I'm sweltering in our version of a Heat Wave (official Environment Canada website gives a Heat Wave Warning, seriously! 25 to 30 degrees at the coast, higher inland, and no rain in the near forecast.
The beach was around the lake from the campsite, so we enjoyed the walk there, and then my stalwart son-in-law was dispatched to do some fetch-and-carrying of towels and sand toys and shade tent, etc. that we hadn't wanted to haul on our walk. While we waited, Paul and I got warm enough to take a quick dip and the Littles and their Momma joined us after a bit. By the time Rob had dropped off the shade tent and headed back for one last bundle, we'd dropped our sandals and our little backpacks, my purse, our towels, etc., inside and around, claiming our territory as you do in these situations.
At the change room, Paul realized he'd left his towel behind. He held the backpack out for me to grab my clothes from it, so that I could start changing while he ran back. Instead, I offered to keep the pack and handed him his dry pants from it -- he'd already put his shirt on. Not until I'd changed did I notice there was still a set of keys in the pack -- and I didn't recognize them as Paul's. He confirmed that when he got back, and realizing they were Rob's, we both also realized that IF Paul hadn't had to retrieve his towel and had hung on to the pack, simply handing my clothes over to me, from it, he was much less likely than I to have noticed the keys down at the bottom, and much more likely to have tossed the supposedly empty backpack in the trunk of our car. . . .
In which case, as my son-in-law quickly calculated, as I dangled the keys above him on the beach a minute later, in which case, he and my daughter and the two littles would have been ninety minutes from home, in the woods, locked out of their car which had all the useful stuff (remember that bear-proofing) securely and tantalizingly stowed beyond their reach.
"But really," I reassured, "the inconvenience would mostly be ours -- Paul's really, as he's the one who would likely have to drive the keys back when you phoned to tell us we must have them, that you must have put them in our black pack instead of yours."
To his protest that his phone was locked in the car, safe from beach sand and water and thieves, I nodded, "I know, but you'd be able to call from that park administration kiosk we passed on the way in."
He was already shaking his head against that possibility, but waited patiently as my daughter interrupted that they wouldn't need to do that -- she just needed to charge her phone for a few minutes. . . and then. . . Oh, right, charge it in the car? That's not going to work. . .
So Son-in-law explained why even a borrowed phone wouldn't work, turning to my daughter to ask, "Do you know your parents' phone numbers?"
So I'll stop here to let us all think, for a minute, about what recourse we might have in a similar situation. I think I have some of my kids' numbers written down somewhere, but not somewhere I carry around with me. And even then, I'd probably have locked it in the car, in my purse. . . .Remember looking up numbers in phone books? Remember having them memorized because we dialed them so often? Or even those times we had to get an operator to look the numbers up for us and ask her to call them collect? Quaint, right?
Paul's quite sure that he would have noticed the keys once we got home, because he has a habit of unpacking his wallet, sunglasses, etc., from the small backpack when he puts it away -- and as soon as he noticed them, he would have headed right back to the car, the drive not nearly so pleasant the second time 'round. I'm skeptical, because he'd also brought his leather bag (we don't call it a man-purse in our house!) and his wallet and all the et ceterae were in that.
Rob figured that they could have sought out someone who'd let them borrow a laptop or phone to go online and leave messages for me on social media. . .
And really, they might also have discovered the kindness of strangers.
But just as well that discovery can be saved for another day, right?
So, in the comments today, I'd love to know your favourite place to escape from summer heat (if you're as lucky as I was for twenty-some years, you have only to walk out your door for a swim or to sit in the shade of your garden -- try not to gloat, okay? ;-)
AND/OR you might share your story about a crisis averted -- or not, perhaps there was a dramatic rescue instead -- or your tales about the limitations of modern communication technology and its lack of system backup. . . .
Oh, and just a reminder, if you're looking for possible titles for your summer reading in that hammock in the shade, I posted my Halfway Through The Year Reading List over at my book blog.