This lost-and-now-found wedding band will go down in my book of smiles as ‘The Valentine’s Ring.’
I say this because, the ring’s owner, Todd, became engaged to Suzie on a very happy Valentine’s Day in 2010. Subsequently, exactly seven years later, on Valentine’s Day, 2017, Todd’s love-token emerged from the icy darkness of a Wisconsin snow pile. It was as though the ring was most anxious to celebrate the warmth and glow of the occasion all over again. But I’m getting ahead of my story.
Two months earlier, the ring vanished from Todd’s finger as he was clearing the snow off his car. Together the couple shoveled a wide area around their vehicle. They even set the shoveled snow to one side and sifted through it by hand. It was a race to find it before the inevitable snowplow arrived.
Questions ricocheted in their minds. Had the ring fallen off their vehicle as they drove away? Had a passerby picked it up? Or had the snowplow already done its nasty deed? Or was the ring already cocooned inside the ten to twelve foot high mound of snow at the end of the parking lot? These unanswered questions only served to deepen the sick feeling in Todd and Suzie’s stomachs, the kind that accompanies the loss of something personal—precious.
Having found my name on The Ring Finders website, Todd reached out to me a few days later. Would I be willing to search for his ring? The cold was especially brutal that evening as I applied my 40-plus years of metal detecting experience to the task at hand. But it was to no avail. The only remaining hope was that maybe, just maybe the ring was somewhere in the gigantic snow pile. If so, it would have to wait until spring thaw.
In the weeks to follow I kept an eye on similar snow mounds where I live. As they slowly melted I returned at intervals to check the one where Todd’s ring had been lost. But as I climbed over the pile with my detector, all was quiet in my headset, ominously quiet. “Ring,” I asked out loud, “where are you hiding?”
The morning sun shone warm and promising on Valentine’s Day. I noticed a trickle of water leaking out from beneath a snow pile not far from my house and knew it was time to take another drive. As I pulled my vehicle up to the now-much-smaller mound, a pair of Canada geese stood guard. They took turns honking their displeasure at my disturbing their morning solace.
Keeping a wary eye on the unpredictable duo, I traced my way around the retreating perimeter scanning for any sign of a wedding band. Then a glimmer caught my eye! And now, as Paul Harvey, American radio broadcaster for ABC Radio Networks used to say, “You know the rest of the story.”
Suzie stopped by to pick up Todd’s ring just a few hours ago. As it turns out, Todd was traveling on Valentine’s Day. And so Suzie is looking forward to surprising him with a most-special Valentine’s gift—-again!