I had made up my mind that I was going to go detecting Sunday morning, come hell or high water. Had a little rain early, but that was fine. Might increase depth some. The temperature when I left was about 89 degrees. Not bad considering the triple digit heat we had been experiencing. So I headed out across the lake to a school, where I can usually find a decent coin or two.
Forgetting that the first day of school was the next day I noticed a lot of cars in the parking lot. Not sure why but I prefer to detect without looking over my shoulder. In any case I decided I was going to detect anyway.
After about ten minutes I had found a couple of clad dimes, and then the sweat started dripping off my forehead on to my glasses. Then I did the dumb thing and tried to wipe them with my drop cloth (or towel in this case). Of course it was dirty, and made my glasses even worse. In any case I perservered, dug a clad dime and quarter, and then found a Merc, making me feel a little better.
As time went on it was becoming increasingly harder to get myself up once I kneeled down….nothing to hold onto. After a while I found myself counting, 1, 2, 3 and UP! The lower back was killing me, I couldn’t see through my glasses, and the humidity was kicking my ass. So, after about forty minutes I headed home.
The lessons I learned? 89 is still hot (and never forget about humidity)! Next time take an “Alleve” before heading out, and lastly, all my things ain’t what they used to be, and I am an old wimp. Counting the value of the Merc (1940/good condition) I came home with a whopping $2.83. But I feel certain that if I had that new $2,500 detector I would have found at least couple dollars more….
(Added later: One of the encrusted coins was actually a Barber nickel)
THE “NEW NORM”
For the past couple of years I have heard the term “new norm” thrown about, both in print and in the media. I think originally it was meant to reflect the current economic situation, and in particular the new norm for those affected by it.
Prior to the deep recession of 2008, many were used to living “high on the hog” or perhaps a better term would be “quite comfortably”. When Wall street went down, so did our 401K’s and so did home prices, thanks to all the fraud going on in the banking world. A home that was once worth $200,000 was now worth $120,000, but the mortage payment remained the same.
As a result of all this businesses starting cutting back, laying off employees, closing stores, plants and subsidiaries. Unemployment shot up, and the economy tanked badly.
Despite all this, things every so slowly started improving, but we started hearing the term “new norm” meaning maybe this will be the way it is from now on.
My opinion (which is worth absolutely nothing) is that for far too long home prices were way over priced, blown out of proportion, and salaries that people were paid were ridiculous for what it was they did. When the economy was doing fine (as in the 90’s) everything balanced out. What could go wrong? Well we now know that we cannot look the other way anymore, and we need to pay attention to Wall Street, the banking industry, mortgage lenders, etc…
In any case is what we are seeing in the pastime today the new norm? Metal detectors in the $2,500 range, pinpointers priced at $200, long handled sand scoops at $200, digging tools $50, hunt fees over $100, and cameras to wear on your head at $300…? If so, maybe the new norm isn’t too bad.
When I started detecting in the late 70’s, high priced detectors were around $300, requiring one to put a few dollars away each week to buy one, and accessories like a carpenter’s apron, and screwdriver were in the garage. I know, I know, the times have changed. I undestand that. I just cannot reconcile or justify spending $2,000 to enjoy my hobby (even if I was working).
I now use a detector that retails at $800 and I am quite happy with it, but I am still looking for a used model that I had great success with in the 80’s. Sure a lot of it is sentimentality or mind over matter, but I remember that period in my life and think it might be fun trying to relive it again.
I think what a lot of us are experiencing today is and will be the “new” norm. People may actually have to take a lesser job, learn to live a little less luxurious then they did, and they may have to find a new skill or field of endeavor, maybe one that they will enjoy more than their old one.
They might have to sell that bass boat, that membership in the country club, that prime seat at the football stadium, cut back on their eating out, plan a vacation here instead of Europe. They may need to buy a Ford instead of a Mercedes or BMX. Jeez, they might even have to consider selling that $2,000 metal detector…
Not sure what I am trying to say here, but we all need to face the facts, like them or not. To find your “new norm” ask yourself, are my kids and grandchildren healthy? Are my bills such that I can pay them, even if a little late? Are we able to afford the basics, and still have a decent quality of life. Are we able to enjoy each day of our life. If you can say yes to those, then your new norm is not really all that bad, but please always remember there are a great many people out there whose “new norm” is one of hardship and struggle, and we need to do what we can to help them.
Okay, downed the 4th glass of wine, got that off my chest, and now I am not that bitter old man anymore….
VIDEO FROM MY HOME STATE
Thanks to Brian Mayer and Paul Ribble for sharing this article on the Jersey Shore Treasure Hunters Facebook page….