Dudley season unofficial start of fall! Our Labor Day weekend was full of long beach days, family BBQs, and the saga of the lost and found wedding ring that has since made it to the news. It’s such a great feel-good story which is clearly something we all need in 2020.
It all started two Fridays ago when my sister came to visit and we took off the afternoon to go to the beach. While we were there, a ladybug landed right on my hand and I just thought it was a nice good luck sign, and didn’t think much of it. As we were packing up to leave, I realized that I didn’t have my wedding ring on but couldn’t remember if I had brought it to the beach or not. We looked around in the sand but when we didn’t find it, I figured it was at home.
When we got home, my sister and I turned my house inside out. We emptied every trash can, went through the laundry, and even looked in the AC vents, the whole time praying to Saint Anthony, of course (IYKYK).
Our search turned up nothing so we drove back to the beach and searched the area where we were sitting for a good hour, sifting through the sand. At that point, I assumed it would probably turn up at home that night. When it didn’t turn up over the next few days, I got really sad but decided to let it go and move forward.
At our anniversary dinner that Wednesday, Anel and I talked about borrowing a friend’s metal detector and heading back to the beach. After work, we spent another hour searching with the metal detector, a toy shovel, and Amalia’s beach sifter shaped like a crab. We left with a few screws and trinkets but no wedding ring.
I had posted videos on my IG stories of Anel with the metal detector and a follower told me about the Nor’Easters Metal Detecting Club, a local group of people who are passionate about history and hunting for treasures.
As their website states: “To put it pretty simply, we love history, great friendship and the challenge of an awesome hunt.”
On our drive home, I filled out the “lost item” form on their site and forgot about it, figuring I’d never hear back. Within an hour, the president of the club emailed me and asked if I was free on Saturday morning to meet one of his members at the beach. Um, yes, I will meet you at 3am if you want was my mental response…
My family was in town and Jackson was fascinated by the whole thing so he and I met Janice at the beach. A friend of mine lived nearby so she came with her kids to watch the action too. Jackson and I set up beach chairs and chatted as Janice searched. She pulled up some coins, a toy car, and other garbage on her first up and down run of the grid we made in the sand.
Then she went back over the grid left to right and towards the end of that run, she pulled out my wedding ring. She held it up in the air with a giant grin on her face. We all screamed and I started crying. I wanted to hug Janice tight but we had to settle for an elbow bump.
As I was crying and thanking her I asked if she had Venmo so I could pay her…. this is when the waterworks really started. She said that the Nor’Easters never accept payment but if I wanted to pay it forward, I should donate money to the charity of my choice in the club’s name.
It felt so emotional to hear that come out of someone’s mouth in this sh*tstorm of a year. Her words and actions reminded me that there are still good people in the world who do things out of the kindness of their hearts. Who aren’t in it for any personal gain.
I posted this photo on Instagram and it started racking up likes. As of last night, it was at over 13,000!
On Sunday morning I woke up to a bunch of texts from Janice saying that NBC4 NY wanted to interview us for the news. The producer called me and asked if I could meet a cameraman in an hour at the beach. Jackson was thrilled and I was pretty excited too.
It turns out, my Instagram friend, Jummy, an NBC anchor in DC (who used to work in CT) forwarded my post to a colleague because she thought it would make a great story.
Janice and I did our interview and it went live on Sunday night. You can also watch it here. It’s very sweet! I guarantee you’ll fall in love with her after watching it.
And if you don’t, you will after this: When we finished the interview, Janice and Jesse (the club president) were chatting with Jackson and he was super interested in their findings. Janice told us that she had an extra detector and asked Jack if he wanted it. Again, I offered to pay her but she said no then drove 30 minutes to get it and 30 minutes back to us to give it to him.
We all need Janice right now!
PS I ended up making my donation to the Connecticut Bail Fund in the Nor’Easters’ name.