Worst Picnic Ever

The weather was divine and I had no chores to do. It was a lazy day. The park was down the street within an easy walk distance. I imagined the luscious green grass and the stately trees as the perfect background for a picnic. I started to get everything ready—a basket, napkins, thermos, and utensils. I decided on the all-time favorite, fried chicken and potato salad. I would pick them up around the corner at the fast-food drive-in. I added cole slaw and cookies, beverages and potato chips. What more could you want? Maybe lemonade. I invited a couple of friends who had kids so I went to find my inflatable ball. I threw it in the back seat of the car along with a large blanket and a couple of towels. I was off for a great adventure in my own neighborhood.

The park didn’t disappoint. There was a balmy breeze and the sky was crystal blue. However, at the end of the day it was the worst picnic ever. How was this possible? It was not because of the company, food, or scenery, but something else. I had been wearing my grandfather’s gold ring on a chain around my neck as I often do, but unbeknownst to me, the clasp came apart and the ring fell into the tall grass. I knew it had to be somewhere between the car and the picnic spot, but it was not apparent at first glance. I’d posted on Facebook about it too. The whole gang got into the act looking about, to no avail. The kids could see how upset I was. What a sad ending to a fun outing.

One of my friends could not admit defeat. After an unproductive hour-long search, he bade me farewell and took off for home without an explanation. I wondered if he was mad. He returned in fifteen minutes with a strange device in hand. He said that it was the best metal detector for gold. Now who has that in their garage! He told me that his uncle had given it to him years ago. He was into simple technology and collected all kinds of things for the home and yard. As a child, he like to play “prospector” and search the yard for buried treasures in the backyard or at the beach. What was a kid’s game became my prized possession. I took the device and held it before me as I walked to and from the car. In minutes, it blinked with a green light indicated a “find.” My ring was lying deep in the grass, not visible to the naked eye.

I hugged my friend and returned the metal detector. What a fascinating gadget. He was thrilled to be of help. We tried to resurrect the good spirit of the picnic, but it was a bit late for that. Not even a round of cookies would do the job. We agreed to come back another day. I promised not to wear any gold jewelry.