January 10, 2013

“…and she flew through the air with the greatest of ease…”

We live in an area where every house has a gate.

It is unusual in the U.S. but very common in England. I think it goes back to a moat mentality, fearing conquerors in knight dressage leaping onto ones property at any given moment. So now we all have gates. They are old and creaky and not reliable. I told this to my “letting” agent upon signing our lease but he did not agree. Fast forward to an icy, cold London morning with a sick child at home.

It was one of those mornings where everything was off. My daughter woke up ill with the virus that was flying through her school. After racing out the door, late for other two’s school run, I realized that I did not have my phone. Is there any panic like not having your phone, lifeline to the universe? Normally I would have enjoyed the break but with my daughter home, alone, and feeling awful I felt full on panic. Additionally, I had to pick up a package at school and tick tock it was taking FOREVER. Finally back on the road – about a 20 minute drive in moving traffic, screech into the driveway, push the button – and gates do not open. What the %^&$ ? Why won’t the gates open??? I get out to call on the intercom and it is silent. Now I am truly hyperventilating. Child inside, can’t get in – only one possible solution – climb over the gate.

No problem, I can push myself over.

After five heave-hos I am riding the the ice covered brick part of the gate bare back holding onto that mare for dear life. Now what? I could stay, frozen till help arrives (possibly never) with my ailing child inside the house or I could roll myself off the gate with the grace of a hippopotamus and go splat on the other side. I voted for the roll. Slowly, slowly, eeeerrrrgghhhhhhhhhhh, got it. Success. Run inside the house to find said daughter relaxing in front of the TV. “You forgot your phone”.

I know.


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