It’s interesting that my world revolved around two rings last week; one celestial, the other at ground level.
If you follow my Pick Up Your Path.com blog, you’ll have seen the photo and tale of the ‘diamond’ ring found by chance in a parking lot. The eclipse and ‘diamond,’ however, shared one fatal trait: both flamed out in a matter of minutes. And to think the dispiriting loss might have been Ellen and Reid’s gain.
Yet news about the 18K gold ring won’t go away quietly into the night; fodder for the weekly letter written today will touch on a truly bizarre find – a second ring. Tune in next week.
As for the trip to a bridal shop, that stays between us. To borrow from Mark Twain, “reports of my marriage are greatly exaggerated.” Emphasis on ‘greatly.’
August 21, 2017
Ellen/Reid: There is total eclipse mania down here. Not too far away in South Carolina there will be darkening in its totality; here, it’ll be 98 percent or something like that. The last 100 percenter I saw was before you two were born. I remember standing out on Grand Avenue in Des Moines with a box that had a hole punched in it so as not to look at the sun directly. In a couple of minutes later today all the hoopla will be over. Sondra and Jody have invited a few of us to their lake home just over the border. It’ll really be an excuse to guzzle wine on a workday.
I hosted two sweet young women, one from California and her friend from Virginia, last night and they were up around dawn to head down to SC for the viewing. They were cheered by an improved forecast but all it would take is a random cloud to fuzzy things up. Bean counters say the whole shebang is worth a lot of tourist money to the Carolinas. At least it was for me in the Airbnb sense. The overnight visit was the latest in a string of good experiences with guests so perhaps my lodge will stay open a little while longer. The tryst still has me chuckling. What a complete sap your old man was.
You can appreciate this, Ellen, but Sondra’s daughter Chiana asked me to make comments as she toured bridal shops last Friday for a wedding dress. She’s going to be a beautiful bride and although my couture expertise and sense of style is severely limited I was able to give a ‘yes/no’ to some of the candidates. The best Jody and I could really do was fidget. At no time in my past have I ever set foot in a bridal shop. Didn’t you share of photo of yours with me? I don’t recall literally being in a shop to look at dresses.
Geez, I don’t know what to think about the diamond engagement ring. Or at least I’m hoping it is real. The band is stamped with ‘18k’ so it’s hard to imagine a fake stone going atop a quality band. At least the gold would be worth something. Ellen, I’ll follow your advice and get it appraised. It’s not to late to claim it for one of the girls (or you, Ellen). Sorry it won’t work out for you either, Reid. I’m no gemologist by any means but it sure looks like 3/4 karat to me. Another point for it being a true diamond: the ring had been run over and is slightly bent but the stone remained intact. The setting looks top drawer, too. It either slipped out of a purse or some pissed off chick tossed it aside. Man, if that was the case, it must’ve been one hell of an argument. My guess is there was one boatload of remorse once someone sobered up Sunday morning. How the heck would I find the rightful owner? I’ll look around a little bit but it could be a ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’ deal. Maybe it will help to offset the cost of my walk across Spain.
You know, there are a few jitters, some nerves and admitted uncertainty about the trek at all. I’m having second thoughts, not about going necessarily, but just wondering if I’m mentally up to a solo hike. There are others who would brush that off. Maybe it’s just nonsense worrying. This week there has to be a decision about a return flight. Someone suggested EuroTrain from Portugal to Berlin to see my friends Claudia and Frank. Then a jet home from there.
Still, my pack is packed and weighs in at 13.6 lbs. before a water bottle is added. I feel pretty good about that but am not sure how much, if any, weight can be shaved. In fact, it might go up a few ounces at the last minute with overlooked gear. I’ve enlisted some friends to make a 10 mile test hike with me this Friday. I’ll be in full regalia, including the loaded pack. The Salomon boots have not been worn other than the floor of the store up in Pinedale. Gotta see if they they, and me, can pass the test. Physically I should be okay. It’s the mental fortitude equation that is still in the balance.