Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stupid Is As Stupid Does...#? or Sometimes Improvisation is the Only Way!

I've been working like a dog getting the house ready to put on the market. I'm making lists and tackling things systematically room by room, painting, fixing, packing.

We have this 12 x 12 foot screen porch that jutts of the back of our house. It has a beautiful view and is a nice area to sit and relax at the end of the day. Next on the list was to sweep and spiff up the porch. I swept and had a nice pile of dirt ready to hit the trash, but no dust pan. I walked to the door to go inside and get what I needed. I was so excited to check another task off the list.

I grabbed the handle and turned...nothing happened.  I knew instantly that I was in trouble.  The door was locked and I was on the porch without a key.  Not only without a key, but without a phone, without another human in earshot, without hope of escape.  I was alone, locked on the porch with my neat pile of dirt.

Like an idiot I wigged the doorknob, secretly praying that Schlage made a faulty lock and the door would somehow magically open.  Bruno sat quietly on the other side of the door, looking at me, wondering why I was asking him for help.  Again, hope springs eternal and a quick thought flashed through my mind.  Maybe Bruno could unlock a door.  It was only a fleeting thought.

As I stood on the porch that deja vu feeling welled up in my chest.  This isn't the first time I've been in this situation.  Sad to say, I didn't learn my lesson.


So, it was time to figure out a solution to my dilemma.  It was time to improvise!  I looked at all the screens on the porch and chose one in the corner (it had a post directly underneath and had the most space below so if I took a big fall maybe I wouldn't hit anything else.) I didn't want to, but I knocked out the screen.  As I stood there making more work for myself, I said a few choice words.

With the screen out of the way, I steeled myself, took a few deep breaths and climbed over the railing. I stood on the ledge, gripping the railing, my heart racing.  After a few seconds, I thought better of what I planned to do and I climbed back over onto the porch.  It's a full story above the deck and to add to the drama, I'm afraid of heights.  I calmed myself down and told myself I had to do this.  

So I looked over the side and made a plan.  There was a towel hook screwed into the post below.  I thought if I could lower myself down and get my foot on that hook, well, I didn't quite know what I was going to do then, but at least I had a plan.  So, I climbed over again, grabbed the rails and lowered myself down and my foot found the hook.  Success!  But in a spit second the hook broke, my hands slid down the rails and I was hanging there for what seemed minutes, but I knew was only seconds.
I instinctively wrapped my legs around the post with the gutter with nowhere to go but down.  I slid a bit and then dropped to the ground.  I hit the deck and fell backwards.  The thought that ran through my mind was that I had probably broken something.  I got up, dusted myself off...a little humiliated, a lot bruised, but very happy to be walking back up to the house.

Sometimes, improvisation is the ONLY way.





46 comments:

The Calico Cat said...

ouch! (See cleaning is not all it is cracked up to be - one more example right here.)

EG said...

A man who volunteers with my mom at church told a similar story! He was looking at model homes by himself. Got locked on the 2nd floor deck of one of them - NOT the one the rental agent was in, of course! He threw his watch at the house the rental agent was in but no reaction. So he, with his bad knees, climbed over and shimmied down! Yikes!

Nancy said...

I see a hidden key in your future!!

Cille said...

Sounds almost like a prison escape. Glad you made it down in one piece though :) Teaching Bruno to unlock doors must be next on your to-do list

QuiltSwissy said...

After my mom died and normalcy was returning, she went out to the front gateway to retrieve her paper and locked herself in the gated entryway. In her pjs. After 2 hours she finally was able to hail a passing neighbor to help her.

So feeling sorry for her, I brought her to Baton Rouge to stay for a week. We had coffee on the deck one morning and Frank comes out, kisses us goodbye and gets in his van and leaves. He had locked the house door behind him.

No phone, no keys, no money, no shoes, both of us in pjs, no neighbors, no food. Frank came home about 3 pm to find us still in the yard.

The funniest thing we laughed about all these years since is that we had to pee in the yard with the dogs!

glen: I now have a key safe outside, from home depot it looks like an electric box and uses a combination.

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

oooh! been there. Glad you came out of it unscathed!
thank goodness for screens and not windows! You made the best of the situation.. Hubby did the same thing at the cabin this year, Thank you for screens again!) As did my mother and aunt while I was in SPAIN. with the digs locked in the house....!!

Charleen said...

Haha! My daughter and I were in a similar situation when we were assembling her grill, only she had a blacktop driveway underneath! Of course both of us left our phones inside, but finally she remembered that she hadn't locked the window and I boosted her up and she jimmied the window open. Phew!!

Bridget said...

This should be a short youtube video. But if someone was filming you, you wouldn't have been in that situation at all!
Thanks for the chuckle this morning.

Kimmer said...

Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one!!! Locked myself outside in my pajamas and socks, snow on the ground, 2 kids in school, hubby away hunting and my 1 y/o in the living room. Had to traipse around the house, get the ladder out from under the deck, climb up onto the deck (with the neighborhood oil man making several laps around the block, I'm sure he thought I was a crazy robber), through the snow, and break the glass on the back door. The baby thought it was hilarious... I was just happy not to have frostbite.

I swear, my laughter at your post was purely sympathetic!

Vicki W said...

That's why I don't lock my doors very often! I'm afraid of heights too. I probably would have stayed on the porch until someone came home.

Poppyprint said...

Oh my! So happy you didn't break/sprain or otherwise damage anything other than a towel hook. I was thinking it was too bad the lid was on the hot tub - maybe you could've jumped for it!

paulette said...

Sounds like an episode out of Desperate Housewives...only Terry Hatcher was naked with a towel wrapped around her...What were you wearing???
P

Sequana said...

I'm not sure what I'd have done, but I know I would NOT have made that jump so far. So many things could have broken or sprained. Gosh, you are so lucky.

WillowBean said...

Jacquie-

I just realized you were moving to Chicago- not sure how I missed that post!! Congratulations! Anyway, I've been following your blog for about 2 1/2 years now... yours was actually one of the first blogs I found when learning how to quilt! I just wanted to say thanks and good luck!

Madison :)

(oh, and Chicago is only a 3 hr drive for me... maybe we could meet up in your new city!)

Brige said...

I'm going to give you a secret... Google "how to make a key out of a aluminum can" (then make yourself one) It will be thin enough to secretly stash on the porch some place. Most folks won't know what it is if they find it.
Glad your safe!

Carla said...

All's well that ends well! I was so afraid that you were going to be moving to Chicago with a broken leg...whew! Such drama!! See you soon.

Needled Mom said...

It's fun to read that others make the same mistakes in life. Glad it all turned out well in the end.

Kritta22 said...

Oh gosh! How's your bum??
I bet you tell the buyers to put a key out there.

Brenda said...

good think you're an improv quilter!

Kathleen said...

Oh my goodness. We could be twins! I do stuff like that all the time! :) I am glad you got out so we can read more fun posts...get it? posts.. ok. Glad you're safe and sound.
Blessings!
AlwaysSewLove

9patchnurse said...

Boy do I know what you mean by all the fleeting thoughts popping through your head. I locked myself out years ago and did not take my time with my 'breaking and entering'. I ended up with my arm through a glass window, a gigantic gash, and still locked out. I'm glad you didn't break anything and I kinda wish I'd been a fly on the wall for your little excapade. When I find myself in goofy hijinks, my first instinct is to look around and hope no one saw me, lol.

patty a. said...

From all the comments I sounds like everyone has done this! I locked myself out once, but luckly it was summer and the window on the first floor was open. I went and got the neighbor girl - she was about 4 years old - and I booster her up thru the window. She had a blast running thru the house to open the door. I am glad you came thru this adventure without any injuries - you didn't need to hurt yourself right now with so much to do!

sukie said...

Great blog entry! I hate when I lock myself out, not that I do that a lot but still - annoying for sure. I'm glad you're okay and someday we should go skydiving!

angela said...

Quite the day you had!! Hope you didn't get any splinters from the slide down - eek. Make sure you keep a spare key on your Chicago balcony. It may not be so close to the ground ;)

marylouweidman said...

Hey, You ARE Out of the Box! Good job!

Andee said...

Oh my gosh, what a day!Glad you are ok!

CJ said...

I would NOT have climbed over the rail. NO WAY! I think I would wait it out on the deck or break a window (which would REALLY irritate dh of course!).

capello said...

i'm stumbling over the fact you are putting your house on the market and my husband desperately wants isolation space

Caro said...

Count yourself humiliated, but lucky.

Esch House Quilts said...

Oh dear, Jacquie! I'm so glad you are OK.

I tend to do things like that when I'm in the biggest hurry :)

karen said...

when I visited Sue Garmon's studio, she had a cushion embroidered with the saying
"Housework (when done correctly) can kill you"
sounds like you had a lucky escape!

CitricSugar said...

OOooohhh no..!

Hope you are okay. I once changed my own tire because cold weather had all the Auto club drivers booked for days. I was so proud of myself until I realized that in putting the spare back in the trunk, I also dropped my keys into it... But I only suffered embarrassment and didn't have to risk life and limb! Hope the rest of the moving prep goes smoother...

Marg M said...

Hi Jackie, I was in the same situation, we are moving house I was doing the room checks and repairs, just like you :-) except I had to ask my husband to help carry the large board out the front to the rubbish. Yes door closed behind us no key. Thank goodness back door left open, neighbors home,to climb the fence, they kindly lent me a ladder that was heaved over the fence and then delicately I was able to climb over. With the neighbors words echoing in my ear your "you too old now to be doing something like this" Oh yes my husband loves to continue to tease me too (and yes word verification for this post is grans hehe)

Theresa said...

Oh thank goodness you're down!

piece peace said...

Bond Girls step aside...Jacquie is on the scene! Glad everything worked out alright.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh noooo! It was sure a fun story to read, but probably not to live. I'm so glad you weren't hurt!

Amy said...

Funnier after the fact (and a glass of wine). I've done this so many times my neighbors have keys, my family all has keys and I'm thinking of getting the combo lock box just in case. Glad you are ok!

cakath said...

I don't mean to laugh, because you could have been hurt, but the way you told the story is just so darn funny! I'm glad you came out of the experience with only your sense of dignity slightly damaged.

Erica said...

Glad you made it down in one piece! :)

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craftytammie said...

i have been on that side of the door, trying to tell a toddler how to unlock it through the glass! :) glad you survived!

Patty Ashworth said...

When my son was very little, I went out the back door to take down the laundry and he locked it on me! And ran away laughing. My neighbor had a key, so I didn't have to worry about a toddler tearing up the house for too long. Needless to say, I can not go out of the house without a key in my pocket!

Patty S. said...

Maybe it's a sign your house is saying, "Don't go! We have too much fun together!"

LynAnne Smucker said...

I too have locked myself out of my own house, only in this instance there wasn't any scaling or dropping from heights involved. I simply went outside and in closing the door locked it behind me. I was barefoot and getting eaten by mosquitos so eventually I took a rock and broke one of the windows on the back door so I could carefully reach through and unlock it. Glad you survived your adventure unharmed. LynAnne

Patty said...

I had a deck and locked myself out on it too many times. We finally spent $2500 for a set of stairs off the deck. Not sure why they didnt put them on in the first place.

MightyMom said...

so, your next career is as a firewoman right? you've already got sliding down the pole covered!!

Sherri ~ daintytime said...

Yes indeed - a great illustration of what improv is all about -

Problem Solving!