The Isolation Age: Jackpot Edition

There are days where things just go right.  Days of success and hope, little triumphs, unexpected discoveries, and gentle joy.

Saturday, charged the battery and assembled my new cordless electric mower (easy, just had to attach the handle), read the manual, and shaved the lawn. The battery made it all around my third of an acre, with power to spare. Good workout, too, pushing and pivoting the thing. Walked the machine back into the garage, and spent a good ten minutes deciding how I’d store the battery until next time. Then I retired to the deck to admire my work:


Somewhere deep in the night of Mother’s Day morning, I woke up with the cold certainty that I couldn’t remember where I put the mower key. It’s a safety device, and I can’t start the mower without it.  In all my fussing over the battery, I forgot what I did with the key.

Between preparing the computer for online church Sunday morning and ransacking the garage, I confirmed that the key was no place I thought I had put it, or anywhere I might rationally have put it.



After emptying my tool bag and rearranging my drill carrier bag and sorting through three plastic storage boxes of wrenches, screwdrivers and consolidated “random fastener crap,” I ended my tantrum and resolved to be an adult about it. I’d just call for a replacement.

Called the number in the manual early this morning. The recorded message asked for my patience due to the current situation and told me to call back in three business days. Then it hung up on me.


OK get a grip, Annie. I am stupid lucky enough to have a job, which requires clocking in and performing 8 hours of good honest work, which I am happy and grateful to do. But I knew I would never settle down until I found that key, and I was still SURE that it was in the garage somewhere.  So, during one of my two permitted 15 minute breaks, I backed the car out of the garage, took one more pass through my newly organized random fastener crap basket, and my plastic box of more wrenches than my child-sized hands will ever be strong enough to wield, to no avail.

Admitting defeat and humbly resolved to wait for three business days, I walked out to pull the car back into the garage. On the way, I glanced at the mower, sitting there, all cobalt blue and keyless.

And I saw a glimmer of yellow plastic on the floor underneath it.

I swear I rolled that mower back and forth twenty times on Sunday, but now, today, there it was, peeking out from under it – the KEY! FOUND IT!!

Gleeful and relieved, I put the key on my keychain and went back to the computer to participate in the morning video meetup.

Just as it was ending, a red fox trotted by the window, stopped, and looked right at me.  I turned the laptop to point the webcam at him to show my colleagues. He plunked himself down under the same tree the rabbits live (lived?) under, and took a long nap. When he emerged, he took some time for a good scratch, and with very little concern about my vocal “encouragement” to depart, trotted slowly off.



I finished work, logged off on time, and headed downstairs for my low impact YouTube cardio exercise session, with the cheerful and oddly motivating English guy.  The routine includes a few rounds of uppercuts and straight punches that allow my imagination to supply a full-on catharsis. I get sweaty and happy and invigorated, and I feel good.

On a quick pre-workout stop to replenish the under-sink cabinet in the basement bathroom with the cheap TP that is so flimsy it actually stays stocked on the grocery shelf above the “no limit” sign, I find … DISINFECTANT WIPES. A new, unopened cylinder of disinfectant wipes.

JACKPOT!!!!! I had forgotten about them – had no idea they were there! They are now hidden where Angelic Daughter, who loves nothing more than to be helpful, won’t find them and use them all up in a day (I hope.)

What a bizarre but amazing age we live in, when a roll of chemical-soaked cloths could bring such a feeling of elation.

And a red fox can look you in right in the face, settle in for a nap, and take his own sweet, nonchalant time scratching, before skipping slowly away.

Hoping you’ll find your own forgotten stash of something once mundane but now precious, I remain,

Your lawn-mowing, aerobicizing, imaginary-punch-throwing and merrily-doorknob disinfecting,




9 thoughts on “The Isolation Age: Jackpot Edition

    1. Pure serendipity. I thought I had looked in that cabinet to check for ordinary bathroom cleaning stuff but I didn’t see the magic cylinder until today. My brother the scientist had other suggestions but I’m so relieved to find these wipes! I’ll use one at a time until it is totally played out! Hope you and yours are staying well!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You know the last place you should look for something is where it should be, right? If you’re like me, that truism has been drummed into your head so much that it’s often one of those things you just unconsciously do. And it seems to me that in the vicinity of the equipment on which the key is supposed to be used for safety is the place said key should be. At least, that’s how it is vis-a-vis the key to our treadmill, when it was used on a regular basis is is still even though it’s really never used at all anymore. Could be similar in usage to lawnmowers, which may have busy and fallow seasons, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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