At 84 years old, Mary Grams still vividly remembers losing her engagement ring in September 2004.
Before she had a chance to really look for it, her son Brian hollered that he needed a ride out to the fields to help with harvesting grain on the family farm near Armena, Alta., southeast of Edmonton.
“Hands and knees I was digging. I thought, surely I can find it.”
Grams said she knew the general area where she lost the ring — near her potato patch — but it was still a big garden.
“Usually, when I lose something — I don’t want to brag, but I’m usually pretty lucky at finding things — but not this time. No luck this time, boy.”
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After a few weeks of searching without luck, Grams decided to buy a replacement — hoping her husband wouldn’t notice. Despite the obvious differences, he never questioned her about it.
Still, Grams says she felt foolish for losing it. Her original ring set from the 1950s had previously broken, so the replacement engagement ring was relatively new — and expensive.
“I cried for days,” she said.
More than 13 years later, the ring miraculously turned up, in Mary’s old garden. Her son Brian now lives on the farm.
“My wife was digging carrots for supper, and I guess she came up with a carrot that had something on it,” Brian Grams explained.
“She thought it was deformed, and of course they were going to throw it out.”
But in the evening light, a sparkle caught his wife’s eye. A ring circled the middle of the carrot.
The couple called Grams Monday night to tell her the good news. At first, she thought they were joking because they couldn’t stop laughing.
But when her granddaughter brought the carrot — with the carat — to Mary’s house on Tuesday morning, she knew immediately it was her long-lost ring.
“A sort of happy feeling went through [me] and I said, ‘It can’t be possible — yet here it is!'”
Grams’s granddaughter helped her snap the carrot and wash the ring off. It still fits — and went right back where it belongs, on Mary’s ring finger.
“Anything I do outside, I’m going to take it off and it’s going to stay,” Grams said. “I should’ve put it in a safe place in the first place, but I didn’t.”
Grams’s husband, Norman, died five years ago. The couple had been married for 60 years. Mary says if Norman was around today, he’d laugh. Brian agrees.
“You would never think after all these years, you’d find something that small. That’s the only way you could find it, I guess, growing through a carrot like that,” he laughed.