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Summer is gone, but she went out kicking and screaming. These past few weeks were downright brutal. The earth was baked solid–concealing the good signals and testing my patience for digging plugs. Also, I might be taking this one a bit too personal… but I’m pretty sure the sun tried to kill me last week. I’ve never sweated so much in my life. There was sweat beading on my nose and dripping into my eyes. By the end of the dig, my makeup had nearly melted off my face and all the flammable junk in my hair had almost ignited. In the end, all I had to show for my suffering was a few bobbles, bruises, and singed bangs.
Yesterday, Summer finally kicked the bucket…. that bucket just happened to be filled with ten-zillion gallons of water. Given that the ground had been baked into slabs of concrete, the torrential downpours flooded streets and creeks and streams. Drivers were stranded and scouring country roads for safe passage. The rain may have caused a little stir, but we needed it. We needed it for our browning yards, for our withering crops, for our flowers… but most importantly, we needed it for our metal detecting.
In case you hadn’t yet noticed, metal detecting is a heckuva lot more productive after a good storm. Not only is the ground easier to slice through, but the signals reach deeper and sing louder. Just yesterday, I posted a status on Facebook: “It’s raining, it’s pouring, the silver is snoring.” Someone cleverly responded, “Rain? We call that relic primer.” I thought that was an awesome quote. Rain is relic primer. From now on, I’m just going to tell my kids: “We can’t go outside right now, its relic priming.”
The last time we were at the unapproachable permission–which from this point forward will be referred to as the Sheffer House–we were all suffering from the sun’s wrath. I had resorted to detecting beneath the only tree on the property and hiding within the confines of its shadow. Whenever I started digging a signal, I would eventually give up and keel over in the grass. Digging was too much of an effort. Swinging the detector was too much of an effort. Celebrating my finds was too much of an effort…
In an attempt to make up for that experience, the crew and I planned to revisit the property after the storms passed through. We all met at the Sheffer House after work–Duane, Mike, and I. Last weekend, it was ninety-five degrees and stale. Yesterday, it was sixty-five degrees and breezy. I was practically skipping across the lawn with my detector. I think we all felt pumped up and refreshed. Our passion for the hobby had really been tested in the last weeks of Summer, but yesterday we were reminded of why we dig.
We quipped back and forth and shared jokes. The ground cut like butter, the plugs were green, and the relics chirped away. Before embarking on the evening hunt, Mike and I instructed Duane to find only pull-tabs and rusted nails. Duane won last time with his button and now he needed to give someone else a turn to win. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Duane from digging up two pocket knives. He won again… as always.
I came away with a skeleton key and a cleaver… a really massive cleaver that had probably been used in a murder or something. Then again, maybe I’m just letting my imagination get the best of me. Of course, every relic has a story to tell… even if you sometimes make it up.