My Favorite Gift


52’s great-grandfather, Otto, after immigrating to the United States from Holland, founded a clock/jewelry shop on the square in Spencer, West Virginia. (Spencer is the seat of the county in which our farm is located.) He also operated as an itinerant clock/watch repairman throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Over the past 200 years, no doubt my family and 52’s family ran across one another. Who knows, his great-grandfather may have at one time repaired my great-grandfather’s clock. Otto’s son and grandson (52’s father) continued to operate the shop on the square. 52 grew up in Spencer, his father running the jewelry shop, his mother a math teacher. I like to think I may have passed him sometime, 52 riding his bicycle around Spencer’s lazy small town streets, me riding in my parents’ car on the way to the Robey for our treat during summers when my father took us to West Virginia.

This ring 52 gave me for Christmas is significant on several levels. It’s a ring leftover from the stock of his father’s store. It represents the past–which is, at least in our imaginations, shared. My birthday is in April, and the ram is the astrological sign for Aries. So it represents me–as well as him since it comes from his father. And one of my dreams for the coming year is to start a flock of sheep here on our farm, so it represents the future. (And, well, like my license plate…. How coincidental is all of that?)

His parents died in a tragic automobile accident 26 years ago, ending three shop-keeping generations on the Spencer square. This vintage ring has waited a long time to be slipped on someone’s finger, showing–yet again–that the best gifts not only don’t have to cost anything, they don’t even have to be new.

(And no, it’s not an engagement ring! Get your minds out of the chapel, LOL.)

Thank you, 52.


  1. SuzieQ says:

    The very best kind of gift…one from the heart..May the new year bring you even more happiness.. :sheepjump:

  2. Patty says:

    Oh how sweet!! It’s a beautiful ring. 🙂 You two are SO adorable!! :love:

    We can hope for the chapel, you can’t stop us! 😛

  3. Dru says:

    That is a beautiful ring. I can see the heirloom from years past.

  4. beekudzu says:

    What a lovely story. You know, you two are writing a great book!

  5. Heidi says:

    BEAUTIFUL RING and Dang on the nonengagment part!!! LOL

  6. SuseM says:

    Thank you for sharing the lovely story of a very beautiful ring. The best gifts come from the heart!

  7. Amelia says:

    :catmeow: How romantic…just don’t loose it while cleaning the goats or chickens pens…just kidding I know you will take great care of it.

  8. IowaDeb says:

    Wow! How romantic, a ring that has traveled time to be presented to you as a gift. It was as if it was made just for you.I know you’ll cherish it forever…what a guy!

  9. jane says:

    I love the history part and how it is woven into your lives today bringing you all together. i would love to see pictures of the old shop, his family etc. that would be neat too. there are no coincidences in life really – thre is a reason and a purpose to it all really.

  10. Kacey says:

    That ring is beautiful with such meaning and memories attached to it! What a wonderful gift!

  11. Melissa's Cozy Teacup says:

    I love old stuff. I like to imagine where it has been and who the previous owner’s were. What a great gift! Happy New Year!

  12. stefinity says:

    Well Suzanne, you have given us enough info to figure out who 52 is (my lips are sealed!) My fiance, who is 50 years old and grew up in Spencer, remembers 52’s parents and the jewelry shop! He says he had 52’s mother as a teacher, and seems to remember that 52 had a “beautiful” sister!!?
    By the way, what a lovely, thoughtful gift! I told my fiance that you had such a GREAT boyfriend, and he said “like me!”…. well, yeah I guess! I love the thoughtful types though. You guys make a great couple. What did you get 52 for Christmas?

  13. Becky says:

    Some things are just meant to be.
    Beautiful ring for a beautiful relationship.
    I wish you many years of happiness.
    Way to go 52!!

  14. CATRAY44 says:

    I second Amelia warning, lol… I am pretty sure that one of my hen’s has a very expensive piece of grit in her crop after feeding chickens a few weeks ago(and I am shy my engagement diamond!) Wonderful gift and story, Suzanne! Thank you for sharing it!

  15. Heidi533 says:

    What a beautiful ring. And the history is something that could never be bought. What a wonderful gift. You’re a lucky gal.

  16. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    It’s beautiful and comes with an amazing story! Has Clover expressed an opinion yet? :catmeow:

  17. Patricia Herman says:

    Awesome present – I love that ring. First its from 52 and part of his family history (it was meant for you) and it was your favorite gift.

    Enjoy it and we all are going to keep that chapel around…just hoping it happens.

  18. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Suzanne – I just had another delightful surprise. Looked in at Wineinthekeyboard’s post and saw – at the top – your wonderful photo of the angry young chick!!! Congratulations! :clap:

  19. heidiannie says:

    It is a beautiful ring- it represents the past, the present and foreshadows the future! What a thoughtful and loving gift-Chapel or not- this is one very special man.

  20. Courtney KS says:

    How very sweet and thoughtful of 52! And your appreciation for it makes it all the more endearing!

    A very Merry Christmas indeed.

  21. Marianne says:

    What a beautiful present, okay maybe its a preengagement ring! Watch out, once you get sheep, the next thing is shearing them , and then you will find yourself sucked into the spinning/knitting thing!

  22. becki says:

    So what was in your daughter’s box?

    My favorite gift this year was time. We spent time together-no electronics. Hurricane Ike (Setember 13 2008-Galveston Island Texas)taught us that so much of what we feel is necessary is just stuff. People are what really matter at the end of the day. 2009 will find us repairing the damage. Even though the physical structure of our house was weakened, what makes this dwelling a home has never been stronger.

  23. Amy says:

    What a beautiful gift!

    What was Morgan so anxious to get at that she couldn’t be bothered with scissors?

  24. Karen B says:

    Love the ring and story behind it! Check out Congrats! :flying:

  25. Brandy says:

    Your gift from 52 is lovely!

  26. Estella says:

    It’s a beautifu ring!

  27. catslady says:

    Beautiful and touching! So when do we get to know 52’s name :mrgreen:

  28. Barb Wilson says:

    :purr: Suzanne their coundn`t of been nothing nicer than the ring 52 gave you their is so much of the past in it& it will hold the future as well wonderfull wonderfull gift

  29. Leah says:

    What a beautiful and unique ring..E.D. has a good eye!

  30. Susan says:

    52 put a lot of thought into that gift and that adds to the the gift!

  31. Liz says:

    :cowsleep: Suzanne and 52~


    Liz in PA

  32. Jodie says:

    OK, so I don’t live there and don’t have a clue who he is, but he’s a fine gentleman and wonderful guy to have around, even if you don’t get married. But us hopeful romantics out here have to hope. You’ve got the farm, the chickens, the house, the kids, the well, the GOATS, soon to be more baby GOATS & baby CHICKS and maybe a sheep… so you need a very 52 husband to complete our romantic farm scenario. You’re writing the novel of your life online… and your readers are saying “SUZANNE you need him like Clover needs Cowboy!” You need to think about those romance novels that you write and aspire to be swept away in his arms to Spencer, to your own farm or somewhere. WE LOVE THE HAPPY ENDINGS!

    Signed, Jodie Z one of your loyal fans from Texas… and a hopeful romantic. I found my man when I was 40 and he was 48. We’re now married 7 years and I’m 48 and he’s 56. He’s the journalist that will never stop writing. Heart attacks be damned.
    :snoopy: :love: :sheepjump: :woof: :purr:

  33. seora maude says:

    i think you are already living in your chapel.

    beautiful gesture, 52.

  34. Della says:

    Love your blog and the ring is beautiful ! :snuggle:

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