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The Lost Key/Trapped in a Van

A quick Trip to the Market

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Hunting Canning Supplies

So I was out at Troyer’s market (for the locals, it’s a store just like Mountain View Bulk Foods or Yoder’s, just a lot farther out)!

I met a friend so we could purchase some highly sought-after canning supplies. He was in a rush to get to work, and I felt just a tad flustered as I got out of my van, shoving my key into my purse, and fumbling to spread my mask across my face.

We circled the store, making a beeline for the coveted canning stuff. It was my first time shopping at Troyer’s, so I ended up wandering through the whole store before I found a second canning/cooking section, which held the item I came to buy, which was one of these Sauce Makers since we were right in the middle of making applesauce. In these Mennonite-run stores everyone is always so friendly, and Troyer’s was no exception.


My friend purchased his canning jars and left, and I stayed for another few minutes to check out the goods. You know—the bulk foods and sesame sticks. Candy for this homesteader’s soul and kind of a weakness of mine. ?

So I get out to my van, and pass this guy loitering on the porch. I reach into my outside purse pocket for my key, and—no key. My purse has quite a few pockets, so I settle down in my van and start searching.

I rifled through every paper and poked my hand into every pocket, TWICE, but did not find my key. So I figured I must have dropped in the store.

I returned into the store, retraced my steps all through the aisles, eyes glued to the floor. No key in either canning section, and no key in the tasty snack aisle.

A friendly young man stepped aside and allowed me to “go first” in line. No problem—I was just asking about if someone turned in my missing key. Well…unfortunately, all I received were blank stares. No key there.

So by now, my dilemma was beginning to stress me out a tad bit. I glanced out the door and saw that same guy still standing there, sipping on his drink through a straw. He looked a bit amused to me, and I decided to keep an eye on him out of the corner of MY eye.

Back to the van.

Back through my purse.


I looked around my cluttered van, and moved some water bottles and stuff to the side, and ran my hand under the seat. NO…KEY…

I then glanced up at that suspicious-looking loitering man, and noticed that he STILL had that subtly amused look on his face.

I was like, “What—do you have my key?” Of course I didn’t say that out loud just thought it as I sat there in my van, stuck.

I tried to open the door, and found it locked. Immediately, my horn began to blare, and would not stop, bringing more amusement to the soda sipping stranger. The suspicious one.

I could not make the honking stop. The doors (all of them) would not open, and I found myself staring out at all the porch diners, who, of course, were staring right back at me. Because, naturally, I parked RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR!

A lady motioned at me to “Just turn the key in the ignition”, which aggravated me further, and I sat there, desperately embarrassed, and completely powerless to help myself out of this stupid situation.

Did I mention that that guy looked more amused than ever? I really began to wonder if he’d found my key, pushed the button to find out which vehicle it powered, then realized that it was just my old van, so why bother stealing it? He had his hand shoved down in his pocket, and he did look my way every so often. Along with EVERYONE ELSE IN THE PARKING LOT.

One lady came and tried to open my door from the outside, unsuccessfully. Everyone went back to their sandwiches and there I was, stuck in a honking van, unable to explain why I wouldn’t turn off the beeping barrage on the ears.

After two minutes or so (which seemed like way longer than that), the honking stopped.


So, I tried to get out. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! Oh, brother, here we go again. More beeping.

Ok, so honestly, I was in tears. No way out of an alarming vehicle. And…our spare van key went missing a very long time ago, so I was really out of luck.


Who could I even call? And what would I say? Should I call the police or a locksmith? More importantly, how long would I be trapped inside my van? Would I starve? I surveyed my rations, and decided that I should be thankful for thinking to buy the sesame sticks. HONK, HONK, HONK…on and on, pounding into my head.

I did say a prayer. Two, actually. Initially, for help finding the key, then later, a desperate prayer. All I could come up with while that horn kept honking was, “Lord, you’ve gotta help me! I’m in a pickle!”

I called Greg. Could he help me? No; I already knew that. But…when you’re locked in a honking van, there is a need to call someone. My dear husband at least had the courtesy to act concerned, although there was really nothing in the world he could have done. Except come pick me up, but how was I supposed to exit the van? So he helplessly wished me well while I fretted about my dilemma. He silently listened, too, to me describing the smug guy leaning against the porch rail. After all, I was pretty sure by now that he knew something about my key.

Like a guy, Greg asked me where the last time I’d seen the key. I repeated how I’d arrived in the rain, rushed in, stuffing the key into the outside pocket on my purse while I put my mask on. And I described my thorough search through my purse like five times by then. Of course I’d searched the store and van, and now I was locked in the van with no hopes of a rescue.

So…in the middle of my desperate description, I unzipped a pocket I never use in my purse. My pity party deflated, and I went silent as my fingers curled around the plastic fob of my van key.


After all that drama, I found myself speechless.

They say guys aren’t naturally intuitive, but somehow my husband guessed what I’d found. Somehow… ?

Getting out of there

I pulled out of the parking lot like a dog with my tail between my legs. After that performance, I just needed to get far away. I, after all, had gone through the gamut of emotions—inconvenience, frustration, irritation, embarrassment, suspicion, panic, then more embarrassment. So I needed to come back down to normal.


What happened with the key? I had no idea at first—I was too riled up to think. After reflecting, I think I figured it out. I obviously stuffed the key into that tiny unused pocket of my purse, the pocket I never even thought to look into. Then, after I’d “lost the key”, when I sat back down in the van, I closed the door with my purse wedged between the door and the seat. Somehow, the door our pressure on the key button, triggering the alarm and the locks, even though I had no idea what was happening. Once the alarm was enabled, every time I tried the door, the horn honked.

What a crazy experience that left me kind of wiped out.

The Last Word

Greg told me good-bye on the phone. And that he was glad I’d found the key so I wouldn’t have to stay trapped inside the van any longer. Before he hung up, he couldn’t resist giving me a gem of advice, as only a husband can give. “Before you leave, you may want to find that smug, loitering guy and apologize for falsely accusing him.” With a chuckle, he hung up.

And I zoomed out of there before anything else could happen.

9 Replies

  1. Mark and I needed a good laugh!!!! The tears are running, laughing so hard! Mark said you needed to be a writer!!!!

  2. This was a fun post to read – and I confess to similar things happening to me! Thank you for sharing it on the Farm Fresh Blog Hop – I am going to use it as one of my featured posts, as I am sure others can relate!

  3. Lol! Well, can’t say I haven’t done something similar. All those people have. Yesterday I walked around looking for my phone and my daughter was like, “It’s in your back pocket.” Your situationw as rather noisy though, lol! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop, and many blessings to you!

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️