October is a huge birthday month in my family. 2 of my three daughters, my sister, a sister in law and brother in law all have birthdays this month. As well as ME!! Yes I am yet another year older but the best thing about it of course, other than all the wisdom that comes with another year of experience, is the presents. And this year my beautiful wife and daughters out-did themselves and got me a cool metal detector.
My nephews Tristen and Dawson came up with my mom this weekend to celebrate my daughters Abby & Sarah's birthdays. So, Saturday morning before the party, we loaded up the "Ranch Limo"
and headed up the hill behind our house for a little treasure hunting excursion. Ok so some history on the "Ranch Limo": Joellyn has been driving Honda's since we moved to Salt Lake. We started out with the civic when it was just the two of us and as the kids came, so did the need to upgrade. We bought a CRV when Abby was born and when Sarah was born we upgraded again to a Pilot. Now for the longest time Joellyn has said she would "NEVER" drive anything bigger than the Pilot. Well after having Eva and getting Mia the dog and trying to get to Great Falls to do shopping with the family it was apparent we had outgrown the Pilot. I searched for weeks working with the dealer here in Fort Benton, as well as the dealers in Great Falls, before I found it. A very nice, used, Yukon XL. So I traded in Jo's pilot for the "Ranch Limo", which she wasn't happy with at the time, hopefully she will come around. It has been used quite a bit since we bought it and even today we filled it to the brim with kids and in-laws.
Well back to the treasure hunt. I had heard there were some tipi rings up there from way back and that we might possibly find some brass buttons or something else the Plains Indians may have left behind. After two hours of walking around the hillside and taking turns running the equipment, shovels and binoculars, the treasure hunters and I came up empty handed. So I had the idea of heading down to an older house on the property and digging through the yard to see if we could find anything down there. The saying " one mans trash is another mans treasure" should be "One mans trash is another kids treasure". We found stuff left and right on that property. Sure I had the settings on the metal detector set so that it picked up anything made of metal, but that's not the point. To see those kids eyes light up when they heard that high pitched beep of the detector when it ran across something buried in the ground was like Christmas morning. I've never before seen a piece of rusty wire garnish so much admiration as it did with my 5 year old Sarah. We found nails, wire, a section of chain, iron chunks and metal tabs. No gold or silver but to the kids it didn't matter, at the end of the trip they packed up their "treasures" and headed home with smiles and stories to tell.
^ The treasure hunting crew
^ Tristin stands by with his BB gun to protect Abby from the rattlesnakes while she explores this old truck.
^ Tristin's "treasure"
It was a great learning experience again for me. A "treasure" isn't necessarily defined by monetary value. It also doesn't have to be desired by anyone else other than you. A "treasure" is anything that has value to you. I hope that I can use this simple lesson in my life as well. A treasure can be memories of times together with family, of stories from the generation before, and lessons learned through life's experience.