Oh me oh my, you will not believe my weekend. First off, I have to preface this story to say that Jeff often makes fun of me for losing things. I will admit I have misplaced my keys a time or two, and even my BFF-iPhone. Everyone loses things, that’s neither here nor there. But Jeff likes to rub it in until it bleeds. And I find it very annoying.
Now back to the weekend. We left Friday night for Washington, DC, for Adam and Jenn Wilson’s wedding. Adam and Jenn are on staff at CRU here at VT. They are members of our church. Adam has been so faithful to Sam in discipling him and even taking him hunting. Jenn has stayed the night with our kids while we were out of town. They are precious and priceless to our family and church. I thank God for them. Needless to say, we were all looking forward to their wedding.
We got up early Saturday morning with all intentions to take the kids to DC to go to some of the Smithsonian museums. The wedding was later in the day. After breakfast we headed back to our room to hit the road. We stayed at a nice motel outside of DC. Our car was parked close to our room. Once we got back to the room we could not find the keys. In my mind I immediately took the blame. Since I have been ridiculed many times, Jeff immediately asks me where the keys were. My mind started racing, reliving the night before. I didn’t drive. Jeff drove. He had the keys. I didn’t have the keys. Oh wait, did he give me the keys? Where did I put them? I quickly searched through my clothes and bags. No keys. After Jeff stops looking over my shoulder during my search, he starts looking through his things. No keys. Now the kids are involved. They look through their belongings as I tear apart the beds making sure they are not in the covers. No keys. Jeff and Sam race to the car, thinking they must be in the car. They looked through every window. No keys.
The kids head back down to the motel’s cafeteria to look around where we ate. The hotel manager gets involved at this point and keeps an eye for the keys as well. My hope was that someone picked up the keys in the parking lot and would turn them in. After the kids head back to the room with no key, we realize we will have to call a locksmith. The only logical explanation was that the dumb key was in the trunk. We wait around for about 20 minutes until the locksmith shows up. Adelyn and I stay in the room while Jeff and Sam watch him perform his $130 magic. It literally took 2 minutes. Sam comes back. No key. Immediately, I yell at the kids to take everything out of their bags and put it on the bed. I empty all my bags and Jeff’s bags too before Jeff gets back in the room. I knew that he would be on a rampage when he came back in from throwing a big wad of cash out the window. I pull the beds from the walls, turn the furniture upside down. No key.
By this point, our trip to Washington DC was out of the picture. It was around 11:00 and the wedding started at 2:30. Jeff starts calling other locksmiths who can actually make a key. The one who unlocked our car, of course, couldn’t include that in his $130 fee. He called around to several locksmiths, all of them concerned about making a key for a first generation Toyota Prius. This eleven year old, 200 thousand mile, high-tech automobile has some fancy chip inside the key which can only be replaced my a Toyota car dealership. So, we call a couple different dealerships close by. The long story short was that we would have to have our car towed to the dealership, the mechanic ‘would see’ if he could make a key but it would range from $250-$900 because we didn’t have an extra key for them to copy and they would have to make the key from scratch. I don’t know what they were smoking but we were not asking them to make the key from 14k gold. Needless to say, we didn’t go that route. Instead, we decided we would rent a car. I would bring the rental car back to DC the next day, with the extra car key that we have at home and we would be another $130 poorer.
The next problem was the time. It was 11:30 at this point. The car rental places close at 12:00 on Saturdays. They were too busy to come pick us up. Google map said we could walk to the rental agency in 37 minutes. The motel didn’t have a shuttle. So we called a cab. I’m sure he laughed to himself when he just drove us a couple blocks away saying to himself what lazy middle-aged white folks we were. We get our rental car and head back to the motel. By this time we are exhausted and hungry.
When we get back to the motel Jeff drops me off at the office to renew our plastic keys. They had expired and they had graciously gave us a late check out. I’m standing in line to talk to the manager and Jeff calls. “Carolyn! I found the key! Hurry! Get in the car and follow me back to the rental store! Quick!” He hangs up and literally leaves me hanging. What the heck! He found the key. Where? I run (which is a funny site) back to the car and there sits Adelyn in the passenger seat with the key. Jeff and Sam are speeding back to the rental store because by this time it is past 12:00. I follow not far behind. Adelyn said that Jeff had found the key in the outside garbage can under a stair well.
Jeff later said that when he passed by after he got back with the rental car something inside him said to look inside the trash can. Sam and I had searched all around the trash can and grass area several times. This trash can is one of those rock paneled trash cans with a big metal lid. Never in a million years would I have looked in there. But the night before we had stopped to get gas at a gas station that had a Dunkin Donuts. Jeff had put the trash from our car ride in the trash can when we got to the motel the night before. So on Saturday at 12:00 and after the trashcan god’s prompting, he looked inside. There sat our trash from the night before. He searches around. No Keys. But then he looks INSIDE the Dunkin Donut sack and there they were! Praise the Lord and the trashcan god!!!
I have to say that I totally admit that I made a complete fool of myself at the car rental place once Jeff was able to return the car. The lights were off inside the store and the employees were locking up the store once Jeff made it inside. The kids and I waited in the parking lot. Jeff came out smiling. They had cancelled our credit card charge and let us return the car. Once I knew things were good I was overwhelmed with relief, joy and exhaustion. I couldn’t stop myself and my teenage children were beyond embarrassed but I just started yelling to the top of my lungs for all to hear. ‘THANK YOU JESUS THAT IT WAS JEFF AND NOT ME!!!!! THANK LORD! THANK YOU LORD!!!’
Everyone quickly got in the car to hide from my outburst but I had to say it! It was NOT my fault. I did NOT lose the keys. They once were lost but now they are found. Praise Jesus!
Don’t lose your keys,