are ready to sign!”
— I’d grabbed only my truck key as had the Bearded One. We are, for the first time since moving here seven years ago, locked out of the house.
“Call Kathi,” the Bearded One says, taking charge. “I’ll look for an open window.”
“Roger,” I say. I leave a harebrained message for Kathi the Realtor. Her electronic realtor gizmo can open the official realtor box with a key inside. Maybe she’s nearby.
We hardly ever leave, I think, but for one reason or another we’ve left the house every day this week. Garfield knows something’s up, possibly even that we’re all leaving soon. He walks around the living room regularly inspecting his own cat carrier and luggage (he’s being adopted by my niece and her husband and 18 month old daughter) as well as the fascinating 4’x4’x4′ cube of stuff (mainly our tools) we are shipping to Hawaii.
The Bearded One circles back around the house to report he’s found an open window, the downstairs bathroom, and he’s going to fetch a ladder from the barn.
Kathi calls back and I explain and thank her for her willingness to come all the way from Tacoma (half hour) with the key to the key box, but we will get in, no problemo.
Meanwhile, the Bearded One is determined to save the day. He props the ladder against the house, and heads up to climb in through the teeny window.
“I am so much better than you at wiggling through tight places,” I say, and he takes this is as a challenge. Yeah, right, his expression says. We have a wee argument as I hold the ladder.
He carefully removes the screen and hands it down to me. Then he slides open the window, examining the 9″x20″ opening and the toilet below.
I steady the ladder and watch as he leans sideways, angling his head and arms and chest through. Then he drops his head down toward the toilet and all he has to do is get his hips through, and they will not go.
A sad state of affairs, and I am truly concerned that he not hurt himself, but, dang it, he was so insistent, and now….oh my lord….he is kicking his feet wildly, trying for purchase against empty space, stuck in the bathroom window 10 feet off the ground.
I don’t make near enough effort to stifle my laughter. The Bearded One is mad, but also contrite. This apparently is a bit less humorous to him right at the moment.
We have helped each other in every way we can these past busy weeks, holding each other tenderly when we are both exhausted and a bit scared (me) and talking things through when we’re (me) grumpy with new computer stresses and playing out little disaster scenes in my head, and we are together and he is my heart and soul.
And here I am laughing at him. I apologize. He’s fine. He grins.
“I thought I was skinnier than that window,” he says.
I wiggle through the window in seconds, drop down head first with one arm extended. I couldn’t have done it without the toilet right there below the window, I explain later, modestly, after having saved the day.
I crawl down the toilet onto the floor, slowly kneel then stand up, brush myself off and trot through the house to open the door. “We’re in!” I say — if only for a few more days.