The Keys

It’s Sunday morning and I’m in a rental car on my way to Iowa City. A folk song special on NPR radio station is allowing me to sing along with Peter Seeger, and Arlo Guthrie, helping the miles go by more gracefully. My cell phone rings and it’s my husband who’s in Washington, DC with our dog Clancy, visiting his brother. With the time change and the fact that he had become involved in searching for his lost car keys, we hadn’t connected much over the weekend.

“Did you find your keys?“ I ask immediately. The answer is no. He is calling to run by me the three options he and his brother have come up with for him to be able to get back to Pittsburgh.

“I can have the car towed back to Pittsburgh. That will cost $500. The second option is to borrow Chuck’s car and drive home to get the keys. This will cost nothing except another day when I would have to drive it back to Washington to pick up my car. The third option would be to wait till Monday morning and have the dealer make a new key but that takes another day and costs $250. “

This puzzle distracts me from the potential boredom of acres of tilled and planted farmland, dotted with the quaint red barns and silos of family farms, interspersed by the sterile metal buildings of the corporate farms.

I decide there are more than three options, so I head off down that path. “What about having Sue get into our house, get my keys from where they’re hanging on the key rack in the kitchen, and overnight them to you?

We discuss how Sue would get in the house; the code to the garage door, the extra key I’ve stashed under the Serenity rock in the flower garden. He decides to think about this suggestion and call me back. Then I realize we didn’t even mention the dog and whether he had gotten the test results from the vet on Friday.

After we hang up, in my mind’s eye, I see the keys in a jacket pocket. I use my siri assistant to text him this suggestion. “Look in your pockets again.”

The next day his brother called to say he found the keys. They were in a pocket of the jacket my husband borrowed from him when he needed one to get into a private club.

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