Posted by: pastorafrank | August 9, 2014

Where Am I, and What Have I Done With My Keys?

The locksmith approached the house, turned the doorknob, and pushed.  The door swung open and my jaw dropped.

Luana and I have been splitting time between two residences.  For three weeks of a given month we are at home in the parsonage belonging to the Haxtun, Colorado Berean Bible Church.  We’ve been helping these folks for a little more than a year through a transition between pastors.  On the fourth Sunday we drive to our own house in Harvard, Nebraska to spend five days there before returning to Haxtun for the Sunday ministry.  265 miles separate the two domiciles.

As you might expect, this back and forth business often creates a bit of confusion.  For instance, Luana will be thinking she needs a certain food or staple for one place only to find, upon purchasing it, that she already has three of that item in that house.  It was the other place that was in need.

Two weeks ago Luana took me to the Denver International Airport for a flight to Philadelphia.  My sister Mary flew there from Texas and we traveled together by car to north central Pennsylvania to visit our 94 year old Aunt Frances.  After the airport drop in Denver, Luana drove to our Nebraska residence to spend some needed time at home.  Following my visit east, I returned by plane to Omaha and subsequently by auto to Harvard.

The week there went all too fast.  Since Luana was going to remain to complete some unfinished tasks connected to our Dutchman’s Woodshop business, I found myself driving alone back to Haxtun on a Saturday morning.  I made it about 90 miles down the road before I thought about the keys to the Haxtun house, and I was certain that I did not have them.

A quick call to my wife  – she didn’t have them either.  She’d check around when she got back to the house.  I decided I’d proceed to my destination, hoping that a door had been left unlocked, or that a window was not secured…anything.  I was dead sure that the only two keys to the parsonage were on the same ring, and that ring was somewhere in our house in Harvard.

It was – in her briefcase.  So much in flux are we that neither of us thought about the element that was so essential to my successful return to the ministry in Haxtun.

I called one of the elders.  No, he didn’t have a key.  Nor did anyone else, as it turned out.  I thought there were two keys to the house, he said.  There are, I replied, and they’re both on the same ring in Harvard.  I’ll see what I can do, he said.

Time passed.  I’d checked all the doors and windows twice, considered breaking one of the latter, but decided against it.

Elder Bill and his wife Linda showed up with a handful of keys they’d retrieved from the secretary’s office at the church building.  I knew before we tried that none of them would work.  We’ll go back to the church for the phone directory and call the locksmith from Holyoke (17 miles distant).  If we don’t come back by here it will mean he’s on the way.

After what seemed a long time they returned.  My heart sank.  But, yes, they’d been successful and the locksmith was on his way.

I can’t remember how I spent the time until his truck rounded the corner, but I think most of it involved me feeling foolish.  Good grief, I thought, I hardly know where I am any more.  A little more of this and I won’t be able to find my way home, wherever that is these days.

All three doors are keyed alike, I told the affable tradesman.  He strode to the front door, put his hand on the handle, pushed it down, and shoved.

I knew I’d handled that handle at least twice, but I couldn’t be sure that I’d tried to manipulate the lever.  I know I had done so on the other two doors.  And I know both of them resisted my attempts.  But this front door…who knew?

That lockset should be replaced, the smith told me.  It’s sloppy and catches sometimes.  I think he told me this to ameliorate my embarrassment, but it didn’t help much.  Well, I said, be sure and send us a bill anyway.

I will, he replied.  I suspected that he could hardly wait to drive away to give vent to his mirth, and I am certain he will add this to the list of tales he tells his friends and family.  In this country everyone will probably soon know about the interim preacher who couldn’t get into his own unlocked house.

Oh well, as they say. Before it’s all over for me on this planet I will probably have other unanswered questions besides “Where am I, and what have I done with my keys?”



  1. You would enjoy that blog a lot more if it were about somebody else! We found it very entertaining!

    We hope you will “blog” about your motorcycle trip to Chappell! That is an hilarious story!

    Seriously…we appreciate the sacrifice you and Luana make…setting your “normal” life aside to serve HBBC! We’re blessed!

    The Fueszs

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