Some days flow along without a hitch. Some days do not.

I’ve had a series of those snag-filled days lately. No matter how carefully I plan, stuff happens to derail my best intentions.

This past week is a prime example. The summer issue of Blount County Horizon is now in process, and yours truly intended to have all her stories written and filed by Monday. Did that happen? Nope. Murphy’s Law was firmly in place, from having an unanticipated story that had to be written to delays at a doctor’s appointment and more. Even the traffic lights were conspiring against me.

Have you ever noticed that when you are not in a hurry and are actually on time, you’ll get green lights all the way? But if you are running late or are in a time crunch for personal reasons, you can bet on those lights being red. Every. Single. One.

Tuesday was my nemesis. Anything that could go wrong did go wrong, culminating with a first, for me: I locked my keys in the car at the Chilhowee Baptist Association office, where I had gone to interview the fine folks involved in the association’s cereal drive for the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home.

I always try to be so careful about keeping up with my keys. This time, however, I decided I didn’t need to carry my purse and put it under a sweater to hide it before picking up the tote bag with my notebook, camera, pens, etc. I didn’t even realize that I’d put the keys in my purse until the interviews were over and we all got ready to leave.

Adding insult to injury, I normally keep spare keys in the tote bag, but not this time. For some reason, that set of keys had ended up in my purse, too — the purse that was under the sweater in the front seat of my locked car.

OK, so now what?

My friend Kathy and her husband were there. Kathy said, “Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out.” Her husband — who has come to my rescue before, when a snake was in my kitchen — got a wire hanger from Lisa at the association office and attempted to unlock the door. The hanger wasn’t substantial enough to push the button, though.

Our next attempt was to get another wire hanger and twist it onto the first one, snag the sweater off the purse, then snag the purse and get the key out. The first try ended when the extra length of wire came loose and ended up on top of the sweater.

We finally ended up calling a professional who promised to be there in an hour or so, which was after the office was to close. Never fear: My friend Phyllis, who is on staff at the office, said she didn’t have to rush home and would stay so I didn’t have to wait outside in the heat. We had a nice conversation waiting for the pro to get there, and he arrived in record time before the office closed. He popped open the car door and all was well in my world once again.

Many thanks go to Kathy, Lonnie, Phyllis and Lisa for helping me out of a jam. That’s what they would do for anyone, at any time.

I was reminded of a few truths this week, a refresher course in Life 101. First: Keep the extra set of keys in a place other than my purse. Second: Good people always are willing to help. Third and most important: Keep calm, and trust God to send the answers. He always does.

Contact Linda Braden Albert with story ideas at

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