Growing up in a house with a large yard, I did my share of yard work as a child. I had to mow the lawn, rake the leaves, spread mulch, as well as many other assorted tasks. Now that I have a house of my own, it looks like yard work will once again be a major part of my life.
On Saturday, while the Cutlet was napping, I decided to undergo the task of raking the leaves. With three trees in the backyard, we can get a fairly substantial covering of leaves. Fortunately, the yard isn’t especially large, so it didn’t take me too much time to organize the leaves into a few neat piles.
I then began to scoop the leaves into leaf bags. I was about halfway through my third bag when I looked at my hand and noticed that my wedding ring was no longer on my finger. Either while scooping the leaves off the ground or pushing them into the bag, it must have slipped off.
I immediately scanned the top level of the most recently packed bag, but I didn’t see it. I tried sifting through the leaves, but I figured that would just shift the ring deeper into the bag. So I began to pull out the leaves, sort through them and place them into another bag.
I wasn’t having any luck, and it was starting to get dark out. In the remaining light, I began to look through the remnants of the leaf piles that I had already scooped up. I can only imagine what my neighbors must have thought if they saw me.
Eventually, all the sunlight was gone, and the Cutlet woke up from her nap, so my search had to cease for the day. I tried searching some more the next morning, but it was like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
This was the second time I had lost the ring. The first time, I was playing kickball on the National Mall. We stopped the game and had both teams comb the grass, but nobody was able to find it. Miraculously, a few weeks later, after a heat wave killed off some of the grass, one of my teammates actually found it. I was very tempted to give her a call to help me look this time.
I realized that my only real shot at finding it would be with the use of a metal detector, which can conveniently be rented from a nearby equipment store for $20 a day. Once I picked one up, it took a little work to determine the proper sensitivity strength, and how far away from the car I needed to be for optimal performance.
I first tried using it on the bags of leaves. One bag was giving off a consistently strong signal, so I began to search through it. I kept removing leaves and sifting through them, but no luck. The signal persisted, so I stayed with it. Imagine my dismay when I pulled out a fragment of a soda can.
I figured I should make absolutely sure that there was nothing else in the bag, so I checked it with the detector again. The detector was still picking up some metal inside, so I searched through the bag a little more.
A few minutes later, my fingers came across something metallic and round. I optimistically grabbed the object, pulled it from the bag, and when I looked down, I was delighted to see my ring! It was a little dirty, but ultimately, not much worse for wear.
So what have I learned?
– Yard work isn’t all that tough, provided you don’t delay yourself by a few days.
– Do not wear a loose-fitting ring while doing yard work.
– Metal detectors are incredible inventions.
– I may need to get larger fingers.