Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dropped something

AD lost his wedding ring this afternoon while he was mowing the backyard, so our after-dinner time this evening was spent searching the backyard for it. Though our favorite neighbor children were not able to help in the search and rescue effort (we were offering a $10 reward to the ring-finder), their grandfather did bring over his metal detector. And while the metal detector did not ultimately find the ring, AD did dig up the lawn in three spots for a nail, a coin, and a key. How was the ring finally found, you ask? My eagle eye vision.

This is not the first time we've enlisted the help of neighbors to find something in the yard.

Let's go back to the winter of 2006/2007. AD was still in school and I'd been out of grad school for about six months, and we were living in this rental house right next to the university in Kalamazoo. 

For purposes of this story, let me tell you a bit about our little section of that neighborhood. To the west of the house, there was one house before our street dead-ended into the university--a thirty-something couple, who we became friends with, lived there. To the east of the house, there was one house on the corner of our street and the cross street--an older man, whose wife had passed, lived there. Except for this corner house, the other two houses on that block were one story and had garage/parking accessible only by an alley off of the cross street. The corner house was two stories and had a driveway and garage off of our street [not the alley]. Basically, the other couple, AD, and I all needed to access this alley to get in/out, and the man did not, though his two middle-aged daughters were always parking their cars in it and not very concerned when asked to move them. Keep this situation in the back of your mind as we continue.

I was teaching freshman comp and remedial writing at a small rural community college about 35 miles away in St. Joseph county; on my commute, I would cross a covered bridge and a sign announcing the hometown of Verne Troyer [the actor who played Mini Me in the Austin Powers movies], passing an occasional horse-drawn carriage.

Here I am on a typical day, working at home:

And here's SG on a typical day, hanging out under my desk and looking cute: 

According to, Kalamazoo is ranked as the #21 city [with population over 50,000] in the U.S. for average annual snowfall at 68.8 inches. That season we got 89.1 inches of snow. As proof, check out the trails we had to shovel throughout the yard so SG could do her business: 

Okay. So. 35 mile drive to work. Treacherous winter weather. Obviously I had to give myself some time to get to work on time. One morning I went outside to start my car, and there was a Salvation Army truck parked in the alley. Since the neighbor's daughters always took so long to move their cars under regular circumstances, I immediately started down the alley. Imagine me, in my loafers, trouser socks, and dress pants, sinking calf-deep into the snow bank (much like the ones pictured above) because the dang truck was taking up the entire alley. By the time I finally got to the neighbor's door, I was pissed, and when the daughter came to the door, I simply said, "I need to leave for work; you need to move this truck." The daughter started going on about how I was going to have to wait because they were moving out all kinds of furniture. I started back down the walk, saying something about being welcome for shoveling her dad's walk the night before for the umpteenth time that season, and proceeded to slip and fall into the snow bank next to the truck, at which point my car keys came out of my hand and also landed somewhere in the snow bank

I spent some time looking for my car keys to no avail. For whatever reason, AD had the other set of keys to my car, and he was on the aviation campus 25 miles away, so he was no help at that point. Desperate, I got our guy neighbor to come out and help me look for the keys, but he didn't have any luck either. So I had to call in to work that day. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as AD got home that afternoon, he took this super high-tech auto mechanic magnet on a stick, fished it around in the snow bank, and pulled my keys right out?

The moral of these stories? 
1.   Don't park your neighbors in, it's rude. Or, better yet, love your neighbor as yourself. 
[And if you want an update on our current difficult neighbors from this post, they had a contractor out for an estimate on a privacy fence, but ended up putting about seven 6' arborvitae bushes along our part of the fence and are now putting an addition on the back of their house. I pray for her often]
2.   You're always going to have a difficult neighbor. But you'll usually have an awesome neighbor, too.
3.   If your wedding [or other meaningful] ring gets too big for your finger, have it sized [or buy a new one, as is our case because AD's tungsten band {along with certain other metals} can't be sized]. My dad once went dumpster diving to retrieve his wedding band.
4.   If you're on my property and are wearing a wedding/meaning ring, take it off before helping with yardwork. We're pretty sure that the wedding ring my dad saved from that dumpster was ultimately lost while weeding our front bushes.

Embracing the camera at my new in-real-life friend Emily's blog today (more on how we became IRL friends later).


  1. You are so cute! Very good life lessons...and a good reminder to take off all my jewelry if I come to visit you. I always lose my earrings. I don't know how, I just do. Have a great weekend!!!

    1. You are always welcome to visit. Just watch the jewelry outside :/

  2. you look the exact same as you did then! DO YOU AGE?
    for reals, i'm jealous.

    1. I definitely do age; thus why I just started coloring my hair! Though looking back at that pic, I thought my skin was so bad back then and I wish it looked that good now.

  3. Dropping in from ETC. Cute story. lol...why is it always the guys that lose their rings? (My dear hubby has, too.) :)


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