Good Day turns into misadventure

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By Greg Woods

Boy, do I have it tough. Last week was a very busy week of ‘work’ for me. On Thursday and Friday I had to trek out to Lake Jericho to do some fact finding about that ‘hidden gem.’

While there I suffered through unseasonably mild weather with low humidity and a steady breeze. I had to talk to all these nice people who were thrilled to be outdoors enjoying some wholesome fun.

While there gathering information, I ran into my neighbors Henry and Michelle Mills who volunteered to take me out on the lake for some better pictures.

“All right,” I said, “if I have to.”

I hurried to my car to get a hat so that the UV rays would not fry my head. I reached into the car, grabbed the hat, locked my car and ran to the boat ramp.

I spent the next hour or so laboring away on their boat as they fished. I snapped several pictures as we talked about fishing and life and anything else that came up.

When I looked down at my watch, I realized that it was time for me to head home for dinner and asked Henry to take me back to the ramp.

As I whistled my way toward my car, I thought about what a hard day I had put in.

I felt satisfied though with the amount of information I had gathered and with some decent pictures I had taken.

And then I tried to open my car door and get in. The door wouldn’t open. In my mind I knew what had happened but there is always that denial when it happens. I pulled on the door handle again and again and it just wouldn’t open. I walked around to the other side of the car to confirm my worst fears. Yep. I had locked my keys in the car in my haste to get out on the lake with Henry and Michelle.

I swallowed my pride and called my wife to bring me the spare set of keys. It turns out that my wife was on the other end of the county visiting with my parents and sister who was in from her home in Alabama.

My wonderful spouse drove all the way from southeastern Henry County to our home in northwestern Henry County, which is about a 30-minute drive and then down I-71 to Pendleton to bring me my keys. But because the exit ramp was closed she had to find another way to get to me, which lengthened the trip even more.

Meanwhile, I tried to occupy myself by playing games on my phone while I waited to be rescued. After a couple of rounds of Words with Friends my phone screen dimmed. That’s what happens when the battery is down to about 20 percent of capacity. At the same moment it flashed in my mind that my wife did not know where to find me once she got to the lake. So I turned off the phone to conserve power and tried to find something else to do to occupy my mind for another 30 minutes or so.

I got my camera out and took some pictures of the waterfowl around the lake, but quickly realized there are only so many ways to shoot ducks and geese waddling along the bank of a lake.

Finally I gave up on that idea and decided to lay down on a picnic table bench under a big, beautiful old oak tree next to the lake.

I closed my eyes and tried to stop thinking completely for a few minutes. I just laid there and let the gentle breeze blow over me. I think it actually worked for a few minutes. I just existed for a short time. I stopped worrying about what my wife was going to say and how I was going to explain to my neighbors why I stuck around for another hour after I told them I was leaving. I put out of my mind what else I needed to do for work. I just existed for a brief time.

And then I realized that my brain had switched back on because I was mentally composing a humorous story about my tough day at Lake Jericho.

About that time my phone rang with the inevitable question from wife. I told her where I was and she drove down to the boat ramp with the extra keys. She smiled and pretty much left me alone about my bone-headed move.

I thanked her and said some self-deprecating things about myself to let her know that was I feeling bad about her driving all over the county and then I got in my car and tried to start it. I tried to jam the keys into the ignition and they wouldn’t go in. Finally, I realized why. Because the other set was already in the ignition.

It was a perfect end to my misadventures at Lake Jericho.