I think I am going to preface this post with a few disclaimers/statements, given that my previous post just last week was all about how scatter-brained I was when I left my phone in the car at the Hall of Springs, and then spent an hour searching the grounds, only to remember (hope) that it was stored in the console. I have another story to share, but first:
1) I am not stupid. You will think so after reading this, but I’m really not.
2) I am so tired. I don’t sleep well at night (which is great when I want to photograph the sunrises, but lack of sleep makes me act stupidly sometimes).
3) I have way too much on my mind, and on my plate, currently. The company I work for does a lot of commercial holiday decorating and we are gearing up for the season. It is my favorite part of my job, but things are getting crazy. I am also beginning a sub-contract job with Albany Medical Center which involves running back and forth to Albany for training on the new software and the stress of wondering if there will be enough hours in the day. AND I am going to Holland in a few weeks to visit my brother, so I’m preparing for that and getting blog posts ready to be scheduled while I am gone.
Phew! So, those are my disclaimers before I tell you my story of last night’s misadventure at the Waterfront Park while I was trying to get a good photo of the Super Moon rising.
Also, I didn’t get enough good photos of the moon to scatter throughout this post for the people who don’t want to read it (I’m not good at all with night shots), so I am going to share a bunch of random pics from the past week, including Circular Street, the mums and other beautiful blooms at the Route 9 entrance to the State Park, and Congress Park. That way, you won’t get bored as I tell my tale.
OK, here goes.
I am always SUPER excited by anything going on in the sky. Meteor showers, lunar eclipses, planets, etc. All of it. Growing up, my kids were used to being roused from sleep and dragged outside to lay on a blanket in the middle of the front lawn to witness all the miracles in the night sky.
So, you can imagine how excited I was for last night’s Super Moon, combined with the lunar eclipse and resultant Blood Moon. I couldn’t decide where to go to watch the moon rise, and finally decided on the Waterfront Park for a good, clear view, and to hopefully capture its reflection on the water. Of course, by the time I settled on where I wanted to go, it was right around the time that the moon was scheduled to rise. I only live a few minutes away, so I raced to get there before it rose too high in the sky. On the way there, I caught a glimpse of it coming up through the trees, it was so huge and so orange! I panicked a bit more and drove a little bit faster…(and, no, I didn’t get stopped, thankfully).
I pulled into the park and whipped into a parking spot, frantic to get out there and get started. Am I painting the picture accurately? Picture me frantic and excited as I saw the beautiful scene unfolding in front of me. There were several other people there, obviously, all with cameras, some with tripods, for the same reason as me. I grabbed my camera and was out of the car in a blur. Of course, I forgot my tripod at home, but that was beside the point.
Forty-five minutes, and a zillion photos later (most of which didn’t turn out well at all), I was done. As mentioned, I am not good with nighttime photography and really don’t know what I am doing yet, but I figured I had to have gotten at least one good moon shot. And I did!
It was getting dark and many of the other spectators had left. I walked over to my car, ready to head to a friend’s house to watch the eclipse and…
…the car door was locked. It wasn’t supposed to be.
I froze for a second, but started checking my pockets to see where I must SURELY have stashed my keys. Nope. They were in the console. The same console where my phone was last weekend when I thought it was lost. Stupid console.
When I bought my 2008 Pontiac Vibe, I vowed I was going to drive it into the ground, and I am keeping that promise. Consequently, I have old locks. And, while I have been meaning to re-join AAA given the number of miles on my precious vehicle, I have not yet done so. So no AAA. No form of roadside assistance at all. The keys were trapped in the car.
And it was getting dark out there. And people were leaving. Gulp.
There was a very nice gentleman sitting in his car with his mother who had accompanied him to watch the moon, and another equally nice man standing at the car window talking photography to both of them. Embarrassed and royally pissed off at myself, I walked over and asked what they thought I should do…if I should just see if the police could help me or call a locksmith.
The guy in the car (who later told me his name was Mike) said that he had helped several people in similar situations, and offered to help me, but I didn’t want to put him out, so I called the police station. It took approximately 5 seconds for the dispatcher to laughingly and kindly tell me that they no longer have the tool to perform this service, but she gave me the number of a master locksmith who would free me for $55, plus tax. Mike was very helpful, and told me I would not need the locksmith, that he would attempt to free me.
And, for the next half hour or so, he tried to do just that. The other man, quite fortunately, happened to have picked up his laundry recently, and had all his shirts hanging on hangers in his car. He graciously yanked one of the shirts off the hanger for us to try to fashion into a hook. As Mike headed over to my car to try to get in for me, the guy with the dry cleaning handed me his freshly laundered shirt and asked me to please fold it up for him. Which I could not do with it just hanging from my hands. I tried, but it kept looking like a wadded up ball of wrinkles. I felt awful. He suggested I lay it on the picnic table to fold it, but that made no sense as the table was dirty and the shirt was not. I did the best I could and handed him back a shabbily-folded shirt. He wished us luck, I thanked him profusely, and he was off.
Now I headed over to my car to see if I could help my hero break into my car. He needed a light because it was starting to get pretty dark out at this point. I turned on the flashlight on my phone and tried to shine it through the windshield to illuminate the handle and the lock.
We started chatting as he worked at releasing that lock. I told him that I do this blog, at which point he asked if I was involved in any organizations. I thought that was kind of a random question, but told him I was a member of the Saratoga Lions. Well, wouldn’t you know, he is also a member, but I had never met him previously at any events. He recognized both my name and the fact that I do the blog.
Funny thing is…the last time I locked my keys in the car (and, yes, this wasn’t the first time, sadly), it was another member of the Lions who came to my rescue that time as well. He actually had to slide up the windshield of my car which had been sitting in the summer sun all afternoon and drop into the car headfirst through the partially open sunroof to get my keys. This is getting to be a sad habit of mine, apparently.
Unfortunately for us this time, the sunroof was closed, and dry cleaner hangers are pretty flimsy, so this method was not working out well at all. And poor Mike kept trying and trying. It looked to me like he was hooking the door handle and not the latch which we needed to release first. I decided to shine my light across the front seat and show him what I was talking about with regard to the lock.
As I looked over at the passenger side handle, I noted that I saw the red marking which showed when the lock was not engaged. Could it be?!?!? I got a sick feeling in my stomach and said, “wait a second, is that side OPEN?” I circled over to the other side of the car, almost hoping I was wrong, Mike was actually laughing even though I am certain he must have wanted to strangle me, and I easily opened the door.
Awesome. Just awesome.
So, yeah, 45 minutes later, after all those attempts to break into my “locked” car so that I could get my keys…turns out the car was not locked at all. ONLY the driver’s side door was locked. I have no idea how this happened. Short of me deliberately pushing the lock on the door which I NEVER do, there is no logical explanation. I usually lock it with my key fob, or sometimes I push the auto lock button which locks all the doors…but never, ever, ever do I lock just the one door. Why would I?
Oh, and apparently a shooting star blazed over my head during all of this and I missed it. Like the universe was laughing at me…
Happily, Mike was very good-natured about the whole thing. I was beyond mortified.
So, there you have it. Again, please don’t judge me!! I assure you I am not normally so scatter-brained or ditzy as I have been these past few weeks.
And I did get to meet some very nice people.
And I did get a really cool photo of the moon rising over the lake (at the top of this post).