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Feb 21, 2014

Key to my heart


Dear neighbor,

I met you for the first time tonight when you were standing on a porch two doors down from my house.  I was walking out to the car in my driveway and noticed you talking to my neighbors.  You were showing them something in your hand. I heard you say, "...found them in the mailbox..," and that's when I ran across two yards shouting at you.

You see, I couldn't find my keys yesterday.  It's not that uncommon a plight for me, although I have made a concerted effort over the last few months to hang my keys on the hook every time I walk in the door.  Still, I wasn't too concerned when I plucked the extra car key off the rack and went about my day.  The keys would turn up.  They always do.

Except yesterday they didn't.  And I still couldn't find them today.  Late this afternoon I really tried to retrace my steps and figure out where they could be.  That's when I saw the pile of mail on the counter.  The mail.

Late Wednesday afternoon, I sent Gavin and Lexi to the mailbox.  They went on scooters (the box is down the street and around the corner) and had a grocery bag to carry the mail.  When they came back I was making dinner.  They thumped the mail bag on the counter and I forgot all about it....until today, when I realized there was a strong possibility that the kids had left my keys in the mailbox door.  Two days ago.

That's when I panicked.  Surely the keys were gone forever.  Whoever had taken them not only had my van key and remote, car key, house key, mail key, library card, and all of my "club" cards...they had my address. Inside every mailbox is the house number of the box owner.  It was like a home invasion waiting to happen. Not to mention a very expensive key ring to replace.

As this realization sunk in, the business week came to a close.  I decided to call the Post Office on Monday morning, just in case our mail carrier happened to turn in my keys somewhere.  I didn't have much hope, though. I generally have an optimistic view of humanity, but taking my keys seemed like an easy crime of opportunity. I was sure I would never see them again.

But you, dear neighbor, changed all of that.  When I heard you say, "mailbox" on my neighbor's porch, I knew you had my keys. That's when I sprinted toward you, hands in the air, yelling, "Those are my keys! They're mine!  Yay!"  I'm sure you were amused at my enthusiasm (Steven and Jennifer definitely were), but seriously, I haven't been that happy for a while!  You explained that you found my keys dangling from the mailbox door late Wednesday night, when snow was fast falling from the sky.  You left a note in a bag on the mailbox door and took the keys home so they wouldn't get wet.  I didn't see your note yesterday because I didn't check the mail (couldn't find my keys). So tonight you went door to door, intent on finding the owner.

Bless your heart for that effort!  You said, "I thought, 'Somebody's life is on that ring!' I've got to find them!"  I am so grateful that you did.  So grateful, in fact, that I was swept up in my euphoria and didn't even ask your name or where you lived.  Please forgive my self-absorption, and sleep well knowing that you made a very frazzled and overwhelmed mama immensely happy tonight.

With love,

Your neighbor
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