What Won't Some Women Do For Love - My First Excursion
I'd been dating Jeff, an avid artifact hunter, for about two months
when he asked if I would be interested in going artifact hunting
with him Sunday November 12th 2000. On the night that he asked
it was cold and rainy and walking through the cornfields of Indiana
in that type of weather didn't sound too appealing. Don't get me
wrong, I've never thought of myself as a wimpy or prissy girl.
I've ran in four of the Indianapolis mini-marathons, hiked the
flat-irons in Boulder, Colorado, participated in a 400 mile week-long
bike ride across Indiana, and I enjoy weight-lifting and am a certified
group exercise instructor. Physical, outdoor challenges are not
new or intimidating to me, but walking in a muddy cornfield looking
for rocks - I wasn't too sure about that. On top of that he suggested
that we go to Meijer and shop for rain-gear. This was not sounding
like a lot of fun. But with both of our work and activity schedules
I knew that if I wanted to spend more time with Jeff, I'd better
at least give it a fair shot.
I guess many would consider me to be rather spontaneous. I've been known to
decide to take a road trip and pack everything in the car and the last thing
that I'll decide to look at is the map. Only after everything is in the car
and I'm actually heading down the highway do I decide to see if I still have
a map in the glove compartment. On this Saturday morning when I arrived at
Jeff's house for our excursion, he had a cooler packed with sodas, extra clothing
and the maps laid out for our day.
Luckily, the rain had stopped during the night and the sun was beginning to
peak through the dark, heavy clouds. It was still chilly but starting to warm
up. After a cup of coffee and a scrumptious cinnamon roll we were off.
We headed east to the countryside. Jeff knew the area well and it became obvious
that he knew exactly what he was looking for. We drove past numerous fields
and beautiful old farmhouses. We stopped at a very old small cemetery along
the way and stretched our legs. Jeff explained to me that many of the fields
that we passed weren't quite ready to be hunted but we made notes of the conditions
and locations of the fields for future hunting. I was actually enjoying the
drive through the countryside. I seldom take the time to relax that way. As
many can relate, through the workweek it's a constant hurry-up and go. We drove
for one or two hours while Jeff explained his hunting strategies and the importance
of careful planning.
When we stopped for lunch it was at a small country store that was heated by
a wood burning stove. There were about fifteen local farmers enjoying their
mid-day meal at a long table sitting right in the middle of the store. This
brought back fond memories of the store we lived near in Meador, Kentucky when
I was a child. We used to order a bologna and cheese sandwich and the storeowner
would slice the bologna from the roll and make the sandwiches. Those were the
best bologna sandwiches in the world. This particular store in Indiana didn't
have the huge roll of bologna so I ordered a "famous pork burger" which
Jeff took the opportunity to re-introduce himself to a couple of the local
farmers and again ask for their permission to hunt on their land. I was relieved
that he requested and obtained permission because I sure didn't want to be
shot for trespassing!
After lunch we went to one of the fields and my first artifact hunt began.
I had never been very interested in history but I found the stories that Jeff
told me about the Indians very interesting. Jeff was patient with me and took
time to point things out and help me to understand what I was looking for.
We moved on to another field and walked and talked some while we were hunting.
We were just about ready to call it a day when Jeff spotted an axehead. He
said Darrell and his tradition was that when they are hunting together and
one makes a find the other person extracts it from the ground.
By this time the clouds were beginning to build again and the temperature was
dropping so we called it a day and headed home. The fresh air and sunshine
and exercise felt wonderful and rejuvenating. That evening after we showered
and sat down together to watch a movie I reflected on the day. I was so relaxed
and felt so at peace that I drifted off to sleep within just a few minutes.
Even though I did not find an artifact, I was fortunate enough to find so much
more, memories and peacefulness. It was a beautiful day.
By: Pam Sheets
November 16 2000 10:55AM