"I wish we had a metal detector," she said last week. That got my attention.
"Oh yeah," what would you do with it?"
"Find buried treasure."
I went down to the basement followed by EB & her usual partner in crime, Tate. We headed to the shelves in the storage room and I started digging. In the very back of the top shelf, behind boxes that still held my childhood booty, I found a buried treasure. I pulled out a black, plastic suitcase and showed it to the kids. By now, Harper had come by trying not to look too interested.
"What is it?"
"A metal detector."
"Cool!," they all said.
This was probably the best gift I ever got, way back in 1982. And expensive, too. I don't think I'd spend $369 for this thing in today's dollars, but then I'm not as cool now as I was then.
Since this was more than 25 years old, I had no idea if it would work. Aw great, now I needed 14 AA batteries, or "penlight batteries," as it said on the instructions. But this adventure had EB's magic, and we had exactly 14 batteries in the pantry.
The kids could hardly wait to go outside. "What if we find a treasure chest?" Tate asked the neighborhood.
"Then, we can go out for dinner."
I held my breath and turned it on. It said "Beeeeeeeeeeep." I took my trowel away and it quieted down. Perfect, after all these years, it still works! Using the metal detector was like riding a bike, and we were digging up great bits of metal in no time.
The first thing we got was an old penny. The kids were ecstatic, it was like magic was making money appear from the ground. We found a lot of rusty old junk, too, unless you asked Tate. Every rotten thing we pulled from the ground was a new and beautiful treasure. Old bolts, bits of machinery, pull tabs (remember those?) , he picked up everything he saw and said "Dad, this is SO cool!"
We got some wheat pennies. One of them was from 1923, the date our house was built.
Altogether, we've found nearly $3.00 in change (assuming the rotten pennies are worth anything).
We also found some cool junk: pocket knifes:
What I really, wish I could get are some of the great accessories that were available 27 years ago.
It's really easy to lose track of time when you're hunting buried treasure. After a couple of hours outside with the kids, Jill came to look for us.
"What are you doing?" she wanted to know.
"Hunting for treasure with the kids," I told her.
"The kids have been inside for 20 minutes." she told me.
Apparently, not all of them.