of keys?" my friend asked me.
No, she had not locked herself out. This is the friend now in the nursing home.
Before she went in to the nursing home she had one of the systems which allows other people to enter the house by pushing a security code on a small box by the front door to obtain the keys. The box is made of heavy steel and, so far, I have not heard reports of anyone breaking into a house by breaking into such a box.
On Saturday afternoon I had accessed my friend's place (with her permission) by using the keys in the box. Her cousin's son had put the keys back in the box and put them back on the wall. There was another set of keys "hidden in full view" in the house and we had left them there as she had not asked for them. We should have rung and asked her about them. She was worried her sister, who is not at all practical, might use the keys in the box and lock everyone out. Having experienced her sister's capacity to do such things I had to agree. She had decided to pass the inside set of keys over to the real estate agent.
But I did not want to upset her sister so we arranged my friend would ring me when her sister arrived to visit her.
"Tell me you have decided on the blue one," I told her. (The keys were in a blue bowl.)
I waited - and waited. Her sister is not known for punctuality and I wondered if she had perhaps decided not to go out at all. Eventually she arrived and I got the message. It was after four in the afternoon. It is a half hour's pedal but I went as quickly as I could. I managed to retrieve the keys from the box. It took less than a minute to retrieve the second set of keys and then....I had to put the first set of keys back in the box and back on the wall. Oh. I had not done this before.
I knew what to do but it actually requires a considerable amount of manual dexterity. I tried three times...four times....push the security code...pull the little tab down...no...clear it again. I stood there and took a deep breath. Late Sunday afternoon and there was nobody around and...well I couldn't ask anyway. I tried again...and again...and again. It finally clicked into place on the eighth try. I had the other keys.
I just hope she does not ask me to enter the place again on my own because I am still not sure how I managed to manipulate that code and the tab and the slot and... well, I did it.