This post is part of the “Sharing a Story” series where I use a picture to reflect on a story that happened during our year on the road which I never told on the blog. Click on the “sharing a story” tag at the bottom of the post to see more of the series.
We write a lot about the nights we spent in a tent, 113 in all, but that was only a third of the total nights on the road. So where did we sleep the rest of the time? Well, we were fortunate enough to connect with friends, family, friends of family, and a couple of couchsurfing hosts. Buffy and Jack Wimmer were one of the first friends we stayed with, during our first month on the road. They live in a suburban community north of Dallas, Texas and we arrived the weekend after the Super Bowl. If you remember the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas, the big story was the unusual cold and icy conditions. We were driving in those conditions through Louisiana and were relieved to have friends to stay with for a few days as the storm moved on and we finally got to enjoy some beautiful days.
The Wimmer family were neighbors when I was little. Amazingly, our families have stayed in touch and they welcomed us in with open arms and embarrassing stories of my youth, just like real friends do. Lucky for us, Buffy and Jack Wimmer’s daughter (who is close to my age), Kate, was in town for the weekend to do some wedding planning. Kate was getting married in April and we were excited to be coming back through Texas for the wedding. So after a night of great home cooked food, delicious beer, and laughing until I cried, we slept in and then planned a leisurely day of cleaning our car and biking. Meanwhile, Jack went to work and Buffy and Kate left to go shopping, leaving us at the home alone.
Jay was getting the bikes ready in the garage and I was tidying up inside when the doorbell rang. At first, I considered just ignoring it. It was probably just a solicitor anyways. Then I realized that it was so obvious that somebody was home that I would feel rude ignoring the doorbell. I hurried to the door and turned the handle. But it didn’t turn! It was locked and there was no way to unlock it without the key. We knew where the side door key was hidden, but not the front door. The front door had windows next to it so I could see this man outside looking at me all confused. I motioned to him, “one second”, and then hurried to the side door I was used to using and jogged around the side of the house.
Now I was coming up behind him as he still stood facing the front door. I suddenly realized how suspicious this seemed. How could I have been in the house but not know how to open the front door? Still several feet away, I shouted a cheery “Hello!”. He was startled but immediately started explaining what he was doing there. Turns out this man was a neighbor who was locked out of his house (ah the irony!). Buffy and Jack kept a key to his house and he needed it. I quickly suggested that I could call Buffy on her cell phone to find out where she keeps it (thus proving that I know Buffy and it makes sense for me to be in the house). I reached Buffy on her cell and found the key and all was well again. In the process I nervously yammered on all about how we knew the Wimmers and why we were staying there and he was probably relieved to get the key and leave before I told him the story of my birth and every year since.