Ahh! Life is a continuous learning event!

So we're coming up Stone Oak Parkway on our way home, click on our remote control to open The Springs entry gate, and the gate just sits there, staring at us.

We back up to the gate keypad, and the display reads, ''System In Use.'' We try to manually enter our gate access code, but that doesn't seem to have any effect on the keypad or its ''System In Use'' display.

A couple of other Springs residents are now lined up at the entrance, also feverously clicking their gate remotes, but with the same lack of success that we had.

We called our HOA Management Company (the number is posted on the keypad), and asked to talk to the Gate Department. Alas, we receive that Department's voicemail, and leave a short message that we and other Springs residents are impatiently waiting outside our entrance gate, which won't budge from its closed state.

A couple of minutes later, the entry gate does open, and all of us race through the opening before it changes its mind.

We subsequently received a very nice phone call from our Management Company's Gate Department, who let us know that the ''System In Use'' display results from someone entering a nonexistent gate code (or, more likely, several nonexistent gate codes), causing the gate system to reset itself (i.e., ''System In Use''). During the resetting process, neither manual or remote control entry of valid gate codes will work. However, after 2-3 minutes, the resetting process (I call it the rebooting process) is complete, and the system returns to normal function.

A lesson learned. . . .