My Ten Minutes of Attempted Backyard Jailbreak – My Temporary Insanity – My Journey Back to Life on the Outside –

Gate 1

Here is how it happened:

GateWe were taking down the remnants of a two-day garage sale. We had hauled several golf bags loaded with old clubs to the backyard gate. Steve opened the lock on the gate. Chelsea, our pet Bichon Frise, was inside waiting for her opportunity to escape and run the neighborhood, so I lifted her up in my arms while Steve was moving the six heavy bags through the gate into the backyard.

Gate 6Chelsea wasn’t comfortable in my arms, so I headed toward the backdoor to let her inside. Silly me. She has her own doggy door, so she could have run back outside anyway. The backdoor was locked, so I couldn’t put Chelsea inside. Undaunted by the locked backdoor, I shoved Chelsea through her doggy door and stood in front of it blocking her until I was sure Steve would have finished.

Gate 2Steve finished, locked the gate, and left the property thinking I was inside the house, but I was actually locked in the yard. The back yard is surrounded by a wall the same height as the gate. You may wonder why I couldn’t have opened the gate. I had tried several times in the past, failing each time, but never thinking I couldn’t open it if I took the time to figure it out. Believe me, I tried again, and I couldn’t open it.

The only way out of the cold backyard was the gate, and the only way inside the warm house was the backdoor. For a moment I remained calm. After all, I was pretty sure Steve left the property to walk to his car that he’d parked on another street so that garage sale customers would have room to park in front of our home. All I had to do was call him on his cell phone and let him know of my plight to make sure that he had no other plans but to drive the car back to the house.

Alas, my cell phone was inside the house. I wasn’t dressed for the cold. Arizona temperatures drop suddenly at dusk in late autumn. For a short second I thought of squeezing inside the doggy door, but that would not work. I’m too big, believe it or not.

Any sensible person would have waited patiently for at least ten or twenty minutes for this situation to remedy. Not I. I became incensed at the thought of possibly being trapped in the backyard for hours. Hours? Well, what IF Steve ran into a friend and had a long conversation or decided to go run an errand or stumbled and broke his leg, or whatever. I managed to hoist myself up enough to see over the gate by stepping on the hinge. Steve was not there. I tried to call out, but my voice would not work.

Gate 3My next plan: We have a patio with chairs. I could have climbed on a chair and tossed another chair over the gate. Then I could have heaved myself over the gate and landed in the chair, assuming the chair had landed perfectly and was stable for me to drop into. At least I was sane enough to picture myself lying in the front yard with a broken hip, so I waited a little longer, and Steve came home. When he looked for me inside the house and couldn’t find me, the truth of the matter seeped into the forefront of his mind. He quickly went outside to the gate and opened it. He was greeted harshly by a maniacal woman that had to be his wife, although he may have wished not.

Steve and I married only eight days after our first meeting in person. Sometimes I worry that he might wake up one morning and ask himself whatever was he thinking when he married me. After regaining my composure and knowing that I’d hurt his feelings, I felt compelled to ask him if he regretted marrying me, seeing that I might act a little crazy at times. Steve is a wonderful husband. He could have changed the subject or laughed it off, but Steve said it wouldn’t have mattered to him and he’d have married me anyway.

Is that true? I’m nuts enough to believe it.

About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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6 Responses to My Ten Minutes of Attempted Backyard Jailbreak – My Temporary Insanity – My Journey Back to Life on the Outside –

  1. pattisj says:

    He is a wonderful husband! I’m glad he got home in a timely manner.


  2. Someone once said, “Marriage is inviting someone into your insanity and asking them to live there”…A bit of an exaggeration maybe…but in my experience, not by much 🙂


    • Life is a challenge, married or single. It’s not easy to live with one’s own insanity. Steve and I stepped into one another’s lives for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health. Our little peculiarities blend well together. Although, I cannot say he has ever done anything quite as insane as my panic being locked in the backyard for ten minutes. Today Steve took the time to show me the trick to getting the lock open. It’s not brute strength after all, but knowing which way to push the gate before trying to disengage the bolt. Ha! Blessings to you, Michael…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had to Google love locket to understand your comment. Very interesting, Carl. No, this was just an accidentally imposed backyard confinement that triggered temporary insanity in me. Steve showed me how to open the lock today. I hope I’ve learned it. It’s not really hard. I scored higher than only 3 percent of the students tested in mechanical ability in my high school. All these years later I still have trouble knowing which end of a nail to hammer. Blessings to you…


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