It wasn’t until we were done playing horseshoes that Rick noticed he only had one of his hearing aides in. We’ve been standing apart, throwing both our shoes one after the other rather than taking turns and then stepping away from the pit to let the other throw. Rick’s mask is one of those that loops around his ears rather than behind his head and he would occasionally lift his mask to clear his glasses when he stepped away. So there was a lot of ground to cover.
We don’t have much of a lawn. Too many trees for that. What we have mostly is chewed up leaves. In fact the pits, this early in the season, are about six inches deep in chewed up leaves. We looked for about an hour, long enough for Peggi and Monica to join the search.
Peggi suggested the magnet stick that our former neighbor made. It was in our garage, where it was when Leo died. I walked up and down with that and at some point I found a tiny battery attached to it. We all assumed the hearing aide was nearby until Rick remembered he had replaced a battery in that spot a few weeks ago and dropped the old one.
After watching us walk back and forth in the front yard, our neighbors across the street came out with masks on and pitched in. Rick was resigning himself to having to spend his stimulus check on a new $1500 hearing aide. Someone suggested a metal detector and we texted the neighbor who has one of everything. Peggi picked that up and was fine tuning the beeping noises while I sifted the tiny pieces of leaves in one of the pits. Bingo. I found the needle in a haystack.