Friday, March 19, 2021

Digging For Treasure


A few months before I retired, I began to think about things I might like to try in retirement as a hobby. I was reading a blog somewhere and it mentioned metal detecting. As a kid, I always dreamed of finding treasure using a metal detector but the most my family could afford was a really cheap model from Radio Shack. I was excited but that excitement soon wore off when all I found with that detector were rusty nails and aluminum pull tabs. I quickly tired of that game and knew I couldn't afford a "real" metal detector. That mention of metal detecting brought up those old memories and I said to myself "heck yeah, now's the time to get that good detector". I purchased a pretty cheap, used one, off of craigslist to make sure I would enjoy the hobby. It didn't take long to get hooked. After one time with this detector and finding 30 coins or so, I decided to upgrade to a mid-level detector with more bells and whistles. The new one was from the famous Garrett company that has been making detectors since the 1960's. The new detector can tell you what is likely buried and how deep. It is pretty awesome! I really enjoy it as a retirement hobby. My wife thinks I'm crazy spending hours digging in the dirt to find a handful of coins and relics. 

It is the thrill of not knowing what is in the next hole that keeps me excited. I could find a pull tab or I could find a gold ring (haven't found a real gold ring yet!). They both emit similar tones on the detector. I may find nothing but newer coins and then I may find an old coin or two. All of it is treasure to the little boy still inside me. I will leave the house and tell my wife "I'm heading out to find some treasure!". 

 As we leave the nest and head out in search of our own life in our youth I think most of us have a different view of life's treasures. We tend to look for a promotion at work, a new house, a new car, a new watch. A lot of material things become treasure to obtain and horde in a race to have more treasure than the next person. I guess that is why some call it the "rat race". I also visualize that the human race, in general, is at times much like a bunch of pack rats. Here is a Wikipedia quote about pack rats:

Pack rats are nest builders. They use plant material such as twigs, sticks, and other available debris. hey are particularly fond of shiny objects. A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying—for example, a piece of cactus—and "trade" it for the new item. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous.

Pack rats run around and find any and everything they can to add to their nest. You may find bits of shiny stuff, pieces of plastic, small toys and other items in their home.  All of their gathered items are treasure to them. Humans are much the same, running all over town, buying a few things from the different department stores, dollar stores, etc. and then running home to pack it away. And doesn't that peculiar characteristic sound a lot like a human also?

As we get older, I think our view of treasure changes. I know my view has changed. I no longer feel the need to acquire things as much. I treasure non-material things a lot more now. Treasure is my family getting together on holidays or weekends and spending some time together. Treasure is sitting quietly in the morning with a cup of coffee and a good book. Treasure is great memories from a trip or vacation. Treasure is when my 22 month old grand daughter, sitting beside me in my recliner, looks up and says "Hi Pawpaw" with a big loving smile on her face. Treasure is one more day on this earth. And, treasure is a 1940's Mercury dime dug out of the ground!

What do you treasure during your retirement years? Have you seen a change in what you have treasured over the years? 


  1. Looks like you are off to a great start in your new blog. And a great start in retirement. I love your positive outlook and willingness to see what happens!