On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘Treasure Hunting’

Feeling my age again | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on October 8, 2019:

Kitty on the back of the couchIn May I wrote a column titled “Feeling my age” after spending a week wielding a paint brush on our porch. However, I am finding that there’s nothing like a week with a ten-year-old, my granddaughter Zoe, and a fifteen-year-old, my grandson Mattias, to make a person really feel her age! Don’t get me wrong, I love these two beautiful young people, but keeping up with them as they race through life is a little more demanding than keeping up with Kitty’s nap schedule.

A couple of weeks ago I received a text from my son Christian asking if we could stay with the kids for a few days while he and his wife took a parents-only vacation. Since our social calendar was clear and we had no doctor’s appointments, I jumped at the chance. Plans were made, and they set about the arduous task of pulling away from their demanding responsibilities for a week. I set about sharing our plans with anyone who might be inclined to call for a police welfare check if they didn’t see us for a few days.

We arrived on Tuesday, for grandparent orientation and schedule briefing and were able Court Houseto help with last minute trip preparations. They have lived in their 100-year-old home in Granbury – two blocks from the historic town square – less than a month and don’t have a washer and dryer. Christian, Zoe, and I spent some time bonding over take-out burritos at the Laundromat while Amy was at a meeting and David and Mattias held down the fort at home.

Duties related to getting a reluctant teen and a tween who hates mornings up and off to school were handled by parents on Wednesday. Then, they left at 11:00 am, and David and I were on our own. At 3:30 I met Zoe’s bus, and she and I played a rousing game of Jenga and perused her fund-raiser catalogues while David went to pick up Mattias at 4:30. We made it to Youth Group at 5:30, picked them up at 7:00, and did some metal detecting in the front yard. Even though we only found a metal-laced rock and an old nail, they were fascinated with the process. We promised a trip to the swim beach for more treasure hunting the next day, and then it was bedtime. One day down – six to go!

Treasure HuntDay two started well enough; we were at the bus stop when Zoe’s bus came, and Mattias was at school in time for band rehearsal. Zoe came home with exciting news – she had received an award for a science test and she had been named Student of the Month in her class – but she was missing her parents. When I told her that, with the near triple digit temperature, a trip to the swim beach was not a good idea, she deflated. We decided to eat dinner first and try the beach near sundown, but she was still droopy and toyed with what little food she took. But just as we were finishing, Pitchfork et alshe received a call and was able to share her big news on a Face Time with her parents. She was like a different child after that. Our trip to the beach wasn’t a success by most standards, but the kids were thrilled with our finds: a quarter, several tent pegs, and the rusty head of a three-pronged pitch fork. I was thrilled that, since they were both sandy and sweaty, they didn’t argue about taking bedtime showers.

Student of the MonthFriday was crazy – all day long. Not only did I have to get the kids up and ready to leave the house by 6:50, but we also had to be ready to attend the 7:30 Morning Meeting at Zoe’s school. Of course, we did whatever it took to see Zoe get her “Student of the Month” award. Later in the day, we bought tickets for the homecoming game and made another trip to Mattias’s school with black socks for his band uniform. With our grandparent duties done for a few hours, we walked to the square again to check out a few things we had missed the day before, and before we knew it, it was game time. Our team won convincingly, and the band gave an awesome performance of their contest show. Another good day in the books.

We all slept late on Saturday, and didn’t leave the house until time for the matinee of theHF 2019-09-28 GHS Band Reza Edge of Illusion show at the Opera House. We all loved it and talked about it all the way home for a late lunch. A trip back to the square for candy and ice cream followed by the Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour ended an almost perfect day. As Mattias was getting ready for bed, he broke out in an itchy, fast-spreading rash. Turns out it’s not a good idea to pose for a picture on a hay bale if you have grass allergies. After a few frantic texts between parent and grandparents, a couple of antihistamine capsules, and a cool shower, sanity was restored and day four came to an end.

Ready for RezaNo one wanted to get up Sunday morning, but after a quick stop at the donut shop, we made it to Sunday School only a few minutes late. We had a fast food lunch and a fun discussion of 1960s slang, and as I write this, the kids are playing Mind Craft and David and I are watching football. Christian and Amy will be home in 48 hours, and we’ll be on our way back to our quiet, sedentary life. I’m looking forward to spending some time with my old, swollen feet up and no schedule to worry about but my own. Still, I will miss these kids, and I hope we’re leaving behind as many happy memories as we’re taking with us.

Blessings,

Linda

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Keith Wills – Treasure Hunter | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on February 5, 2019

Keith WillsLast week I mentioned David’s rekindled interest in treasure hunting and our encounter with treasure hunter Keith Wills in Gilmer. I contacted Keith, and he was excited about my sharing some of his stories – and he has lots of stories to share.

Keith has been a treasure hunter for over fifty years. His interest in the hobby that has become a way of life for him began when he was a Boy Scout of thirteen. He was interested in earning an extra merit badge, and he had always wanted a coin collection. When he found a badge that required three collections of some sort, he saw a way to kill two birds with one stone. He already had a collection of business cards and another of matchbooks, but when he approached his parents about buying a coin collection for him, they had other ideas. As parents often do, they thought he would appreciate the collection more if he earned the money to buy it.

For the next three weeks, Keith mowed lawns for the neighbors, and when he had earned what he thought would be enough, he went to the coin shop. He soon realized that $25 wouldn’t buy much of a collection, and he went home discouraged. His dad was apparently a man who thought outside the box though. One day on the way home from work he stopped at a garage sale and used Keith’s earnings to buy an old metal detector. Keith was less than enthusiastic when his dad handed him what looked like part of an old vacuum cleaner. But when he was told he could use it to find coins, he got busy. He soon learned how the detector worked, collected coins and that merit badge, and set a course that would carry him through the rest of his life.

During the next fifty-plus years Keith has searched for treasure not only in the United States but also in Canada and Mexico. He has hunted in historical sites for relics and on the beach for lost jewelry, for gold and silver in the mountains, and for treasures on shipwrecks off the Florida coast. In 1982, treasure hunting became a vocation as well as an avocation, and Keith opened East Texas Metal Detectors and Repair in Gilmer, Texas.

When asked about the most interesting treasure he has found, he tells about the nine-pound meteorite he found outside Azle when he was eighteen. He sent it to various institutions for analysis, but when he sent it to the Smithsonian, he had to fight to get it back. He found out that it contains two as yet unclassified elements, and it is considered to be one of the twenty rarest privately owned meteorites ever found.

He has found many class rings and has returned around forty of them. He has three favorite ring stories that he has named The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. They are very entertaining, but I won’t try to relate them, because I couldn’t tell them nearly as well as he does.

 

An article in the Jacksonville Progress published on October 5, 2006 quoted Keith as saying he has “done just what I started out to do as a young Scout, I now have a very large collection, but not just of coins, also lost jewelry, relics, gold nuggets and more.” When David and I walked into East Texas Metal Detectors, we saw an amazing array of a very small percentage of his collection – countless rings and other jewelry, coins, nuggets of various ores, tools, and two bugles to name a few. We thoroughly enjoyed looking through the displays and also getting to know the man who was recognized by Life Magazine as one of the nation’s top treasure hunters in March, 2006.

In addition to Keith’s discoveries, East Texas Metal Detectors offers a small selection of metal detectors and accessories as well as equipment for gold panning and other types of treasure hunting. The shop is located in a small building behind the Wills’ home at 1495 FM 49 in Gilmer. The phone number is 903-734-7773.

To see even more treasures and meet the hunters who found them, visit The Texas Treasure Show (sponsored by the Texas Association of Metal Detecting Clubs) in Carthage, Texas on April 26-28. It will be at the Carthage Civic Center at 1702 S. Abrams Street and is open to the public.

Blessings,

Linda

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Buy at BookPros or Amazon

First week of retirement | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 29, 2019:

you mean it's wednesdayThis past week was pretty busy for a retired lady. The one thing I did notice is that the days more or less ran together. Several people had told me to expect that phenomenon, but I didn’t expect it so soon. If it hadn’t been for several appointments and a couple of regular events, I might have lost track of time altogether.

Monday was a holiday, so the Senior Center wasn’t open. David and I spent the day inmessy closet house pants and sweat shirts and watched a lot of TV. I did clean out one kitchen cabinet where an avalanche of koozies and “go” cups threatened to fall on my head every time I opened the door. I filled a box with the extras and took them to the Good Samaritan Thrift Store later in the week, and we still have plenty to choose from. In the process, I found several measuring cups and a funnel that I didn’t know I had. Later in the week I cleaned out my side of the closet. I’ll spare you the details, but I can now stand in the closet without kicking empty hangers out of the way, and I have to make another trip to the Thrift Store. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: