Keys To Happiness


Sunday July 13th, 2014 – Lake Villa, IL/Wauconda, IL

If any inconvenience of modern life as we know it comes as close to being as exasperating as losing one’s keys, wallet or cell phone, I have yet to discover it. What a major hassle that is, and I have had it happen so many times I lost count years ago. It’s a constant battle – at least for me.

Those three things are the easiest to lose, but the most difficult to replace. Try as I might to get better, I am always setting one of those three down somewhere and then forgetting where that is. Then I have to retrace my steps and grope at straws trying to remember where I may have left it.

I am constantly patting myself down before I leave most places checking all pockets for “Keys, wallet, phone…keys, wallet phone” – over and over and over again. I look like I’m performing a German folk dance wherever I go the way I slap at myself checking for those three crucial items.

I have tried to drill it into my skull like a mantra. “Keys, wallet, phone…keys, wallet, phone. Phone, wallet, keys…phone, wallet, keys…wallet, phone, keys…wallet, phone, keys.” You get the idea. There aren’t that many possible combinations, but whatever it takes I’m willing to do.

I have successfully managed to lose all three more than once, but strangely enough never all at the same time. I have tried to protect myself at least a little by having extra car ignition and post office box keys made which I keep in my wallet. I also have about a half a dozen plastic thingies from various grocery stores and gas stations that go on my key ring to identify it when it’s lost.

Wouldn’t you know it, a couple of days ago I happened to lose my keys – again. I discovered it on my way out the door in a hurry, but I didn’t think much of it as I was carrying my trusty spare car key in my wallet. I figured I must have left it in a pair of pants or something, and would find it later. Where I’m living there’s no need for any house keys, as I use an automatic garage door.

A couple of days went by, and I had no idea where those keys were. I scoured every inch of my room, my car, the garage and everywhere else I could think of. I had no idea where I might have left them, and I tried to retrace my steps in my head and remember the last place I still had them.

It occurred to me that at least two of the plastic thingies on the key ring were no longer good as Dominick’s grocery store closed all their stores recently and Jewel no longer has a discount card program. I couldn’t remember the other cards I had, but I knew there were a few. I just hoped the person that found them would drop them into a mailbox and I’d have a chance to get them back.

I had a late breakfast this morning with my friend Mike Land in Lake, Villa, IL. He lives close by, and attends church on Sunday mornings. I have my post office box in Lake Villa, so I need to go there at least once a week and get my mail. We’ve been making Sunday breakfasts a tradition. I was distracted the entire meal as I tried to recall where I left those damn keys. I was stumped.

On the way home I passed a Chinese restaurant I stopped at to pick up lunch for my roommate last week in Wauconda, IL and may have left them there. I crossed my fingers, toes and one eye as I walked in to ask. BINGO! There they were!! The feeling of sheer joy shot through my veins like heroin, and I promised myself I’ll never lose them again. Until next time. I’m still an idiot.

Keys are some of the easiest things to lose - but most difficult to replace.

A set of keys are some of the easiest things to lose – and also the most difficult to replace.

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