I received a call from a friend telling me about a friend of hers named Carol who had lost her wedding ring. She told me this was no ordinary ring. The ring was actually two gold rings that had been joined together after the passing of her late husband and Carol had recently lost it in her backyard and was devastated having no luck looking for a week with friends and neighbors. I agreed to call Carol. We talked that night and I could hear in her voice the magnitude of this loss for her. As it turns out, Carol lived rather close to me and the next day I showed up, my detector and pin pointer in hand. After all, how hard could it be to find in her small backyard. It was raining fairly hard and Carol and I talked about how this happened. Carol loves birds. Her backyard is full of feeders, it also borders on the edge of the water on the Island we live on her in the Pacific Northwest. Well Carol had just filled the suit feeder and with suit covering her hands, had shaken them hard to get the suit off……..along with her beloved gold double size gold ring.
I began my search as any good metal detectorist would. By asking questions, you know, doing the investigative work first. I started in the mid afternoon, in a now very steady rain. The grass was high and lots of people had walked all over it previously looking for the ring. Again, I thought this would be an easy find as I figured it had been stepped on and was just under the soil where it was hidden from sight of those looking. I started in my grid search going out 20 or so feet from where it flew off her finger. The soil here is hot and I was getting a lot of falsing plus a lot of small trash targets. I left after 3 hours or so. Soaking wet, cold but by no means ready to give in. Carol invited me in for some hot Salmon chowder but I was a muddy mess and told her I’d be back the next day. The rain had gone but left behind typical Pacific Northwest dampness as I started now a new search. I expanded out another 30 or so feet, started crawling though the briers with my pin pointer, reenacting Carols actions, thinking possibly it went farther than I thought. Carol would come out every so often to check and I’d tell her I wasn’t giving up. After another 4 or 5 hours I was beginning to wonder if possibly a bird had seen the shiny gold and took off with it. I decided to quit for the day. When I went to the door to say goodbye to Carol, she told me she had decided that it was gone forever and that was something she’d have to accept. I could see the toll this had taken on her in her eye’s. I said, “Carol I’m not quitting till I’ve done everything I possibly could. But at this point I was starting to think the ring was gone. Later that night I came back with a strong light and my pin pointer. I shined the light across the yard and within minutes saw the tiniest of glints from under the sticker bushes where I knew I’d looked. I walked over, put my hand on the glint and grabbed a handful of wet dirt and leaves. I turned my hand over and there it was, no 10 feet from where Carol had been standing when it came off her finger. I walked to the door and knocked, Carol answered and said come on in for some hot chowder. I did and as she walked toward me said she had lost all hope of recovering the ring and just wanted to go hide under her covers and hope for a better next year. As her voice trailed away she told me I was the most tenacious man she had ever met. I looked at her with a smile and held out my hand and said “this is why” Well I have never ever seen anyone react the way she did. Carol was crying, holding the ring to her lips, tears of joy running down her face as she gave me the best hug anyone could ask for. Carol called her partner Bob over and was jumping up and down with joy. I just watched with a big smile and knew that if I had given up, I never would have experienced the joy that I saw in Carols face. I now have a new friend and have sat and had tea with her, tasted her great cooking and hopefully will have her as a friend for life.
Here’s to newfound friends, metal detecting and of course .