Wednesday, July 31, 2013

love, friendship and a kitchen colander

If you've read my about page you will know that I thank my great grandmother, Emily Rowe, for fostering in me a love of cooking and sharing good food with family and friends. I feel very blessed to have known and loved Grandma, as I called her, for the first eighteen years of my life. I was devastated when she died in her mid-eighties; she lived a long life but I thought she would live forever she was such strong and vibrant woman. And of course she does live on forever in my heart and I suppose you could say in her cooking legacy too.

Some weeks after Grandma’s funeral my Nan (Grandma’s daughter) presented me with a beautiful gift: Grandma’s rose gold wedding band (pictured above). I felt so honoured and treasure Grandma's ring to this day, especially because two and a half years ago Pete placed this ring on my finger when we were married.

So. You can imagine how upset I was when last monday this precious ring flew off my finger and into the sand on the beach at Ocean Shores. We've been starting our mornings at the beach while we are here in northern New South Wales, Pete surfs and River, Sol and I play on the sand. This particular morning Pete was out in the waves and I had been reading to the boys, I stood up to brush sand off my legs and goodbye wedding ring. Yes there were tears.

On hands and knees, River, Sol and I gently crawled around the patch of sand where we had been sitting. I couldn't understand why the ring was not just sitting on top of the sand, as it was so early in the morning and the sand was flat and undisturbed. After twenty minutes Pete came out of the water and joined us in our search. After an hour Pete suggested we leave and track down a metal detector.

My initial response when the ring went flying was that I wouldn't leave the beach until it was found. After an hour of searching and feeling like the ring had actually vanished, Pete's suggestion sounded good. And rational.

We went home and started making phone calls starting with a tools and equipment hire company "Oh no your wedding ring!" came Glen's sympathetic voice. "I'm so sorry we don't have a metal detector, what we do have is a phone number of a guy called Lance he's a bit of a character, a bit like a snake charmer. Lance has a metal detector and he'll come out and search the beach for you for a fee. Gee good luck with it". Glen's sincerity was almost cause for more tears. We called Lance. No answer. We left a message and moved on to the next phone number, Tom a friend of a friend, Tom has a metal detector. A few messages later I finally speak to Tom. Tom is busy all day and into the night, not able to get home to get the metal detector "I'd be able to help you out tomorrow afternoon." TOMORROW AFTERNOON! That is a whole tide change away. 

As disappointed as I was feeling I still had losing the ring in perspective. In reality it was a band of metal, yes a very special and sentimentally valuable piece of metal but I still had what is most important in life - my health, my family and friends. So I said to Tom, "Tomorrow afternoon would be fine. I am being philosophical about this and if I am meant to find it I will."

To cheer me up and take my mind off the sadness I was feeling Pete suggested we go out for lunch at our friend's health food shop in Brunswick Heads and meet up there with our friend Meghan. I have to admit I wasn't feeling particularly social but agreed because I knew sulking wasn't going to help either. 

I felt so upset I couldn't order anything to eat or even my daily coffee which is normally a highlight of my day! I ordered chai. Meghan arrived with her friend Janice and as I sipped chai I shared my wedding ring woes. Meghan and Janice listened, were sympathetic and then like all great women went above and beyond the call of duty without fanfare.

Well if I had access to a brass band for the afternoon I'd send them marching up Meghan and Janice's street because let me tell you these ladies deserve fanfare. After lunch Meghan and Janice put their shopping plans on hold and went home to get colanders from their kitchens. They then headed to the beach. To search for my ring. Sisterhood in action right there.

Based on very vague information from me at lunch about our whereabouts on the beach where the ring was lost, Meghan and Janice had decided they were going to find my wedding ring, Emily Rowe's wedding ring.

In my mixed up emotional relay of the story I had said we were at the second track along the beach, when in fact it was the third track. The ladies arrived at the second track and on the beach within minutes Janice announced to Meghan "We're not in the right place". Undeterred they walked to the end of the next track. "This is it," declared Janice confidently "I can see the finger marks in the sand where they've been looking". 

Meghan later tells me on the phone, "We found the area and drew a rectangle in the sand around it, and then we had a system so we didn't miss anywhere working along the edge of the rectangle putting handfuls of sand through the colanders". Can you believe their kindness? Determination? Focus? I am still in awe!

And what I am even more in awe of is that they FOUND MY RING!!

Meghan put her had into the sand and didn't even need the colander, she felt the ring in the sand and screamed out to Janice "I've got it!" Just at that moment they looked up at the water and saw a whale. True story.

I was speechless when Meghan phoned. Speechless and grateful. I couldn't work out what I was more overwhelmed by - their kindness or the fact that they found my ring.

Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies. I am forever grateful xxx


  1. What an absolutely superb and beautiful story, wow. You have everything right there, history, drama, dear friends, love, determination and a whale. I am so thrilled they found that precious ring (hmm, does it need resizing). See you so very soon. xxxx

    1. Again you make me smile :) I love the way you tacked 'and a whale' on the end of that list. I am thinking that instead of resizing the ring that I buy a smaller ring to sit on top of it and keep it in place. A lovely and valid reason for ring shopping. Two more sleeps til we see you yay xxx

  2. Oh what a lovely story. How blessed you are to have such beautiful friends. x

  3. I've worn my grandmother's rose gold wedding ring from the day my mother died in 1983, so I know how you feel. I would be devastated.

    So very pleased your ring came back to you in such a lovely way :)

    1. Thanks Jeni. You know precisely what I am talking about then. to say During the 24 hours that I didn't have the ring (I didn't see Meghan until the day after she found it) my hand felt so 'naked' without it I kept touching my finger knowing that something was missing. To say I feel relieved to have it back is an understatement! xx

    2. Nikki,

      I can imagine. I'm lucky. My grandmother had small hands and so even when I had the ring resized for my third finger it was still tight. I wear it on my right hand, and had a rose gold band made by "Love and Hatred" to match it, when I married.

      Have you thought of having your ring resized, so it's tighter on your finger. I'd imagine that even a few weeks later when I write this, you are still double checking your hand!


    3. Ha! yes Jeni I am constantly still checking my finger to make sure it is still there. I don't really want to resize it because I feel like it is taking something away from when my grandmother wore it. I have been looking for a smaller ring to wear with it and in the meantime I have put it on my tall finger so it is not so loose.

    4. I can understand that. I was lucky that mine only needing stretching, so it's physical form didn't change. The smaller ring idea is a good one :)

  4. Oh wow. There is absolutely an angel looking out for you, isn't there! What an amazing story - I'm so glad you got it back!

    1. Yes Jasmin I feel like there was some divine intervention that day :) x

  5. What wonderful women!

  6. Having different strainers will surely help you in many ways. This is right especially when you have multiple ones of different sizes. I must say that the mesh square Food Strainers are simply superb for straining finer products. I do recommend these products to all!!

  7. What a beautiful treasure! You must've been worried then that you’ll never find it again. It’s good to know you didn’t completely lose it in the sand, and that’s because you have wonderful friends who helped you through your search for it. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Ricky Rowe @ Find A Jewelry Expert


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