Indeed, it is true. I am a caution. I was told this by a college friend. Craig. It was several years ago, and I had paid him a visit in NYC, while I was on tour in the area. When the visit was over, I headed “home” to a hotel in Jersey. However, while on the bus ride back to my hotel, I watched my hotel pass on the other side of the divided highway. I kept expecting the bus to stop. It never did. Then I thought it would head back down the other side of the divided highway. It never did. Then I arrived, alone on the bus, at the end of the route. I had to bribe the bus driver to drive me half way back, where my tour partner came to pick me up. I believe it was at a Hardee’s.
Thank God it happened in the age of cell phones, and I had one! When I called my friend to tell him I was *FINALLY* home safe, he said, “Caroline, you are a caution.” That’s me, the cautionary tale, and this week I was back at it.
I locked my 21 month old daughter and myself out of the house for four hours. That’s right, you heard me, FOUR HOURS!!!! Thank God we were on the same side of the door.
Here’s what happened: I got my daughter up and dressed and told her we were going for a walk. I had plans to meet a friend at the coffee shop at 9:30. Obviously we don’t escape the house often enough, because she could not even wait long enough to eat breakfast. She was at the door immediately saying, “No. GO!!!!.” You know, go is a complete sentence. It is a command. I kept saying, “You want some yogurt?” And my girl loves to eat yogurt. But, nothing doing, so I decided chocolate milk from the coffee shop would have do it. So, at 8:45, we went.
I threw my stuff in the bottom of the stroller, took the stroller outside, came back to get Lizzy-Jane and shut the door behind me. That’s when I realized it. My keys were not in the bottom of the stroller. My library books were, a diaper, wipes and my wallet. But, NO keys!!
Well, my landlord lives across the street. So I rang the bell to plead assistance. No answer…..the cars are there, but no answer. So, I decide to go on ahead to the coffee shop to meet my new friend, Maggie.
On the way I return my library books and almost get knocked over by the librarian coming out to get the morning papers. (I am a caution after all)
Finally we arrive at Caravan Coffee, and there is Maggie’s smiling face. The first thing I say is, “I locked myself out!” We hang out, have some laughs, some smoothie and muffin, chase LJ around the shop a bit, and hug goodbye around 10:30. Maggie was worried about me, but I convinced her I would be fine. She gave me her number to call in case I couldn’t get in. She said, “I’ll come on a rescue mission.” She didn’t quite understand my lack of a cell phone. (Yep, Chris and I gave them up a while back in the interest of our budget. And, really I don’t miss them at all. Well, occasionally I do. )
So, home we went. We walked straight up to the landlord’s house. I rang the bell. Twice. I knocked on the door. Nothing doing. No answer. So we head across the street to wait it out on our porch. Thank the good Lord my People Magazine arrived that day. I read it for an hour, and shared it with LJ along with some other mail. She ripped them up real nicely. She loves to read magazines and can even say “magzine.”
While on the porch reading and sweating. I prayed. Tried to break in with an old credit card. I even got so desperate as to try to kick the door in. Went around back to check the trash door. And, stared at the landlord’s house wondering why they were not answering the door.
Finally I decided to go back over there. Well this time, after a couple of rings and knocks, the Mother-in-law nanny came to the door. I told her, through the storm door, that I was locked out, and begged for help. She looked at me kind of confused and then said, “Hold on a minute.” While I sat on the porch, keeping an eye on LJ, she called her daughter to find out where the spare key was, and Carson, the four year old, entertained me through the window.
She brought me the key, I ran across the street, unlocked the door, and brought the key back. Carson met me at the grass line to retrieve the key. She said she was sorry it took her so long, and I said, “No, thank you. You saved my life!” And she did, well, her along with People Magazine and the mail man.
When I finally rolled my daughter and I through the door it was NOON! I fed her and put us both to bed for a nap, thoroughly worn out by our ordeal/adventure.
So, you be the judge. Do you agree with Craig? Am I a caution?