Imagine trying to find a way to tell your husband you have lost your engagement, wedding and 40th anniversary rings. Then realizing you have no idea where they could be.
That nightmare recently became a reality for Jim and Jacquie Hauser. Their missing rings tale is one of lotion, lost-and-found classified advertising and a good Samaritan.
A little more than two weeks ago, all three of Jacquie's treasures lay in the Crossings of Sandusky parking lot. But she had no idea they were there.
The odyssey began May 8, explained Jim, a retired teacher and coach from the Perkins School District.
"We were going to see the Cavs play against New Jersey and my wife was going to put her rings on when she discovered that she couldn't find them," he said.
Jacquie, who is retiring in a week as a librarian in the Monroeville school system, said she doesn't work with her rings on each day because her job requires a lot of stress on her hands.
"I keep the rings at home in a safe place -- a heart-shaped box that my granddaughter gave to me," she said. "We were getting ready to leave for the game and I went to put my rings on. I was in shock when I couldn't find them."
After a frantic search of the house, the couple departed for the game sans rings. And for nearly two weeks, they still had no idea the location of their lost symbols of love.
"My wife is an organist at church, so I thought she had lost them at the organ or in the church parking lot," Jim said. "I had given her the 40th anniversary ring on her birthday as a surprise for our 40th wedding anniversary, which is in June."
Jim said he read the classifieds in the Register last week and then the couple's ring search changed for the better.
"I never read the classifieds, but just happened to one night last week," he said. "I decided to put a lost-and-found ad in."
He checked for a few days, but nothing. Then one day an anonymous male caller told him that there was an ad in the Register stating that rings had been found.
"The caller suggested I put two and two together," Jim said.
The "found" ad was placed by Huron resident Ann Nickels. Lo and behold, the rings were in her possession. She had found them in the parking lot at the Crossing of Sandusky. Lucky for the Hausers, she has a heart of gold.
"It was my pleasure to be able to do that. The rings were right beside my car," Nickels said. "After looking at them, I didn't want to return them to the store and chance them ending up in the wrong hands."
She took an ad out in the Register and was happy when, "the rightful owners called to get their rings."
"Ann deserves a great big pat on the back for reminding us of the golden rule," Jim said. "So many people would have done something other than what she did. We can't say enough about how great her attitude is."
The Hausers said they will never forget Nickels' act of honesty and kindness.
Jacquie was also able to piece together how she dropped her rings.
"I took my rings off to put lotion on my hands while I was out shopping," she said. "I got out of the car without putting my rings back on and they fell into the parking lot."
Jacquie said Jim wasn't angry about the lost rings, though she said she didn't think he would have replaced them.
Jim smiled and concurred with that statement.
"But we do have them insured now," he said.