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Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

Simple Pleasure, Denied!

Heather Curlee-Novak

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am spoiled. Spoiled rotten and maybe a skosh lazy.  And again, pampered and spoiled.  Our front door is to blame for this revelation.  We live in a lovely little bungalow from 1920 and all of the things do not work all of the time.  This front door of ours actually still has the original doorknob and skeleton key slot.  It is quite the physical challenge to close it, involving several slammings and a hopping leg dance to get the key to slide the deadbolt. Unless it magically locked on it’s own when you closed it a bit too hard.  (An unreliable way to lock the door or lock yourself out of the house, directly related to how late one might be to get somewhere.)

So there is the door background story.  This week the door got one over on us.  On the edge of the door near the newer deadbolt and the original skeleton key situation there are two buttons of mystery.  Some of you are grinning because you see where this is going.  You already know what these buttons are.  For the rest of you, Google ”old door lock buttons that can lock your door automatically via the skeleton key tumblers no one uses anymore because skeleton keys have gone the way of corded telephones and snail mail.”  That is what happened.  Now our door is locked and we cannot open it.  Our front door.  The one we use daily, five thousand times a day.

We have ideas about how a button could have gotten pushed.    It wasn’t me, of course.  My daughters do not know anything about it but my husband did dislodge part of a butterfly hair clip from the skeleton key space.  We have our ideas.  I would call a locksmith because I am not handy and when I try to be handy, disaster and crooked shelves occur.  My husband is brave and tinkered with the door and plans to tinker further.  We will probably take it off of its geriatric hinges this weekend and hope that works. 

Which brings me to this morning.  This door stood between me and a hot cup of coffee on the front porch in the post thunderstorm freshness.  I lamented out loud to my five year old Libby that I wish the door wasn’t broken so I could sit on the porch.  “You could go out the side door…” she stated, quite intelligent and alert even early in the morning.   I said I knew that, but it was wet outside.  “You could put on shoes.” She said.  We call her The Lawyer for a reason folks!  Her ability to overcome my objections leads me to believe she could sell anyone anything, if law school doesn’t work out. 

I ended up wearing my husband’s Crocs around to the front door.  As I sat there enjoying my strong black coffee I thought about how spoiled I am that the front door being blocked was a problem.  I tried to enjoy the green trees and freshly mowed grass and my wisteria vine that is leafing out on the gate.  I kept thinking about how many people in the world have real problems.  About my friend who’s husband is battling cancer and the dad at Libby’s preschool who died tragically last month.  I thought about all the arguments in our city over non-discrimination Human Rights Ordinance that people who never face discrimination said we didn’t need.  The fact that we still need to open a door in our cities to protect people from discrimination pains me.  I thought about people in my neighborhood who do not have enough of anything: food, money, education…. closed doors of prosperity, locked tight to them. I am again reminded I live a Queen’s life.  I am spoiled and hope in the future when my simple pleasures are denied I will keep it in perspective.  There are many doors closed and locked in the world and I hope to remember this.  My perspective changed even as I face the truth about my self-centered self.  May I become a person who doesn’t stand at a closed door lamenting an obstacle, but instead become a woman who finds a way around it, unlocks it or breaks it down.

Music: "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" by the Doors

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