One Saturday, a couple of years after I married my lovely wife, I went to the beach to spend a day of fun in the sun. I brought my kite buggy and kites with me, and after a few minutes of setup, was riding my buggy across the wide, sandy beaches. In my buggy, I covered an area about 10 blocks long, and from the sand dunes down into the water, probably a distance of 200 yards. Great fun!
At home that night, I realized that my platinum wedding ring was not on my finger. Now, I didn’t panic right away. I knew there were many places that it could have been. So I began methodically looking for it. In the trash, in the gardens where I’d worked earlier in the day, around the house in all the places I remembered going… nothing. The next day, I hunted more… at my father in law’s house, in the outside garbage can and everywhere I could think of looking. By bed time Sunday night, I still had not found it. Monday I had to go back to work, but that night I went through all the places I’d already looked, and everywhere else I could think of looking. I was upset, and my wife distraught. We had looked EVERYWHERE except for one place, back on the beach. I knew that if it had fallen off somewhere on the beach, my chances of finding it were about zero. I could have been anywhere in approximately 10 acres of space.
I hatched a plan, the only plan that could possibly save my sanity, my marriage and my life as I knew it. I decided that on the way to work on Tuesday, I’d stop and rent a metal detector and then after work, go to the beach and give it a go. And so, after work, my wife and I headed to the beach in a last ditch effort.
The detector, as I remember it was a simple beep and dig unit. I don’t remember the brand or model. I turned it on as I approached the path that lead through the dunes to the beach. I scanned along the way, finding a multitude of bottle caps and some pull tabs. At the end of the path, the frequency of trash dropped off… and then I proceeded to scan down the beach toward where I remembered putting my stuff almost 4 days before. I continued sweeping over the sugar sand, hoping that the next beep would be the ring that meant so much to me. Another bottle cap. A wad of foil. Then another beep. I knelt down with my garden spade and began to move the thick layer of soft sand. And there it was. Laying there, under about 3” of sugar sand. My ring was right there. I grabbed it and showed my wife. I put it on and stood up and danced around on the beach. I don’t dance, but this day, I did. I even bought a lottery ticket on the way home that night.
Now, fast forward 12 or so years. I decide to take up metal detecting as a hobby. I’ve spent years detecting. I learned just how rare it is to find good jewelry. And each time I see my wedding ring, I’m reminded of just how fortunate and incredibly lucky I was to find my ring with that rented metal detector.
You just never know what you’re going to find until you dig it up.