Thursday, August 6, 2009...
Background: I am the youngest of 5 in a family that used the rhythm method for birth control. My mom turned 40 and had me the next day and dad was 43 when born. Currently mom lives in nursing with Alzheimer's, while dad is very active in the community and in great shape for an 87 year man.
My dad is very happy-go-lucky, always saying thank you to people, non confrontational, doesn't raise his voice - the type of person that people easily approach and ask him questions. He rarely gets frazzled, but when he does, it is very tricky to calm him down.
Last night I get this panicked call from my father. This was our conversation:
Dad: I locked the house keys in the car which is in the garage that I can't get into.
Me: Let's call M (my sister) she'll have a key (for reasons very funny and too long to explain in this post, I don't have a key to their house).
Dad: She's in Baltimore for a seminar. She told me she was going to be in Baltimore for a seminar.
Me: No, you were just there this past weekend for an outing at other sister's home (I did not go because I knew the car ride alone would have killed my back right now).
Dad: No, no, she's there. (At this point I remember 2 things - 1) my sister had plans locally on Monday night; and 2) I had heard he refused to wear his hearing aid this past weekend.)
Me. I tell him, not to worry that I'd be down in 1/2 hour (traffic at 4:00 pm becomes a bit crazy), but definitely don't worry.
Dad: He says okay and tells me he'll be at neighbor's house.
I hang up and call sister who is at work. I explain the situation and she does have a key, but tells me this gem - "It doesn't matter that I have the key to kitchen door, he locks the screen door" (which can only be unlocked from the inside).
WTF? I ask why and then realize that I know there is no good reason. I told her if I couldn't get the garage keypad working, I'd page her.
Hubby just got home so I recruited him and his 40 lb toolbox to help me (can anyone tell me the importance of having a toolbox that has so many tools your wife can't pick up???). We get there and it's not the battery to the garage keypad.
By now, my dad and the neighbor come over and she explains how she couldn't calm him down. I told her it best to just let him talk it out (best description of my dad when he's like this, is a dog chasing his tail. Eventually, he wears himself out and calms down).
As my hubby is working on opening the stupid screen door (at this point, called sister and she'll be over after work with key), my dad throws out this gem:
THE SECOND STORY WINDOW IS SLIGHTLY AJAR AND IF I HAD A LADDER I COULD CLIMB THROUGH THE WINDOW.
Wait. It gets better. His neighbor says, "Oh, Emil, I'd climb through the window for you" then looks at me and asks if she should get a ladder from her house and I say no (I forgot to tell my 2 sisters this part of the story because I thought it best to leave out the part that dad's neighbor is a bit nuts).
Hubby explains that although the window is ajar, we'd still have to cut the screen (for some reason cutting a screen is not an option in my dad's mind, but scaling a two-story house doesn't seem to be a problem).
The neighbor (who was very nice) leaves and we sit with my father and chat till my sister comes with the kitchen key (hubby had successfully unlocked the screen door without any damage to the door).
When I tell my sister dad's solution she was appalled and in a joking manner threatened him that he be put in the home with my mom.
Although my dad's solution to scale a two-story house (did I mention if he fell, it would be on concrete) is a bit extreme, I understand where I get my gift of extreme solution offerings to my sister, Yoga Girl.