We had new front and back doors installed , and you could actually lock them. We had never had locks on the house, so this was a big deal. That first night everyone was gone for the week-end except me, and it felt good to be safely ensconced in my solid-built house. I awoke the next morning to a fresh layer of snow on the ground, and I went outside in my nightclothes to burn trash. (We can still do that here in the country.) What I didn’t know was that opening the door didn’t automatically unlock it, and once I closed it behind me, I was locked out. I had no cell phone, the nearest neighbor was ½ mile away, and I had just socks on my feet.
All the windows were shut tight for the winter, leaving only two ways to get in. The first was through the doggy door, and I tried crawling through the 1’ by 2’ enclosure that led to the door. No dice. It just wasn’t big enough, and I was afraid I’d get stuck. The other choice was the crawl space under the house where I would attempt to find the board that lifted up into the floor of a closet. I wrestled with the heavy crawl space cover and propped it against the house. The crawl space itself was only 2’ to 3’ high and it was totally black as a panther on a moonless night. I started out boldly, but became disoriented several times, and had to crawl back to the entrance and start over. I had to feel between the floor joists, hoping to find this loose board, and not think about spiders. Finally, after much prayer, God reminded me that the built-in vacuum pipes were close to the board I was looking for, so I felt around until I found them. And there beside them was the board.
Now I could just push up the board and be in the house. But in that 3’ space were pipes for the furnace as well as for the vacuum, and I had to lay on top of them to lift on the board with my back. It was so heavy! Then I remembered that there was a card table and four chairs stored right on this board in the closet. So I kicked into Superwoman mode , and using all the strength I could muster, I moved the board about ½”, and then an inch, and more, until I was able to climb up into the closet. How good it was to be back in the house, curled up by the wood stove, absorbing its heat while I thanked God for caring for me.