2016 was a year like no other and one that I want to put behind me. It included a lot of firsts, a lot of heartbreak and it all started the day after Christmas 2015 when an F4 tornado took aim at our home.
I thought tornadoes always happened to someone else and certainly never close to home, but Fay and I now know better. One minute we were watching television…fifteen minutes later we were struggling to get out of our house or what was left of it. When we finally did our neighborhood looked like a war zone.
Our 28 year old live oak was snapped at the trunk….
JANUARY – FEBRUARY
The day after we lost our home we moved in with our daughter and her family and started dealing with our insurance company and doing whatever was needed to start our life all over again. Not something I ever expected to do at my age…. After weighing the pros and cons we made the decision not to rebuild and to look for another home somewhere in the area. On Valentines day, exactly 28 years to the day we moved in to the Willowbrook house we watched it bulldozed and hauled away.
We lost a lot but Fay and I, Digger and Molly are alive and kicking (well maybe not kicking so much…) and we can’t ask for more than that. We are also extremely grateful for all of our detecting friends who came to our aid via the Go Fund Me page that Robert Ellis and Dave Wise started. We can never ever thank you all enough.
A big thanks as well to John Howland who contributed updates and posts here while we were busy trying to start anew.
Also in March we found a new (used) home and moved in the end of the month. It’s was one story and much smaller than the Willowbrook house but we fell in love with it and after a few repairs and shopping for all new furnishings we settled in and now call it home.
The Amesbury house…
Later in the month I found out Richard Ray had passed back in back in January. It really bothered me that his passing wasn’t noticed or shared within the detecting community. Richard was a pioneer, a free spirit, a character and deserved better. RIP Richard…
Treasure hunter, Richard Ray
April started out okay but on the 15th my brother Phil passed away. It was not unexpected as he was in an assisted living situation and not doing well. Nonetheless it hurt and I miss him a great deal…. love you man.
May found Fay and I still getting used to our new home and I will admit that more than once I found myself driving back to the old Willowbrook house only to find an empty lot. Interestingly it’s still vacant as I write this…..
I also got a “Dear Dick” email from someone calling himself “relic hunter”…. he apparently didn’t like me and honestly the feeling was mutual.
In July British tekkie Stephen Grey was kind enough to do a guest post called City Boy In the Country and I urge you to read it. It’s well done and a great tribute to someone who became more than a friend. Thanks Stephen.
Also in July I lived up to my cantankerous label and posted “It Used to Be”. Was a lot of fun and I may do something similar again in the coming months if I decide to continue with the blog.
In August White’s Electronics introduced its new website…a great improvement over the older one. As I was searching through it I noticed their mention of sponsoring outside events and decided to have a little fun with them. They took the bait and decided to return the humor. See “Some Folks Are No Fun at All”….
Had some fun busting Todd Hiltz’s chops when it came to his modeling the new White’s backpack. The completely full deal was just too funny.
Is that a body in there?
Later in November I finally got my MX Sport and fell in love. No more bread box, good balance and good depth. Add in a new permission, my grandson Lucas’s prodding to go detecting and I had an incentive to get off my duff and work a little harder in the field. Thank you Whites!
This month started off with me having a little fun at Chicago Ron’s expense though I might have pissed off a few of his fans (of which I am one).
On the 15th of the month Fay and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. A friend said “not too many can say they lived through a tornado andspent 50 years married to the same person”…..he also said “I won’t ask you which was worse”….
Finally I talked about the decline of the treasure club and it turned into a discussion about needing a national organization. Have a feeling I will be dead and gone before something like that happens.
This coming Monday, December 26th, marks the one year date of our losing our home and our current weather has been eerily similar. The forecast is also calling for bad weather again but ‘supposedly’ not as bad as last year. Here’s hoping…..
Thank you all for visiting and sharing your comments here during the past year. Without you I would not write….
Having said that I am not sure I will continue Stout Standards. My treasure hunting expertise, if I ever indeed had it, is not what it used to be and my excursions into the field during the past year were almost non-existent. Thus writing anything that will be of interest to today’s detectorist is becoming more and more difficult. I will let you know soon what I decide to do….in the meantime Fay and I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!