I lost the car keys!
While out backcountry skiing yesterday, practicing my awkward beginner’s telemark turns in new powder, I lost my keys on any one of a couple dozen head-over-teacup tumbles …
I had guarded myself well against my own distractedness and had wired an extra set under the bumper …
I decided however to go back the next day, if it didn’t snow, and look for those keys …
It was good exercise, going back up the big mountain for the second day in a row, and at each crash site I dug and dug, excavating an even wider pit.
And finally, near the top [of the mountain], I spied a strange-looking bump in the snow …
…sure enough, there they were … The familiar sound they made when I picked them up and dusted the snow from them and dropped them in my pocket was a kind of music extraordinarily sweet, and on the ski back down the hill to my truck, I wondered, and not for the first time, at the silliness with which we fill our days, at the passing of the hours that end up composing a life.
from The Wild Marsh – Four Seasons at home in Montana by Rick Bass
I lost the car keys! It’s hardly possible. I’m over-the-top careful.
When they’re in my pocket I check on them ridiculously often, comforted by the feel of their hard-edged bulk through trouser cloth and pocket lining. Out of pocket they’ll be clicked onto a key ring that’s securely attached to whatever I’m carrying at the time: manbag; small backpack; tramping pack.
Back home they’ll be promptly placed on their hook inside a cupboard. End of story. Except it wasn’t. The hook’s brassiness registered instead, because there were no keys dangling from it, and the hunt was on.
Fixated on the idea that I’d lost or, at the very least, mislaid them after getting home from a Fairlie Lions Club function a week ago, all my searches were linked to that.
Trouser and jacket pockets coming up empty, I retraced my steps. Benches, routes taken inside and outside the house, the wardrobe floor beneath jacket and trousers, even the cupboard shelf just in case they’d got dislodged from the hook. And I searched nooks and crannies enroute on the remote chance of a slither down or a slotting in, perhaps between sofa cushions. No luck.
I’d got June het up about the lost keys well before bedtime, so it took a while for the both of us to get to sleep.
I’d gone for a ten minute walk in drizzle and dark later on the day of the Lions function, and I’d climbed over a couple of farm gates – perhaps I’d left them in my trouser pocket and, clambering over gates, they’d got dislodged. Early the following morning I revisited the gate sites – again nothing.
We decided to give it a week – use the spare – and if they still hadn’t turned up then I’d order a replacement. Car keys full of electronic circuitry. I guessed at least a hundred bucks for a new key – bugger!
Wow! That was a fast entry, and loud! No holding off till I emerged from a blogging session. “I found the keys!” she said. And I had my topic for the week.
June had remembered me recounting how I’d got a clear photo of the onions and garlic last week. It hadn’t been easy as they were hanging in a dark corridor at the back of the garage, not helped by the solitary light bulb being well-forward of the two metre high barrier of boxes in front of the hanging bunches.
I’d managed to wedge myself between the end of the bench the boxes rested on and the clutter piled against the garage sidewall. Garage doors open, natural light filtered through the gap, and I got a good shot of a couple of bunches of onions and a bunch of garlic: I had my pic for last week’s post:( https://grahamrcooper.com/2021/06/21/winter-vegetables-part-two/ ).
What I’d forgotten, but June thought possible, was that as well as the smartphone (to take the photo), I’d grabbed the car keys on the off-chance that I’d get a better shot with the car out the garage.
As it turned out, I hadn’t needed to, and June found the keys where I’d absent-mindedly plonked them down: the nearest, and, as it happened, perpetually semi-dark, flat surface.
There’s a certain “silliness” to my “passing of the hours” worrying about where I’d put the car keys. You could have said: “They’re bound to turn up.”
Re-reading in its entirety Rick Bass’ account of how he found his keys, convinced me of his absence of “silliness” and that much, much more was going on than the mere “passing of the hours”. Here’s what I mean:
… so great is my reverence for that mountain that I felt the obligation to play it out, to make at least one search, out of respect, to try to avoid littering the mountain with all that steel; and I wanted to look too because there were a lot of keys on that ring, … also attached to those keys was a wonderful little multipurpose knife Elizabeth had gotten me for Christmas one year.
This mountain has fed my family across the years with its berries and has been the place I go in times of joy, and in times of sorrow too; and it has given my family, over the years, numerous deer and elk.
I had only one key on the ring. And snow-capped mountains at some distance. But there was no “silliness” or just a “passing of the hours” in getting reacquainted, after a considerable absence, with the musings of Rick Bass.
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.