A diamond in a haystack

by Katie on September 20, 2010

This is another one from the archives — nearly three years ago.

It was about two months after Brandon proposed and offered up a sparkly rock to entrust in my care for the remainder of my days.

The ring was a little loose, but Brandon insisted upon waiting until I came to Arizona to have it sized at the store where it was purchased. Against the better judgment of my mother (Yes, Mom, I said it. There.), who said it probably wasn’t a good idea to wear it until then, I happily sported my new (only) diamond, as any girl would, I’m sure.

Sometime right around Christmas, being the outstanding big sister I am, I volunteered to drive Mason and some friends (not sure where Morgan was) over to the barn and help feed the boys’ show cows.

I got busy dumping feed into the buckets in the pen, tossing hay into the bunk in the pasture and filling water buckets. Just as we were wrapping up, I looked down to catch a glimpse of that sparkly thing on my finger.

Only I didn’t see a sparkle. In fact, I didn’t see anything. I stood still and stared at my bare finger for what must have been a solid 73 seconds.

And then, like any good female, I went absolutely ballistic. Wailing is probably the appropriate word to describe the kind of crying I was doing.

Mason, surely thinking he was going to find his sister minutes away from death by the noises I was making, came running up. I’m sure he was awfully confused to find me completely in tact and holding a finger that wasn’t bruised or bloody.

“Katie, what’s wrong with you?”

“My ring! My ring! I loooost my riiiiing!”

“Is it the Aggie one or the one with the diamond in it?”

“The diiiiiamoooond.”

“Oh…Oh no…Oh no, Katie. We’ll help you find it. Guys, come on, we gotta look for Katie’s ring!”

And so the search party ensued, consisting of one nine-year-old and two 12-year-old little boys. I asked Mason to call my mom because I wasn’t sure she would be able to understand what I was saying. Soon enough, the whole family was involved, picking through every inch of the barn and retracing each step I could remember making.

The one thought that kept recurring to me during this whole ordeal was the possibility it had fallen into the feed buckets the cows had been happily mowing through for half an hour, and likely would have already swallowed my rock like it was just another kernel of crimped corn covered in molasses. I was visualizing myself digging in cow patties for the next three days, waiting for it to “pass”.

The only solace that kept coming to me, and eventually calmed me down past the hyperventilation stage, was the fact I had a very practical fiancé, who I knew would be saying “It’s material and insured,” had he been there. (And sure enough, when I eventually told him this story, those were the first words he said.) But my female brain was screaming, “It’s not just material, when it’s THE ring HE gave ME the day he said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me!”

Eventually my search party, especially the part consisting of little boys, became disinterested and lost hope in actually finding a tiny band of white gold attached to a diamond, given the circumstances in which it had been lost.

And how my mom wasn’t walking around all smug with a tell-tale “I told you so” look on her face, I’ll never know. But she wasn’t. At least that I saw, anyway.

Finally, I decided to just camp out at the hay bunk where I had dumped out a whole bale of hay, since every option other than the already-inside-a-cow’s-belly had been exhausted.

So there I sat, sifting through grass hay, one handful at a time, then tossing it onto the ground. I don’t even know how long it took, but I imagine it had to be close to an hour at least.

When I reached the very bottom of that hay bunk and there was only a thin layer left, I felt my heart sink all over again. Because surely I would be able to see it if it was there, right?

But lo and behold, on what was probably the third-to-last handful of hay left out of the entire bale, I found my ring. Hence, the diamond in a haystack.

I only wore it to church after that, until it was sized properly.

I guess a moral to this story could be to listen to your mother, but we won’t go that far.


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