Recently, we were featured in an article by Doug Moe, a local reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. The story was about our Ring Finding activities (http://host.madison.com/news/local/columnists/doug-moe/doug-moe-the-man-who-finds-lost-rings/article_3ef64cca-adf5-5735-8399-4f6e440631e0.html). After the article ran, I was contacted by about a dozen people who had lost their wedding ring between 1 and 8 years ago. This was awesome, because a lot of time people just give up looking for their ring. If you have a good idea on where and how you lost your ring, there is probably a pretty good chance it is still there. One of the couples who contacted me was Heather and Ron and this is their ring story.
Three years ago, Heather was preparing for an Easter Egg hunt in her backyard. The weather was just starting to warm up, so she decided it would be nice to have the hunt outside. She first wanted to clean up the dead leaves that were around her shrubs and in her planting beds from the past fall. Heather’s lot backed up to a wooded area, which was a convenient place to throw leaves and other yard waste. It was here that Heather tossed the leaves from her yard.
The next day, she was busy preparing for Easter dinner, when suddenly she realized that her wedding ring of 19 years was missing. She had been so busy getting ready for company that she didn’t focus on the fact that her ring was not on her finger. She felt absolutely sick, but hoped that it would show up. Days passed, but still not ring. She wondered if she had lost it in the house or maybe it fell down the drain? Ron, Heather’s husband, inspected all the traps under the sinks in the house. No ring. Time went on, but still no ring.
Heather thought back to the day she lost it and remembered that the day prior, she was in the backyard raking and cleaning the leaves. She also remembered that she was not wearing any gloves while working in the backyard, and there was a chance the ring could have fallen off while scooping up or tossing the leaves in the woods. They searched the areas she was working, but did not find anything. It’s amazing how a ring can quickly disappear from sight. After about a year of searching and wondering, Heather gave up – accepting the fact that she’d never see her ring again. They went to the jewelry store and picked out a new ring to replace the one missing from her finger.
Fast forward 3 years, and Ron was reading the Sunday paper one winter day. He showed Heather an article about some local “Ring Finders” who had helped others find their lost rings in the area. Ron called me the next day and told me their story. I said we could help, but needed to wait till Spring when the snow had melted and the ground thawed. This past weekend, I happened to be visiting an old family friend on the same side of Madison that Heather and Ron lived. I called Ron and setup a time to come out and take a look.
When we pulled up, we were greeted by Ellie, the family dog. Kylie, my daughter, enjoyed playing with Ellie … and I think Ellie enjoyed playing with Kylie too. Carter, my son, and I immediately started the search. We first scanned the planting area where Heather was working in 3 years ago. Amazingly, we found nothing. Typically around the perimeter of the house, we find a fair amount of junk left over from building projects or a recent roofing job – but there was nothing (which is awesome). So, we moved to the area where Heather had tossed the leaves. Almost immediately, we got a good strong and consistent signal. Carter scratched away the soil and we could quickly see the edge of a ring start to appear. The ring had been lost for 3 years, and after only about 5 mins we had found it!
I called Heather back out and distracted her with a “question”, when she turned around, she saw me holding up her ring. She was shocked. I don’t think she would ever had guessed that we would find her ring that quickly. After a couple of seconds, she let out a loud scream and jumped up and down with joy. This is my favorite part of Ring Hunting … the reveal. I love the reaction and expressions on people’s faces when we pull something out of the ground, that just seconds earlier, had been lost forever.
Thank you Ron and Heather for the generous reward. We will donate a portion of the reward to Carter and Kylie’s school, as we do with all rewards. We will then use the remainder to purchase some additional “test rings”. We have a couple of rings that we’ve found and have not been able to return. These prove very valuable when first starting a hunt. If we can get a similar ring and drop it in the same environment, it helps us tune our machines and focus on what signals to look for.
Remember, even if it’s been years – there is still hope that your ring can be found.
Every ring has a story, what’s yours?