Thursday, May 20, 2004

the key to happiness

It is a beautiful morning, complete with a multitude of birdsong and crisp blue skies. This has been a restful stop, and we are refreshed for today's meander further up the coast. My favorite thing here has been the chorus of frogs at night that begin tuning up as soon as dusk descends. Their blend of tiny voices makes me think they truly are small, and I have dubbed them "froglettes." It's a good thing that I awake soothed and alert, because yesterday's events threatened to capsize the I.B. Serene before it left the dock.

Multitasking as usual, we were up early to do some writing, check email, and do laundry. I grabbed up the trash bag and laundry soap as I trailed after Ron, who had been dispatched under the considerable weight of our dirty clothes. A few hours later it became woefully clear that my truck and fifth wheel keys were missing in action. No purse, no pockets, I had been clutching them in my hand when I dropped off the trash bag. As I scoured the trail from RV to laundry and back again, I had the increasing sense of dread about where they might be...and the trash cans had already been emptied into the dumpster.

In mute testament to his love, devotion, and strong sense of self-preservation, Ron prepared for battle. In old jeans and sweatshirt, and appropriately gloved as for surgery, he took on the dumpster. Ever the devoted helpmate, I "assisted" from the sidelines. We (and I use this term loosely) poked, prodded, and gingerly sifted through coffee grounds and lobster carcasses. This was our first attempt at dumpster diving, and we were admittedly awkward and unappreciative of its treasures. I believe I did notice a discarded little table that had potential though. Ron's find was a bag filled with discarded sewer hose connectors...eeewwwwwwwww.

Anyway...we quickly reached the saturation point with this dubious venture without finding the keys. I just *know* they were in there someplace, happily nestled between cucumber skins and bags of Fido's morning deposits. It was time to admit defeat, and head to town. The nearest Dodge dealer meant a trip back to Portland. Ron already knew what this meant, I was the one about to get the education. Let me just add here, that I do NOT lose things. To me, it is both an irritant and psychological wound to have one of my possessions set forth into the universe. And I even lost my really cool little LED flashlight! Definitely irritating. Anyway, off to the Dodge dealer.

These nice fancy key fobs that lock and unlock your vehicle, and arm your security system are the deluxe version of a key. As a matter of fact, they actually contain a microchip inside the key itself. This is so much more than buying a fob and making a new key. First of all, they deprogram the key that is wandering in the great beyond to deactiviate it. We don't want someone tracking you down and stealing your vehicle when they find your key. In our case, the chances of this are probably slim to none, but I understand the concept. Then they have to reprogram a new fob and key for you, using a computer that reads a message from your particular vehicle. Being fond of round numbers it works like this...$40 for the fob, $40 for the KEY, and and $40 for the new programming. Oh, and did I mention the $6 "environmental" fee? I think that's rent for the space in the landfill where my old key is currently residing. So, for $126 and change, I got a new key! Isn't that fun? We thought so. I also enjoyed the part where we got to hang out in the waiting room of the Dodge dealer for over an hour. And, if I find I actually lost the key in plain sight in our fifth wheel, we will find that it no longer works, and we can pay yet another $40 to have it reprogrammed.

So that's it. Don't lose your keys, and if you do...don't lose them in the trash, but if you do...hope your partner is as gracious as Ron is. I have to take a moment here. The man is a saint. He has not said one word about losing the keys. Has not chastised me. No lectures. No heavy sighs accompanied by eyes cast towards the heavens. He is either heavily medicated, or the world's greatest husband.

Today we are traveling further up the coast. We've found an Elk's Lodge in Rockland, which should be a good location for further exploration. I'm on a quest to see a moose. I'll let you know what happens.