On his first day home alone Papa went outside to check the oil in his car. The oil just needed to be checked right then. He walked outside and realized he could not get into the car so he turned around to get his keys and could not get back in the house.
The previous night we spoke to Papa and worked out a plan in case he needed to reach us by phone or happened to get lost in his new neighborhood. It was a good conversation; he had all the answers and could reach either of us at any time.
- We charged his cell phone and made sure he knew how to use the contacts to call us
- We provided a small map in case he took a walk around the block
- We put a house key on his key chain
- We wrote down his new address, and both our cell and work numbers, and had him put the paper in his wallet
- We removed all of the prior entries in his GPS and added his new address as home even though he said he was not going to drive
- We went back to the sheet of paper in his wallet and added the garage code and he put it back in his wallet
- What I did not do is explain that although our doors open from the inside they are always locked from the outside.
Now Papa was locked outside. He was not wearing a jacket and our 32 degree weather was not quite the same as what he was used to in AZ. He looked at his watch and realized I would be home within the hour. His first thought was to sit in his car to stay warm until he remembered he did not have his keys to get into the car. He walked up to the corner and looked for cars coming, but it was too early for us to be home. He then thought he could call us until he remembered he did not have his phone. I can only imagine how frustrated he was getting. He walked back down to the house and noticed that the garage has a keypad on it. He pushed a few numbers just to see if it would open. Nothing happened. He walked back down the length of the driveway and looked up and down the street. Then it happened, he remembered that I gave him the code. Luckily he had his wallet with him. He looked up the code, opened the door and walked into the house.
When I came home a short time later, he was sitting and watching TV. I asked him how his day had been. He paused for a moment as he looked up from Walker, Texas Ranger and coolly replied, Great! I locked myself out but I was able to find my way back in.