Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life at Casa Leo is a 3-ring circus!

Good grief! 

I love jewelry.  Not costume.  The good stuff.  I don't have a lot, but what I do have I love and appreciate.  When Tony and I married in 1974, we had a man from church make our rings. I drew a rough picture of what I wanted, and Elia worked from that. We were very happy with the results. Here's a photo from our wedding day.

We moved to Dallas in the mid 1980s, and soon our household included not only our dog, Yogi, but also Alvin the cat and Lacy the kitten.  Lacy was very tiny and loved to hide from us under the clothes dryer.  One day I wanted to dry some clothes and knew Lacy was under the dryer, so I grasped the side of the dryer and pulled it away from the wall to encourage her to exit her hiding place.  The dryer slipped out of my hand and smashed against the wall, trapping my hand.  The only thing that saved my hand from severe damage was my wedding ring, which was mangled. 

We took the ring to a jeweler to have it repaired, and he did the best he could, but it was just never the same. The once graceful setting was now clunky and cumbersome. Tony had always regretted not getting me a larger engagement ring, since I do love diamonds (my birthstone). So, for our 30th anniversary, he upgraded me to this gorgeous piece.

I've enjoyed this ring more than I could ever express.  It's more than I ever thought I'd own, and I feel like a princess because it represents that Tony loves me enough to think I deserve such a treasure.  He even did all the research for the ring on his own, contacting diamond brokers until he found one with whom he was comfortable working.  He proudly enjoys seeing me wear it, and I've worn it happily for the past 7 1/2 years.

On Saturday night, Nov. 6, I was getting out of the back seat of Erika's and Josh's car after a wonderful day at Pecan Plantation, where Josh's parents live.  The kids' driveway is sloped, and it was tricky getting out of the car on the slant.  I grasped the bar between the front and rear windows to help myself out just as Erika slammed the front door, not realizing my hand was there.  We were both in shock for a moment, waiting for the intense wave of pain that was sure to come.  But it never did.  For a second time, my precious wedding ring saved my hand.  But the poor ring!
 The circular band was squished into an oval shape, to the point where I had trouble removing it from my finger, even with copious amounts of soapy lather.  And the diamond setting was bent to one side.  Miraculously, the diamond was unharmed and was still secure in the setting.
  There is a local family-run jewelry store that's been in Lewisville longer than we have and they are very trusted, so of course that's where Tony and I took the ring for repair.  At the same time, we decided to take another ring which had belonged to my grandmother.  It's a lovely white gold filigree ring that I've always loved.  My grandmother left it to my aunt, who knew how much I loved it, and she presented it to me on the day of Jenni's and Dave's wedding.  Its 3 small diamonds are of various sizes and colors because they were each given to my grandmother at different times for special occasions.  The ring was too small to wear on my right ring finger, so we decided to have it sized up to fit.  The jeweler finished that ring first, so I went to pick it up.  It was gorgeous and it fit perfectly.

On the way home from the jeweler, I stopped at Petco for dog food and then Walmart for some groceries.  When I got home, I fed Millie and made dinner.  I took the ring off and left it on the kitchen counter while I cooked.  Tony came in and picked it up to examine it.  He gave me a funny look and asked if I knew that one of the diamonds was missing.  I laughed and went back to cooking because as everyone knows, Tony is a great prankster.  Surely this was just another of his "gotcha!" jokes.  But he was serious.  There indeed was a diamond missing.  I nearly had a stroke!  This nearly 100-year-old ring had never had a thing wrong with it until I had it sized, and now it was ruined.  Surely I could find another tiny diamond to place in the empty spot, but it just wouldn't be the same.

We did the only thing we could think of at such a time.  We prayed.  We knew the diamond could be anywhere I had been since I left the jeweler.  Nevertheless, we started frantically searching the house, the garage, and the car, knowing with a sick certainty that we could never find something so tiny.  It was needle-in-a-haystack time.  I finally gave up and went back to my kitchen tasks.  We both felt horrible, but life had to go on.  Tony left the kitchen to go back to the bedroom for the flashlight so we could try to search again after dinner.  On his way back to the bedroom, something sparkly on the dark hardwood floor of the living room caught his eye.  Yep, you guessed it!  My husband is yet again my hero.  But we both know that finding the tiny diamond was such an unlikely possibility that it could only be a miracle from God, and we're so thankful.

The jeweler was so amazed at the story and so appalled that he let the ring out of his store in such precarious shape that he repaired it at no additional cost.  I picked it up when my wedding ring was finished.  Here are the finished products. 

My prayer now is that I'll be extraordinarily cautious with these rings so I can pass them down to my daughters intact.  I'm tempted to put baggies over my hands to protect against future diamond-related accidents or to put the rings in a drawer so nothing bad will ever happen to them again, but then I'll lose the joy of wearing them.  Yes, they are just things, mere objects, of temporal value.  But they are meaningful because of their history, and I must treat them lovingly and carefully as I continue to enjoy them.  Lesson learned.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 10/28/10

                                                           Ruby, 19 months
                                                       Leo, 2 years 2 months
                                                     Zoey, 3 years 10 months