It had already been a rough morning. One of my clients went a little berserk, and it took three of us to get him off to work. I was sweaty, hot, and tired. I had also developed one of those annoying eye-twitches that no one else can see but you can feel.
I arrived at my folks' place praying that the Sprouts would be okay with just a mellow day spent in the air conditioning. They were both really tired, but Little Sprout was not willing to go home without her "Gunka Walk". We decided that I would go home with Big Sprout (who desperately wanted a nap) while Grandpa Barefoot took Little Sprout up to the Post Office, and that he would walk her over to our place when they were done.
Big Sprout and I arrived at home, unloaded the van, and started walking up to the building. I reached for my keys and my stomach dropped down to my shoes. I had my van key....I had my work keys.....my apartment keys were missing. I distinctly remembered checking the mail on my way to work the night before, so I knew I had taken them with me to work. Where were they?
I looked in my purse, the canvas bag that I carry all my goodies in, my overnight bag, under the van seats, everywhere. I even checked my mailbox to see if I had somehow left them in the mailbox overnight. No luck. So I started at the beginning and checked all those places again.
Big Sprout was near tears at this point, trying to be helpful but not knowing what to do. I packed everything back in the car and we headed off looking for Grandpa B and Little Sprout. It took us two circuits of town to find them, which didn't help my mood at all.
Finally, I collected my Sprout and with Grandpa Barefoot in tow we headed off to my work to see if I had left them there. I looked in the fridge, in the freezer, in every drawer and cabinet. I looked in the driveway and in the beds I had made....I even poked around in the garbage just on the off chance that one of my clients had decided they belonged there. No Keys.
I went back outside, where Big Sprout was contentedly playing with the local stray, Pretty Kitty. I looked in my purse, in my bags, under the seats. Everywhere. No keys.
I went BACK into the house and looked in all the nooks and crannies. I even took the cushions out of the couch and moved it to see if they had fallen in there.
Well, there was only one place left to check....the grocery store where I had picked up my supper the night before. I drove there, trying so hard to remember what I could have possibly done with those keys. Dad, of course, was chatting about this and that, totally unconcerned.
I left Dad and the Sprouts in the van while I ran in to ask anyone had turned in lost keys. The woman behind the counter asked for a description, and when I gave it to her she beamed a big smile at me.
"You mean THESE keys?" she asked, waving my keys in the air.
I have never, ever been so close to kissing a perfect stranger in my life. So I got to come home after an hour and a half with my very own keys.
Of course I shortly had to leave for the Traditional Friday Lunch with Bro and Dad, during which I was treated to the sight of Little Sprout dipping a pickle in au jous and devouring the resulting mess, but that is another story.