Monday, March 26, 2012

Lost Treasures

We’ve all heard variations of this question:  If your house were on fire, what would you grab? Some people imagine the house literally burning and answer with a wise response, such as: “I’d get the kids, the husband (or wife), any other people, and possibly the pets.
Others know that most of the time this is a figurative question, and think about their most prized possessions. Nowadays, most of us can’t decide on one or two items. We’re a society who has indulged ourselves with all sorts of treasures.  Maybe the question should be something like: “If you have an hour to pack your vehicle with things from your home that you will never return to, what would you take?”
My list has varied over the years. One constant though, is photos & video, and journals.
Okay, that’s two… or three.
Other things that have been on the list are:  expensive jewelry, inherited jewelry, certain books, and letters. (List subject to change as life goes on.)
I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. The only jewelry that I’m sure to have on is my wedding band and engagement ring set. I like it; and also, after 17 years, it’s hard to take off. A little twisting and tugging is required to get it over my knuckle. I’ll also put on small earrings if it’s a “power my face and wear lipstick” day.
When I get “dressed up,” I search the jewelry boxes for more. Sometimes, I choose a small, delicate ring that has a center diamond with a line of smaller diamonds on each side of it. (If you know what style it is, let me know.) It probably doesn’t get much attention, but that’s not why I wear it. I wear it because it’s pretty and it’s from “the family jewels.”  (Burglars, you can bypass my house. My family jewels would be a waste of your time before you go to prison.)
Anyway, it belonged to my paternal aunt, who gave it to my mother, who gave it to me. And guess what I did? I lost it.
Darling Husband and I were on our way to a Sunday luncheon at a historic home. On the way, we stopped at a strip shopping center to drop off a package. I had taken the ring off to put lotion on my hands. The ring was placed in my lap, on my skirt.  (I would figure this out later.) When DH pulled up to the curb, I got out of the car to run to the door of the business, got back in, and off we went.
When we were on the interstate, I thought about the ring; however, I couldn’t remember if I’d left it at home or not. Sometimes, I put the last minute lotion on in the house, and that’s why it wasn’t clear to me. Rushing and stress was a factor too, of course. I hoped it was in the car.
Sooo, we continued on. Surprisingly, I was able to enjoy the meal and the socializing, though the thought of the ring stayed with me.
When we returned home, I looked on the shelf where the lotion is kept. No ring. I looked on the floor. No ring. I returned to the car to search for it again. No ring.
Then, I got the sickening feeling. I’d lost my precious ring. Should I tell Mom?
My whole mood was sour. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself. DH felt sorry for me and asked if I thought it was back on the sidewalk of the shopping center.
“If it is,” I said, “It’s gone now. Someone has surely found it.”
I began to think of other lost treasures. For three years, I couldn’t find the video of my oldest daughter’s first moments of life outside of her mother. I couldn’t find the wedding video. I couldn’t find the video of my honeymoon trip to Hawaii. Fortunately, two of these were found. Ironically, the Hawaii video was probably, unknowingly, used to tape the birthday of first daughter. I can’t help but laugh. Maybe I’m wrong and it will show up some day.
I thought about the story of my friend B. who took off her onyx ring at a store to try on another ring. She forgot to put her heirloom back on and it has never been seen again. It, too, was a gift from her mother, who’d received it from her mother. I related.
Still moping around, DH suggested I take the metal detector to the shopping center and search for it. I thought it would be a waste of time, but must admit that I also pictured myself as one of those people searching the sand at the beach. The look on my face must have revealed my thoughts. Sooo… guess who went? Darling Husband. And guess who came back with my ring? Darling Husband.
He found it; safely tucked away in the crack of the sidewalk.
What treasure have you lost? How often do you think about it?


Arlee Bird said...

You were pretty darn lucky I'd say. I sometimes think I might have some hidden treasures in the house that I've forgotten about. I've been trying to downsize and get rid of stuff since I have too much. It's been a slow process.
My most missed items were things that were stolen in a couple of vehicle break-ins where notebooks of writing, pictures, and audio tapes were taken and in all probability tossed in the trash since they would have probably been of little use to the thief. I think about those items now and then even though it was about 30 years ago when they were stolen.
Glad you found your ring.

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Meg said...

Wow, what a great story! I'm so glad you found it and it's amazing that it was still there. Yay for hubby going to find it!

Unknown said...

I wouldn't have thought to go back and with a metal detector! That's amazing and it was meant for you to find it. I don't have very many "heirlooms" but like you, I have pictures, journals and things that mean a lot to me.

Hilary said...

How lucky is that! And how wonderful is your husband to do that for you.. I think he's the real treasure.

Tabor said...

The story was DELIGHTFUL. So glad he did not mind looking like a silly fool, except if he told them his wife lost a treasure, they would be most understanding. Yes they are all things and it is the memories that I would so love to take with me everywhere. Photos and videos are the best way.

Abby said...

OMG, he FOUND it?!? I thought for sure this had a sad ending! That's amazing it was there. How "lucky" that it landed in a crack and so went unnoticed.

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

Oh wow! When I read you lost your ring, my heart sank and I got a sick feeling like it was mine! lol I guess b/c I've been known to do such things. So glad you found it! Just recently, my hubby was at work and took his ring off to wash his hands. He can't wear his ring when he's working so I'm not sure why he had it on that day. Anyway, he left it there. But he didn't remember it for days, more like weeks. He just thought he lost it somewhere. Then it dawned on him that it could have been left at work. He called the hospital and hooray! One of the cleaning ladies found it and they still had it! Sometimes stories do have a happy ending!

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

What a great story and what a fabulous husband!

Linda Hensley said...

I agree, your husband is the real treasure! I'm so glad he found your ring for you. I really like the way you told the story too. I would take photos and art, but now that you make me think of it, I have a family heirloom to take if there's ever a crisis too. It was my grandmother's ring, and her grandmother's before her. I had it appraised and thought it might be worth thousands, but the value turns out to be more sentimental than $, but I love having it and my birthstone on top of that :)

Anita said...

Experimenting with Blogger.

InSeason Mom Cynthia said...

If you ask me, your husband is the REAL jewel! I'm glad your ring is home once again.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Yep, I agree! That hubs of yours is a real keeper. I lost the diamond outta my ring about two and a half years ago. I still empty the vac if I hear somethin' had in it's canister.

I'm just thrilled your story ended well.

God bless and have a blissful day. Shine baby shine!!! :o)

Mari said...

What a guy! I'm so glad he found it. I was getting worried as I read your story.

Anita said...

This post reminded my witty blog pal, Abby (see her comment above), of her lost ring story. She posted about it in Dead Ringer; a worthwhile and humorous read.

SuziCate said...

Your hubby has just been nominated "man of the year" in my opinion. Wow, so glad he found your ring. That is such a sick feeling to lose a treasured item. I lost a pearl hat pin given to me by a dear elderly friend and a triple band ruby antique ring...neither to have been recovered. I wonder if they were found and if the finder wonders about the history of them.

Rebecca S. said...

I'm sure someone has already said that your husband would be the real 'treasure' in this story :) I am very glad you found the heirloom ring and now you can pass it on to one of your daughters who, hopefully, won't lose it. Have a great weekend!
I once lost my wedding ring for a few days. I found it under the couch but what a miserable, worrisome few days that was.

Unknown said...

I've lost so many things over the years, but most recently I lost a snowflake earring that broke my heart. It was a gift from my mom. It's always the ones that mom gives us that hurt the worst isn't it! I felt sure I'd find it, but I never did. At least not yet!

I related to your telling of what would you take if you had to pack up. I've been through that scenario many times, the last time just one year ago when we were getting ready to flee a wildfire. It's really hard to pick what to take and you end up just throwing things in the car, with your dogs, kid, and photos. Later when you return you vow to be prepared the next time but it's so hard to do. Who likes to plan for those possible disasters!

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Barb said...

Anita, What a great story. Your Husband found your treasure! I was in Chicago visiting a friend several years ago and while shopping, removed my wedding band (set with the original diamond of my engagement ring) and put it on a shelf while I sampled hand lotions. Of course, I forgot to put the ring back on my finger, and we left the store. The young male clerk who had waited on us found it and remembered my friend was pregnant. There was a maternity shop down the street from his store, so he took a gamble and came inside. That's where we were. When I realized what he was holding out to me, my adrenaline really rushed! I ended up sending a letter to his manager after I returned home and enclosing a check as a reward. I still think of him sometimes and am thankful he was so honest. Obviously, the ring has sentimental value to me - the diamond is tiny but it signifies (now) 45 years of marriage. I've learned to never take it off my finger except in my own home when I put it in the jewelry box!

Buckeroomama said...

So glad that you got the ring back.

I cannot find the diamond earrings and pendant that hubby gave me as a wedding present. I either hid them so well or they've been stolen... I feel really bad, but at the end of the day, they are 'things'... just 'things.' The gesture behind the gift remains whether or not the gift itself is there.

(BTW, re: having my kids model? I don't really have strong opinions either way. I'm sure that my daughter would absolutely love to... and if it's reasonable enough a project (time-wise, compensation-wise), I'm open to it.)

Haddock said...

I have always thought about loosing my old photographs and CDs...... so one of the options that I have come up with is to upload them on Flickr, so that if anything happens like this at least these are up in the air.
Good to hear about your ring :-)