You can call me Bob Ross, because I’m going to paint y’all a picture:
Friday was great, we drove to Eugene and spoke to a kindergarten class. This school, Camino del Rio Elementary School, is a Spanish immersion school. Meaning that the classes are taught primarily in Spanish with reinforcement in English. The kids were adorable! We had a great time teaching them about birds, clean recreation sites, and responsible beach play.
(“Que es un Ave” Presentation)
We normally have weekends off, but this weekend we helped Isabel, in Newport, run her International Migratory Bird Day event. We woke up at 6am and left at 7:30am, stopped at a café in Yachats for a croissant, and a potty break at the Newport Motel 6 at 9. To be honest, at first it was slow. But everyone seemed to arrive at the same time. I was stationed at the bird mask station. When it got slow, which happened every now and again, I worked on my own mask, which, in my opinion was one of the best masks there. Anyways, that’s not the point of this blog. We were at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area Interpretation Center (I think that’s the official title) until 5pm. We drove back to the Hatfield Marine Science Center at 5:30 and then got pizza, followed by ice-cream. We left Newport at 7:30pm, stopped in Waldport around 8pm to pump gas. Finally, after almost 14 hours we were back home in Florence.
Except my keys weren’t in Florence. They weren’t in my pockets. They weren’t in my backpack. They weren’t in the car. They weren’t anywhere.
My room was locked. Without my keys, I couldn’t get into my bedroom. All I wanted to do was change into my pajamas and crawl into bed. But instead, we all walked around our parking lot, searched the vehicles, and our personal belongings.
“Luckily” my bedroom window was unlocked. Jhonny was super awesome, and unafraid to battle thorny vines and spider webs, and crawled through my window and unlocked my room. At least at this point I could panic in my jammies.
Sunday morning came along and still no keys. Isabel went to work, on her off day, to search for the keys. I called every place we had been to, and the local visitors center as well. Someone suggested I call the police department and Newport to see if anyone had turned them in. They hadn’t, but I did leave a report with a Sargent ——.
We even drove back to Newport. We retraced every step. We stopped at the Café, the gas station, the interpretive center, Isabel’s, the pizza place, and the ice-cream shop. But no keys.
Defeated, we drove back home to a keyless house. Bummed out, I went to bed at 7:30PM to wallow in my depression and ruminate over the cost of getting a new set of keys (I was quoted $600).
Monday morning rolled along, and after sleeping almost 12 depressing hours, I awoke with a new resolve. I went back to the government vehicle and searched. This was probably 12th time searching the vehicle. But a 13th time couldn’t hurt. I moved the seat forward, felt along the track the slides the seat. Everything felt normal, except there was a bump. That bump was moving. I stuck my head under the seat. MY KEYS!!! Lo and behold, my keys were there!!!
I spent 5 minutes untangling my keys from the seat base. But I had my keys.
The sun rose over Florence and shined on me!
(Me, sending a joyful Snapchat after finding my keys)
I learned a lesson. This lesson could’ve been a couple hundred dollars to learn, but I learned it in stress (about 36 hours of it): Always, always, always, have a spare key.
If you’re reading this, and only have one key to your car, make a spare. These buggers are expensive!