Lebanon Reporter

February 13, 2013

The keys to a good marriage

By Ginger Truitt
Reporter columnist

— Some time ago, I received a phone call from a lady named Shannon. She’d found my vehicle registration lying in her front yard, six miles from my house. Earlier in the day, I had spilled my purse in a friend’s front yard, and papers flew everywhere. Apparently, I didn’t track them all down.

As I hung up the phone hubby asked, “What did you lose now?”

You’ve heard that old saying, “You’d lose your head if it wasn’t attached to your body?” I would also lose my arms and legs if they weren’t attached to my torso. Seems the only thing I can’t lose is weight. At least not permanently.

I probably spend 20 percent of my waking hours looking for lost items. I try to stay organized, but it’s a futile effort. I’ve had this problem since childhood. I remember my mother standing in the middle of my bedroom, exasperated, “Your clarinet has to be here somewhere!”

As I see it, there are two reasons for losing things:

One: the item has been inadvertently misplaced (or perhaps the wind has blown it into someone else’s yard).

Two: you put it in a safe place, but then you forget the location of the “safe” place.

The latter happens to me about 25 percent of the time. The other 75 percent of the time hubby says I’m just careless. I prefer to say distracted.  

Our newly installed back door came with three keys. Hubby attached one to his key chain, handed the second one to me, and tossed the third one into the field since I would lose it anyway.

Keys are my downfall. Sometimes, they get lost and don’t show up until a week or two later. Several summers ago, I borrowed hubby’s keys because mine were on an extended mystery vacation. Apparently, while shopping, I laid his keys down somewhere in the store.

When I got in the car I looked everywhere! Emptied my purse, double-checked my pockets, looked in all the grocery sacks. No keys. I went back into the store, retraced my steps and double-checked with the clerk. No keys. I sat in the car and prayed, “Dear God, I know you care about the little things in our lives. Please, help me find these keys. If I don’t find them, I can’t get home and my husband can’t come to get me because that was our last set. I know you hate murder, but that is what will to happen to me when he finds out what I’ve done!”

A moment later, God inspired me to dismantle the console of the car. As I snapped the pieces off, I saw a glint of metal in the sunlight. I dug under the edge of the plastic and pulled out MY keys!!! I promptly thanked the Lord and headed home.

When I arrived, hubby was busy working in the yard. I stepped out of the car, held up my keys and enthused, “Look what I found!”

Hubby held out his upturned palm and said, “Great. You can give mine back to me now.”

Uh oh.

When I told him that his keys were missing, he stared in disbelief. I figured this was not a good time to share my excitement over the answered prayer.

What happened next can only be described as mad genius. Without saying a word, he took my keys and headed to the basement.

As I was putting away groceries, I listened to the sounds of sawing, hammering and drilling, punctuated with an occasional snort. Twenty minutes later hubby reappeared, proudly dangling a 2”x 6” block of wood with a heavy gauge chain screwed into it. Attached to the end of the chain were my keys.

Now it was my turn to stare in disbelief!

He made it quite clear that I was not to try dismantling my new handcrafted key chain, and for the next several months I never lost my keys. No matter where I left them they were always easily visible.

Eventually the keys came unscrewed from the wood, but I kept the chain attached. It was a nice reminder that God and my husband care about the little things in my life. And so do the neighbors of friends who live six miles away.

Ginger is an author, speaker and mother of five. Contact her at ginger@gingertruitt.com.