Panic and White Knuckles

I don’t know if I should title this entry, “Panic” or “White Knuckles”.

After falling asleep while trying to watch the National Finals Rodeo… I awoke to a dog’s snuffling nose at my bedside.
Grabbing ten more seconds of warmth, I tossed back the covers and glanced at my windows.  No rim of frost.  Good.  That meant it was a “warm” winter day… 20 or 30.  Ten and below decorated the windows on those “cold” winter days.
I needed to be off to Worland, grabbing the Festival of Trees wreath from the Ten Sleep library.
Coffee-ed.
Showered.
Dressed.
Packed.
A last minute glance in the mirror, and I reached for some different earrings.  And my mom’s diamond ring.
While I love jewelry, I tend to stick to some basic ones around here.  Not overly expensive, but tending to match the blues and greens I find myself wearing these days.  I switched to silver hoop style earrings of my mom’s.  And I reached for the ring.
I grabbed a gold hoop earring instead.
Laughing at my poor eyesight, I squinted into the box where I ALWAYS store the ring.
The ring.
A band of gold nuggets… bought when we lived in Alaska.  I remember the nuggets originally being rough and uneven, now worn smooth from years and years and years of wear.  Welded to it, a thin simple band, purchased years later, holding a one carat diamond that sparkled over the nuggets.
I remember the phone call from my mom.
“You’ll NEVER guess what your dad just bought me.”
Now a junior in college, I had a pretty good idea of what my dad considered impractical. “Well,”  I wrinkled my brow, “It’s either a brand new car or a diamond.  I’m guessing… a car?”
“You’d be wrong!”  I could hear the smile in her voice.  The sincere LOVE that she had for my dad.
“Really?  A DIAMOND?”
“YES!”
“So, like, is it big?”
“Oh, my.  Very.  Probably too big.”
Then a sigh, that told me more volumes about their Love.
That ring.
The ring that was no longer in my jewelry box.
A twinge built in my gut, but I forced it down.  It had to be there.  I’m so paranoid about losing it, I wear it only to town and take it off when I walk back in my own door.  I check it constantly in town to make sure it’s there on my finger.
I grabbed the box, which holds my favorites and dumped it on the bed.
Earring.
Earring.
Necklace.
Necklace.
Bracelet.
No ring.
“Oh, God.”
Panic.
I looked again.
“Oh, God.”
That was it.  I was in full panic.  I looked on my desk and moved items.  Tossed papers.  Moved a pile of junk.  I found an earring.  What?  Then I noticed an earring on the floor.  Had someone knocked my box off my desk?  I slid my chair away from my desk and saw another earring.  Then to the left… a glimpse of gold.
With tears streaming down my face, I reached and grabbed what my heart had feared was lost.  I know it’s just a ring.  It’s not Mom… it’s not Daddy… it’s just metal and a memory, but it is a gold and diamond link to my past.
I thanked God and slid it onto my finger and wiped my face and headed into town.
The roads were NASTY.
Since the guys kidnapped my Durango, I had to use Daniel’s Firebird.
Not really an all weather vehicle.
I drove 45 mph.  In snow and ice and slush.  And I hoped I hadn’t used up all my “Oh, God”s for one day!  I arrived, white knuckled, and cranked down the level of tunes… the Casey Donahew Band had tried their best to distract my worries.
But I was safe, and with a sparkling ring on my finger, I set up our wreath display.
wre
****
December 3, 2009   Too Close to the Action
December 3, 2008   December’s First Snow

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