Journey Through North Carolina – Part 24

Hello and welcome to part 24 of our journey through North Carolina.

Okay folks, what’s an adventure without a touch of real life drama added?  I think we would all agree our preference would be to have everything flow smoothly and not experience those occasional challenges that jump up out of seemingly nowhere to let us know life isn’t always perfect. 

It was late one evening after a wonderfully full day of exciting moments when we stopped at one of those mega gas stations scattered across the USA.  At first, we were going to go inside and grab a bite to eat so we un-rolled the windows a bit so Emma would be comfortable but then realized we should take her for a quick walk first.  So, we put Emma’s leash on and locked and closed the van suddenly realizing the keys were still in the ignition in the run position.  Have any of you reading this ever done something like this or are we the first?  Almost immediately we looked at each other with that, ah poop, look etched on our faces.  The first reaction was, how could this happen?  Then almost as quickly as that thought hit it was replaced with, why couldn’t it happen?  No amount of beating ourselves up would get the door unlocked so we turned our thoughts to figuring out how to get back in.  We knew if we called our road assistance program it would have taken them hours to get there and when they did arrive the vehicle battery was sure to be dead from being left on the entire time.  So, into the mega station we went looking for something long and flexible to reach in the window, which thank God, we had left partially open, to attempt to unlock the van. 

Inside the store we found just what we thought would do the trick so we rushed back to Daisy to gallantly open the doors.  Well, it didn’t happen that way.  The tool we bought was about 8 inches too short and way too flexible.  As I was hopelessly attempting to stuff my hand further through the window and mentally grow the piece of metal the needed 8 inches more, I looked over my shoulder only to see Audrey picking up a broken tree limb from a nearby tree.  I was thinking to myself, it’s an odd time to be thinking of toasting marshmallows but when she handed it to me and said, try this, I exclaimed ah. 

Tom and the stick that got us back in!

So, with my big hand grasping the stick and again squeezing through the narrow opening while Audrey was on the opposite side of the van peering in the window guiding me toward the button, our quest continued.  In hindsight, the funniest part of this ordeal was watching Emma bouncing around thinking this was some crazy new game of fetch the stick with a different twist.  As we continued our efforts suddenly we heard a click.  Wonderingly and sheepishly I pulled the door handle and to our delight and surprise the door opened.  What a relief and what a joy.  Now the mantra each time we get out of the van is “DO YOU HAVE THE KEYS”?  Oh well, a happy ending to a great day.  Lesson learned… next time make sure we bring the second set of keys instead of leaving them home.

Well this is it for today.  We hope you come back and see how the trip unfolds as we share more of the USA Through Our Eyes.  Until then be safe.


~ USA Through Our Eyes ~ Stories Told Through Words, Photographs, Videos and Sound

69 thoughts on “Journey Through North Carolina – Part 24

  1. Great story Mathias. Thank you for sharing it with us. We are learning that others have followed in our footsteps. I guess we all experience it at one time or another. Amazing how something like that sticks in everyone’s mind and becomes a great memory to later chuckle about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adventurous! I can understand the feeling when locked out of the car. It happened to me once (actually twice, why my friends and I still laugh about this event today) with a rental car during a vacation in Spain. We had to wait in the heat without anything but too warm clothes. Car assistance was not available, so we finally had to hire somebody from that neighborhood who was known to know how to break up a car (for reasons that remained unclear to us). Good luck always on your travel!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. LOL. Yes, she probably would have figured it out. Its funny when we park outside restaurants and she’s in the van (with the A/C on, she sits in the front seat staring at us through the windows. She really knows how to spark guilt, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL, LOL. Such a wonderful share with us. Isn’t it something how sometimes we repeat some mistakes over and over until they really sink in. We can relate Toni in so many areas. Looking back you must chuckle also at the friendship with the “Pop-a-lock” guy. You would have made a great spokesperson for their company!!!!


  5. I hate to admit this , but many years ago when I got my first car I locked my keys in the car at least 1 or 2 times a month for 3 months straight! Pop-a-lock new me by name…lol

    I’m happy you where able to work it out. But, like you said what’s a good trip without a little drama?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I lived in Wilmington for 20 years and Charlotte for a short while but I moved back to my hometown of Mendon, Vermont in 2002. I do love NC however.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We like your system. We now have one too. Its funny how those hiccups called life’s lessons teach us. We sometimes don’t like the lesson but we sure do pay attention lol. It would be scary leaving our little buddies, Tink or Emma, locked inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SO sorry to read this one – tho’ it is funny as well, knowing that it all worked out. I’ve been there.

    One good thing about having ADD all my life is that I now generally expect myself to do something like this, so I do my best to think “keys, purse, wallet, glasses, phone, etc” every time I scoot through any door.

    When I’m taking Tink I take 2 sets of keys, just in case I need to leave him in the van alone for a moment, so I can leave the engine running with heat or A/C on with the van locked.

    My main set of keys is clipped to a huge ring (fits over my doorknob at home and my wrist when I’m away – ANY time it is not clipped to the inside of my purse) Included on the key ring itself is an oversized jingle-bell. (Yes, I have to bell my keys – lol.) Best system I ever came up with. If I’m not jingling I don’t have my keys!
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know that feeling – somewhat. I happened to me once when I was taking trash to our oocal nadfill. I had left tyhe keys in the ignition, as you had. And no windows open, not even a little. I had not wanted to lock the car anyway, but I must have hit that lock switch accidentally when I closed the door. Luckily, that was close to home and I could call my wife to come and bring the spare keys. So not teally a problem.
    With our present car it can’t happen, though, as this has, in addition to regular keys, those numbers you punchin to open the doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are definitely not the first person this has happened to Tom. I have done this myself. I managed to lock my keys in the car by putting them down in the boot and closing the boot. The car automatically locked and I couldn’t open it. I had to call my Dad to bring me my spare keys.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. {chuckle} Yes, his was such a human facial expression. It’s amazing how we can gather information from a simple look. Lucky for us as humans, it helps us to be instantly empathetic. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is great hearing Theresa that we’re not the only ones that have had such a moment. I guess as humans its gonna happen we just don’t know when, lol. Yes you captured the words for the expression Tom had on his face. Toms inmates use to tell him locks were for law abiding folks and only a temporary inconvenience for them as a car thief.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How exciting! I love the look on Tom’s face in Audrey’s photo, so human. (The expression is one of those, Finally! Whew! Got out of that bind! looks.) And I loved hearing that Emma thought this was a new stick-game. And, the fact that you unlocked Daisy – with a tree branch? – what ingenuity! Almost YouTube-worthy! 🙂 I’m glad you emerged safe and sound.

    A few years back I had a similar situation, though in the city, where I had gotten into the habit of locking the car door without keys, just flipping the door lock and closing the door behind me. One afternoon I did just that, leaving the car keys in the ignition AND RUNNING – the engine running. Oh! Sitting in our driveway in front of the garage! My husband having just left town on a business trip with his spare set of keys! Needless to say, I called a locksmith and they came out and unlocked it about 20-30 minutes later. Luckily I had a full tank of gas. What was so surprising to me was how quickly he got in, once he arrived. It was startling. And a little spooky. When they know what they are doing, it happens in a second. I have to say, from that moment on, I trained myself, same as you, to have keys in hand OUTSIDE the car before locking the door. Hah!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thank you for your kind words in our story telling. We are enjoying our travels and being able to share them with so many interested people like yourselves. We’re hopeful we don’t this again, lol. One can never say never though. That had to be funny looking in hind sight at your niece squeezing through the window.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I love the way you tell the story! I hope Emma was able to play fetch the stick later! Yes, I actually locked my keys in my truck with it running. Fortunately, the small back slider window was open far enough I could literally STUFF my scrawny niece through – with a little pushing.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I have a Prius and there is no actual key or ignition. When it’s just running on the battery part it’s completely silent. I have gotten out of the car with it still on and started to walk away when it started beeping at me. If the fob thingy(real scientific huh?) is too far from the car when it’s on, it beeps. So, yeah, I almost walked off and left the car running.
    Glad everything worked out with help from the “rescue stick” 😃💌🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  17. That was really an adventure, also I was smiling wen I read this. Never I did this kind of job, always thinking about my keys 😉 Emma was wrong, but it looks like a play for her, what else is a bough of a tree than playing with it. Nice that everything come to an good end, and I think you never forgot the keys again. Warm greetings, Ann.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Its a for sure panic moment isn’t it. It is so funny how almost instantly you realize what you did. Yes, we try to keep our post fairly short our of respect for everyone. We’ve learned a lot this first year of blogging and so many have helped us get into a routine. We’re glad you are back. We’ve missed your gifts. .

    Liked by 1 person

  19. glad it worked out for you all – and I like how you break up the posts into parts like this – so we can get caught up and read in increments.
    ok – so yes – hubs and I have both done this.
    He did it with a moving truck in the state of AZ – and a hanger got him back in (whew). And years ago, I was on my way to teach art and started the truck to realize I needed to go back in real quick. I left the truck running – and took the remote to get back into it – but! it did not work – some safety feature would not allow it to unlock the door.
    thankfully – a neighbor was in law enforcement and had a slim jim and he happened to be home – whew – things worked out and i was not even late.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Its great that the post made you smile. Situations like this make us smile too. I guess we’re learning how to laugh at the little things in life. Emma was like tiger in one of the Winnie the Pooh movies. She was bouncing up and down wondering how she could get that stick.

    Liked by 1 person

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