Every once in a while, a perfect storm brews into one’s life. I’m not talking about a big tsunami, now, like protests and pandemics. I mean just the accumulation of life’s little disasters that make us wish we’d stayed in bed and just skipped that day.

We had one of life’s perfect storms last week. It started innocently, as freakish things usually do.

               Both of us had been gone most of the day and after dinner it seemed like a good idea to take our dog for his daily walk. We were tired and didn’t really want to do this, but honestly, the dog just insisted.  It was hot and muggy and a storm was likely brewing, but we thought we could take a quick stroll through our woods and then go check out our field.  A big tree had fallen across the street from our field and the county had piled up the wood on both sides of the road. These piles were perilously close to our drain pipe, so we wanted to cut through the field to look at it.

               It had rained earlier that day, so our trail might be a little damp.  I snagged my keys, quickly put on my boots that Matt handed me from the closet, and off we went. Halfway through the woods, we cut down to the field to inspect the pile of logs. Around the pile were at least five or six handfuls of sticks, which we picked up and threw into the ravine.

               We noticed the skies getting darker and figured the rain was about to return. It was as we were heading toward our house that I found my keys were not in my pocket.

               No worry! We simply retraced our steps: up the hill, past the barn, into the woods, down through the field, and all around the wood pile. The key ring has my car remote on it, three keys, plus two charms. It should stick out like a big shiny clump, but we didn’t see it anywhere.

The skies were getting ominous now. There was a slim possibility that the keys had fallen out of my pocket in the house, so we went to the hiding place for our spare door key and the hiding place was…empty.

               Now we could hear faint thunder. The dog was getting antsy. I began to panic. Matt thought he could likely break into a window and get us into the house, but what in the world were we going to do about the missing keys? Plus then we’d have to fix the window that we’d broken. Our son (who lives next door) was helping us search and he said, “I used the hidden key in February, but I swear I put it back.”

I had used it as well, a month or so ago, when I went to get the mail and locked myself out of the house. But certainly I had put it back. Hadn’t I? Just then, the tornado warning went off on my phone and sirens could be heard.

Our son came out of his house, having ransacked his drawers and cupboards. He had found a key that looked like ours and we tried it. Success!  It was an old key that we didn’t know existed, but we were thrilled – and inside.

As the winds kicked up and the rain began to pelt, we found my keys hanging on the key rack, safe and sound, just where I’d left them. Apparently, when I was putting on my boots, I hung them up instead of putting them in my pocket. Hanging next to them was the spare key that was supposed to be hidden outside.  As we huddled in the tornado-safe area, I was delighted all was well and mortified that our latest “adventure” had been all my own doing!