I really like my second wedding ring. It is a band of intertwined circles in yellow, white and rose gold. Now pay attention, people. I said second ring, not second wedding. I only had one of those, thankfully.
But back to the matter at hand or rather on my hand. The reason I needed a second ring was, to paraphrase an author far richer and more successful than I, a result of Susan’s no good, terrible really bad day. My original ring consisted of a narrow white gold band which was curved to fit around the small diamond on my engagement ring.
I had driven to Pennsylvania from our home in Kentucky to work on selling property from my father’s estate. In midsummer the grass in my parents’ postage stamp townhouse yard had grown three feet tall. They had used a rotary mower which worked great but was a little difficult in the neglected jungle. I tugged and yanked and more or less chewed up the grass.
Then I drove 35 miles to meet a neighbor who was interested in our farm property which adjoined him. I walked through a large hay field to the parcel under consideration. Memories of baling hay and riding horses filled my mind. It was here my father taught me to drive a tractor, to mow and rake hay, to spread manure, to farm and to love the land.
Filled with nostalgia, I decided to stop at the house where I grew up and talk with the new owner. She was a lovely woman, a lawyer who worked for the local title company. She was so welcoming , showing me around the house as it now was, but I started shaking and crying and couldn’t stop.
I got myself together went to meet my neighbor. He operated his father’s business, “The Beacon Hotel” a small tavern on a gravel road in the middle of the country. He offered me a Coke and we sat at the bar. He had known the price of the property when he contacted me, and I was glad that he was interested in the otherwise landlocked parcel.
He told me why the property was worth very little and offered a ridiculous sum, then began to insult me, my family and the horse I rode in on. I had had it.
“I came at your request,” I said, biting off the words. Trying to maintain control, I looked down at my hands and realized the diamond was missing from my engagement ring. The perfect ending.
The property did eventually sell, after months of my fighting with the township about right-of-ways and number of owners who could use a road. A man bought it over the phone and I heard he built a beautiful home.
I had seen a ring like this in a magazine and had pointed it out to my husband. One day, near our anniversary, he returned from a trip to Lexington with my new ring.
Susan Williamson is a lifelong horse person, former extension agent, newspaper editor and food coop manager. She is the author of two novels: Turkmen Captives and Dead on the Trail. She has written two e-books: How to Buy Your First Horse and How to Get By as Time Goes By.