Thursday, February 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday

I was a latch key kid. Only at the time, I didn't know that. We didn't have a word for it back then. Just my mother worked so I had my own key to let myself in the house after school. I got my own key when I was 7 years old. I'm sure the blue key isn't the original, but it was the key I carried the longest, and I still have on my keychain. Now it's just a silly, old, sentimental thing.

I wore the key on a keyring that I attached to the button hole of my uniform jumper when I was in parochial school. The rules were clear when I got home from school. I was to let myself in and lock the door and do my homework. No friends allowed in the house, and when I hit my teen years, the rule was ammended to NO BOYS in the house.

I remember 4 times when I was between the ages of 7 to 9 when I forgot my key and was locked out of the house.

On time. I went next door to get Himself to help me. He brought his kid brother, B. with him. My parents' house had a big, bow window in front with five panels divided into 15 small panes. The top two panes on either side opened up. We got a ladder and a screwdriver out of the garage. Himself  positioned the ladder, climbed up and was able to pry to the window open. B was little enough to be able to wriggle through the small window with a helpful boost. I seem to remember B went through the window head first and grabbed onto the wide windowsill before tumbling to the floor. Once inside, B unlocked the door for me.

Another time. B must not have been around and Himself and I were too big to go through the small window. Either that or the windows had been latched. My Dad had built a small, enclosed porch at the back of the house. You could gain entry to the porch by going through the garage. There was a flimsy door that had a dead bolt and a hook and eye lock. Usually the only one in use was the hook and eye. Again, with the trusty screwdriver, Himself was able to wedge the screwdriver between the door jamb to flip up the hook. He used the same technique with a bit more patience to push the lock bolt back with the screwdriver.

A third time. The only way to gain entry to the house was through the new, steel bulkhead. The new bulkhead had some sort of spring mechanism to open. I seem to recall we sprung the doors to open them. (My dad was not happy). Himself used the trusty screwdriver to open the cellar door so I could get in.

Breaking into my parents' house took 10 to 15 minutes.

A fourth time. This actually must have been the first time I got locked out of the house. I was 7 years old. It was a nice, sunny Fall day. I was wearing a navy blue light weight coat. No one was around so I sat on the front steps. I was home from school by 2:30 PM and Ma didn't get home from work until after 5 PM. Nothing to do but read and wait. It wasn't too bad until the sun went down. Then it got really cold. I was practically frozen to the steps when Ma got home.

Were you a latch key kid?


  1. What a great story. You really did marry the boy next door.
    I've got my kitty's(who died from cancer) i.d. tag on my keychain.

  2. Makes me wonder why you didn't just stay next door until Ma got home? On the other hand, sounds like you and Himself could have had a great career in B&E!

  3. And now that he's a chemist, he has an interesting skill set