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By Angie Brown, Guest Author

This brief escapade took place about 25 years ago when my husband, Henry, and I were still living in a small, wood-frame house that he had built in Portville, NY, a small town on the outskirts of Olean.  At the time, Henry was a patient in the local hospital. After a brief visit to the hospital to call on him, I arrived back home.  I walked up the seven steps of the storm porch around back and found that when I left for the hospital, I  accidentally pushed the small lever on the inside of the door, locking it. And, just in case of rain, I had closed all the windows before leaving.  I had locked myself out of my own house!

I just stood there for a moment and studied the situation carefully.  I thought to myself, “Now what am I going to do?”  Then I noticed that the screened window on the porch was open, and hope lifted me. I went straight to the garage and found a six-foot ladder, a hammer and a screwdriver. With tools now in hand, I went to work.

Putting the ladder all the way up to the window of the porch, I worked the screwdriver under the molding and around the screen, loosening one side of the screen.  Then, reaching in, I slid the bolt out, releasing the screen and dropping it to the ground. When the screen hit the ground, I took a quick look around, hoping no one would see this 70-year-old woman crawling through the window; I might have gotten arrested and booked for breaking and entering!  And, fortunately, I was wearing slacks, so at least my modesty would not be compromised in the process.

After easing myself through the newly “opened” window and inside the porch, I was able to unlock the storm door. Then, I used my key to unlock the kitchen door.  Now, all I had to do was repair the screen and put it back in the window, not a small order for a career housewife who was used to relying on her husband for such things!  But I quickly came up with just the right plan of action.  First, with a few small nails which I found in the garage, I tacked the molding back into place.  Then, climbing the ladder again, I replaced the mended screen.  That done, I surveyed the job and decided it was so well done that no one would even suspect it had been tampered with, not even Henry.

I decided not to report this embarrassing episode to Henry until he was home from the hospital and well on his way to recovery. I was looking for the most opportune moment to let him in on my little secret. When I did, he was both aghast and amused. I think he must have been imagining what I looked like crawling through the window opening.  Pretty soon I noticed that he had walked out back to inspect my work, so I joined him. He seemed pleased and, perhaps, impressed with my handiwork.  Then I confided in him, “My dentist told me I had an engineering mind.”

Who would have guessed that my dentist would one day be an unwitting accomplice to my breaking and entering escapade?! But, I’m not sure I want to tell him about it too; he might not find it so amusing.

(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)

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