It's after 11 on a Sunday morning and I'm in the office. At home. I am not at the prison having finished two services and taking a break before two more. I am home. In nine and a half years, this has happened fewer times than the fingers on one hand.
The reason? Snow. A big wallop of it.
I was in Tacoma when it began, planning to head to Shelton on Saturday afternoon, back to the place where I'm housesitting and taking care of a couple of cats. I was all set to walk out the door about one when I couldn't find my keys.
My keys. My nemesis. The keyring holds: my front door and mailbox keys, the key to my brother's house (he's in California right now, but asked me to check on the birds), the keys to the place I'm housesitting, and the keys to the church where I pick up communion every week. A big clunky set of keys. I couldn't find them.
I checked the desk where I'd plunked down the mail. That was the last action I'd taken with the keys. I tore the sofa apart. I cleared off the dining room table. I went through my pokets.
I called my sister. "I can't find my keys and I feel like I'm losing my mind." My sister brought her psychic powers to bear and made me walk through all 834 square feet of my place. No keys. Our Mom has Alzheimer's and this fact is always lurking in the back of my mind, "Maybe this is it, maybe my time has come." Not helpful. I told my sister I'd call her back when I found the keys.
I took a break. I read a paper. I checked my dresser where I'd picked up a few more socks. No keys. I went back to the living room, looked at the two boxes of recycling that I'd already gone through. I looked at the wicker trash basket and picked it up. I shook it. Keys.
I called my sister.
At this point, it was after four and there was no way I was going to drive in the snow and the dark. So I stayed home another night.
We had a big fall of snow on Thursday and I'd exchanged emails with one of our volunteer groups who had decided to not attempt the trip on Sunday morning. I listened to a few weather reports and called the Catholic volunteers. We were staying home on Sunday.
So that's why I'm home. The roads are too slick to be fussing with. And I couldn't find my keys. I get it. Take it slow. And go feed the cats.
Back at the prison, the only defense against the cold are heavy jackets that absorb moisture and never really get dry again. The guys are wearing cotton jumpsuits. No thermal underwear. Their shoes have plastic soles. Not good for navigating the cleared walkways.
Have a good Christmas. We'll be celebrating it next Sunday.