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