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Spring Thaw Miracle

by Roy Blokker

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Today is Sunday, March 10, 2013.  It is an amazing day. The sun is shining brightly here in Lakeside, Montana. The temperature is supposed to reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Yesterday morning I heard geese calling as they flew overhead. While some large parts of the United States are experiencing a last gust of winter, spring has come to the west side of the Rockies

It is a time of miracles. I know that the concept of miracles is a difficult one to grasp, or accept, especially in our techno-world. But a miracle is what you make of it; if someone calls something a miracle, it is one for them. It doesn’t have to be for anyone else. Just allow the one that comfort, and the world will not suffer in the bargain.

Diane and I have been in Montana now for two years and three days. Every single one of those days we wake up glad to be here. We do not miss California, although we do miss family and friends. We do not miss the pace of living or the pressure to make ends meet. We still are pressed to make ends meet here, and likely always will be, like most human beings in one way or another. But the gaps are smaller here, and between the people – conservative as most of them are – and the countryside, the process of filling those gaps is so much more rewarding.

We have both reached our weight-loss goals, although the work continues. This major level of success has emboldened each of us. There is a downside to weight loss, however. Our wedding rings no longer fit our left ring fingers, and we each had to switch them to the right hand.  During the cold winter months even my right hand shrank, and one morning I realized my wedding ring was gone, vanished, disappeared off my hand. I had no idea where or when. I rushed back to my workplace, checked the huge trash can in hopes I pulled it off while removing my protective gloves. No ring. I searched the car, all my clothes, three or four times. I thought maybe it pulled off when I reached into my jeans pocket and fell somewhere.  I even imagined it might have flown off while I was shoveling snow, and perhaps would turn up along the walkway when the snow began to melt.

Spring has brought great snow melt. Only a few places on our property have stubbornly held onto the snow, like just in front of the front porch from where I or Diane would throw apple and pear skins for the deer. The path to the car, however, began to melt weeks ago, retreating and widening daily just where I would heave excess snow. So I watched and hoped and scoured the snow-free zone as it widened. I cursed when light snowfalls temporarily blanketed the ground again. I knew it was a long shot, but it was a shot.

Last week I gave up hope. I knew I had lost the ring for good in a parking lot or a store, reaching into my pants pocket for my keys or a pen. Some lucky person found it and probably sold it for smelt.  Unable to afford a gold replacement, and of course heartbroken to have lost this specific symbol of our 38 and counting years of marriage,I ordered a tungsten replacement with a dragon design. It would not replace the ring, but it would be a suitable replacement for the symbolism. It is on its way.

By yesterday almost all the snow was gone. Our grandson Xander wanted to go outside to play kick-ball, so he and I ran around for a good half hour chasing and kicking and tossing the ball around the snow-free portion of the lawn. Only a very small patch of snow remained. Xander decided to stomp on it, and I decided it would be fun to toss the last of the snow in chunks into the tree line. This brought us near the spot where I liked to toss the fruit peels. There this small, round, shiny thing caught my eye in the sunlight.

I slipped my ring back on my finger. It fit more snugly. Xander and I ran back into the house.  He rushed to Diane, saying, “Oma! Oma! Opa found his wedding ring!”

Funny how much a band of gold can mean. Funny, that miracles do happen.

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