Sometimes people ask me how I find a subject to write about, well I’ve decided to write about the mental block I have involving losing keys. This story happened years ago and one I’ll never forget. I believe it was the recent dark and stormy weather that caused me to relive it.
I had traveled to Mentone, Alabama to stay in my friends cabin for the weekend. If there is a medical diagnosis for people like me, the ones who also have problems securing their keys, I’d like to meet them. Keys are an important part of our lives. They unlock our cars, our homes, our storage buildings, and our safe deposit boxes among other things. Honestly, I don’t think about keys much at all until I lose them or lock them in my car. I recently bought a small magnetic box to hide a set of car keys under my car. I have no doubt this will prove to be beneficial for my friends who have rescued me many times.
My vacation started with me driving up a long, dark, narrow road surrounded only by trees.I had two keys, ones for the gate to enter the community, and the other for the cabin. After arriving at the gate, it was so dark and eerie as I exited my car to unlock the huge, iron, heavy gate. My car lights didn’t even have enough power to help me find the key hole. I was so thankful to find a cigarette lighter in my car. I was scared and shaking as I inserted the key and turned it. Strangely, instead of it opening the gate, the key bent in a sideways position. I only wished I could wake from this night mare. I panicked and drove back down the mountain to the police station. They shook their heads and told me a locksmith would probably charge around two hundred dollars to come out.
I still can’t explain why I drove back to that gate with a bent key. The woods around me seemed to be whistling and a breeze quickly brought rain, lightening, and thunder. I felt as if a wild animal would come at me any minute. I was sure that bears had been spotted in this location. I got out of my car and using the cigarette lighter to give me a little more light as I put the key back in the lock and turned it! What happened next was a miracle to me as the key bent straight and opened the gate! I didn’t think much about it then because my mission was to run to my car and find the cabin.
The road was long with cabins on each side. I could barely see, but finally I arrived at the cabin praying this key was the right one. I was getting drenched with rain, and there was no porch light. Again I used the cigarette lighter to find my way. The storm was haunting as I was surrounded by a strong wind, lightening, and the sound of thunder. Suddenly a squirrel jumped from the roof landing in front of me before scurrying away. Seconds later I opened the door, and ran straight to the bedroom hiding under a blanket before I found the courage to move! After I calmed down, I was so happy to find hot chocolate in the kitchen. While sitting at the counter, I noticed a book laying there: “The Ghost of Mentone”. I found another book full of humorous stories and settled into reading before going to sleep.
Several years later I shared this story with a lock smith. He told me I’d had an angel sitting on my shoulder or I was very lucky. He explained he would have probably made a new key had he been there.
It’s interesting that I remembered something my MawMaw told me when I was a young girl. We often took a day to shop and have lunch in town. Every time she found a penny she would pick it up and tell me to save it because it was a lucky penny. One day she bought me a little purse and it was decorated with angels and pennies. Many people may not believe there was an angel sitting on my shoulder that night, saying it was just luck. But I can imagine my MawMaw saying, ‘Yes, there was an angel sitting on your shoulder and it’s possibly holding a purse full of all the pennies you’ve collected along the way.’
I owned that little purse for years. If she was alive today she would probably be buying me a purse that had a special place for keys because that’s the kind of person she was. She taught me much about being a grandmother, and about sharing special time with my own grandchildren.
Please feel free to send me your short story or poems.