Well my day didn’t quite run as smoothly as I’d first anticipated. I wrote in the blog this morning that I had a pretty full day ahead of me and needed to go to the home improvement store and then over to the old house to paint and repair carpet and so on. Unfortunately, when I got ready to leave, I found that I couldn’t actually get out of the farm.

Last night, I pulled my truck into the courtyard because I had some computers in there and other various things that I don’t really care to have stolen. Since I was pretty tired when I came home, I didn’t feel like unloading everything so I figured I would take care of it this morning…which I did. So I had everything unloaded and had just finished collecting everything else I needed to finish the painting. I pushed the button to open the gate to the street and the door tried to open but didn’t actually go anywhere.

Our front gate is completely electric and and there is a little box in the center of the gate on the innermost door. Coming out of the bottom of this box was a steel bar which was stuck into a hole in the ground. I tried to lift the bar but couldn’t find anything which I could use to get under the bar which would allow me to open the gate.

While we were moving we had the problem of almost not being able to get the gate open while the guys were coming back with a load of furniture and the electrician was installing our new breaker box. The gates had been standing open when the power was turned off and the guys left, but it was rather windy that day and the gate gradually was being pushed closed while the guys were gone. Thankfully the electrician finished just the nick of time because the doors don’t seem to have a latch to release them so they can be opened with no power and moving everything from the street would not have been fun for them.

Anyway, in the box there is a lock. I figured this must have something to do with helping to get the door open in case it’s not working properly but we were not given this key when we moved in. There are about 100 random keys in key boxes around the property and not to mention drawers full of random keys in the former workshop. I tried at least 50 of them that seemed like they could possibly work but nothing would go in there at all.

Starting to get desperate and not wanting to go the brute force route of just knocking the gate down or breaking the little box, I noticed that there was a wire for electricity running to this box and couldn’t quite figure out why it was there. I started to think that perhaps there was a switch somewhere which would open the lock at the bottom of the gate somehow…but I’ve never really noticed any switches that seem to go to nothing and, after trying a few switches, nothing seemed to make any difference (I even tried the extra button on our security phone for the front door).

Just about at my peak of frustration, the bell on the small gate rings. Our front gate is two components, one which is for people to pass through and they can be buzzed in from inside the house, and the other is the gate for the courtyard which cars can drive through. Standing there was our insurance guy who seems to have the worst timing ever. Hubby laid into him a few days ago because he called after the heated discussion with the painters and asked about some stupid paperwork that we wouldn’t have been able to find if we needed anyway. So he starts in about these papers again and I’m just thinking he needs to leave. Since we’d barely finished moving into the house, I had no clue where to even begin looking for what he needed and since I was trapped in my own house, I really didn’t care. So I explained that I didn’t really have time at the moment and perhaps he can he try us again next week because I’m trying to figure out the gate. He replies that with what I’ve got in my hand, I’ll never be able to open it myself…and leaves. Needless to say that did not really perk up my mood.

I’d been talking to hubby off and on and told him about the visit from the guy. Hubby called him to clear up exactly what needed to be done as far as the paperwork and the guy apologized for coming along at the wrong time and for not thinking sooner that we have a policy which covers locksmith services and other small emergencies around the house. So hubby told him I was planning to go up to the locksmith in town and hoped that I could then be freed. So the insurance guy offered to meet me up there since he knows the guy rather well. Unfortunately, the guy wasn’t there and his son (also a locksmith) wasn’t going to be in until later in the afternoon…and it was only 11 am.

Well, my insurance “knight” gets on the phone to get our policy number and calls the emergency service to get a locksmith out there. I guess the locksmith was ready for lunch because he said he wouldn’t be out for about an hour but would call on his way. An hour and a half later, our insurance guy came back and asked if I’d heard from the locksmith…and not 2 minutes later gets a call from the guy that he’s waiting for us at the house. Actually, he was on the south side of the street and just needed to drive down a few blocks.

It didn’t take him long to “diagnose” the problem and he opened the box with the lock on it. Unfortunately, the box had been painted so many times that I couldn’t see two screws holding the pieces of the box together or I may have figured things out better on my own and saved some time and aggravation

When the electricity is triggered to open the door, the little metal pole is also triggered to lift up. But apparently with the cold weather, the gate shifted a bit and the pole was still be lifted, just not enough. So the locksmith raised the box up just a bit and everything worked properly while we tested it. The key lock was merely there to help out if the pole wasn’t lifting enough so it could be done manually. The locksmith didn’t have a lock that would fit in the hole properly and trigger the mechanism so we have to find one on our own or just seal up the hole in general to prevent rain from getting into the box and short-circuiting everything.

So thankfully, about 5 hours later than I’d wanted, I finally managed to get on my way to finish the painting. Naturally I didn’t get everything done because there just wasn’t enough time left but I’m definitely hoping that tomorrow I can get out there early to get everything wrapped up. Of course this would mean that the delivery guy has to come in the morning with the shower so we’ll see what happens there.

But I sure am glad that we paid about €100 to the locksmith to come out and that he did such a great job “moving” the box on the gate. When I got home, it was stuck again so I guess we’ll have to work it out on our own. Thankfully the hole in the box hasn’t been closed up so I can just use my finger to lift the pad to get the pole all the way up and the gate then functions perfectly for the rest of the day.