Sarah Stultz: Have you ever lost something important?

Published 7:40 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz


After a long day at work on Friday with the snowstorm, I was eager to drive across town, pick up my son from our friend’s house and get home and relax.

Email newsletter signup

Something about snow makes me want to be a hermit and hangout indoors, and last week was no different.

When we got home, my son and I trudged through the snow in our driveway and into the house. My husband, who works in Owatonna, was on his way back to Albert Lea and encountered quite a hectic scene on Interstate 35 on the way back. Then getting into our neighborhood in his four-door car, he got stuck a few times making his way through the snow-filled streets to our home.

Since he had a stressful drive home, I decided to offer to go outside and shovel for a little while. Then, I thought, I could move our cars around so he could take our pickup to work in the morning instead of the car, and we could get things cleared out before the plow came through in the morning.

I grabbed the keys to my car, and he handed me the key fob to his car, and I headed outside to clear off some of the snow in the driveway.

I remember thinking how it actually wasn’t too bad shoveling that night — the snow was that light, fluffy kind instead of that heavy snow that’s good for snowballs.

Soon enough, I made a path around his car and was ready to get into the car and pull it forward. Then, I could clear out a little more behind it and back my car out and pull it behind his car.

When I reached into my pocket to pull out his key fob, I noticed just my keys were in there and his key fob was missing.

Panicked because that was the only working key fob we had for that car, I began to retrace my steps, hopeful it simply fell out of my pocket somewhere along the line and I could spot it against the white snow.

But it was nowhere to be found.

I walked back into the house, retraced my footsteps from when I had the key and then returned outdoors to beginning digging through the piles of cleared snow in hopes it would show up.

After I looked for a while, my husband and I traded spots, and he came out to look for it, too — but without any success.

I was sick to my stomach thinking about having to get the car towed to a shop, getting a new key fob and then having it reprogrammed. (Whatever happened to the days of simply making a copy of a key for a couple dollars? If it had been that easy, we could have avoided this problem in the first place if we had a copy.)

A strong believer that we can pray for anything -— even a lost key fob — I said a prayer that I could be guided to it or that we could figure something out.

The next morning, once the sun was out, I went back outside hoping that since it was daylight I could see better and the key fob would stick out against the snow. I dug and sifted through all the snow on the sides of the driveway -— but still no key fob.

Then my mind thought of that broken key fob we had long since given up on because it hadn’t worked since we bought the car, and the thought crossed my mind that we should try replacing the battery.

When my husband got home from work that day, we ran to the store and got a battery for it, and he managed to take the fob apart and swap out the new battery with the old one.

Then came the true test.

He walked outside to try it out, and to my relief, I soon heard the beep that comes from when you push the button to lock the doors. Then, he started the car.

Did we find the original key fob and house keys that were lost? No, we still haven’t. I still think they fell out of my pocket into the soft snow and ended up in one of the snow piles on the sides of our driveway.

Instead, I was prompted of another solution, equally as great — and it cost much less than the alternative.

Needless to say, I was grateful to have a working key fob and still believe there was some divine intervention that day.

Now to see if we find it when all the snow melts?

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.