Keys … every door has a different key. Our first home was a new one, so it wasn’t as if the doors had been replaced over the years. When we took possession of our El Parque home, the agent handed us a large sack filled with keys. Two
different keys to the sliding doors that were inches apart. A key to the kitchen door and the outside bedroom door. Then keys to all the inside doors. If my husband had carried one of each, he would have looked like a teenage rapper wannabe. His pants would have been down around his knees! Not a pretty thought. We happily handed off the key bag to the new owners of our home and explained that we only came in and out the kitchen door. The rest of the keys were just stuck in a drawer.
On to the new home closing … and a new bag of keys. We still haven’t identified six of them. But we have a gate key, a key for each of the doors leading into the main area, a key for the tool bodega, a key for the washroom bodega. So, our key rings carry five keys right now. But we’re still working on not getting locked out. The doors in this home have two bolts. The technical terms for these are big, honking bolt and little, screw-down bolt. Needless to say one of us never leaves the house until we’re sure that we'll be able can get back in. If we forget to screw-down the little bolt, the key will open the big
honking bolt but not the other one. I received help and a lesson in bolts from a Mexican neighbor who was watching me turn the key both directions for about three minutes. With a “how did the gringos ever survive” look on his face, he came to my
rescue. After a five minute lesson in Spanish with lots of gestures, I finally understood the two bolt system. Now if I can explain it to my husband!
So as if keys and locks weren’t confusing enough, how about light switches? In the El Parque house,we ended up color coding the switches. Yellow for overhead lights, orange for wall sconces, and blue for fans. Looking at one coded light
switch, the new owners commented that it would be easy since the fan was always the top switch. Then they looked at another colored panel and realized why I had coded all of them. Fan on the top … fan on the bottom … fan in the middle.
And of course, there seems to always be the odd switch. We made sure to tell the new owners that if they wanted the lights
leading up to the mirador to come on, they had to go into the master bedroom and flip the switch that is next to the night stand.
And the new home? Well, to turn on the outlet in the living room that runs the TV area you have to go into the master bedroom and flip on the switch next to the night stand. Cosmic continuity! As for the rest of the light switches, we’re still just flipping and asking each other what just turned on. As we figure it out, I’m busy color coding them. My husband is still trying to understand that the fans and lights come on together by one switch and he has to pull the chains to make different
At least, it’s a free way to get a brain work out. Maybe we’ve pushed dementia back by a week or so.