Earlier today, amidst all the hubbub of filing an insurance claim, getting an official police report filed from when I called the Manistee Police Dept. yesterday, and taking Naiya to the vet (hooray, she's okay - just not allowed to walk for the next couple days! I just have to carry her to the pee spot out back...), I randomly decided to check in with the rangers' office in Manistee again. I had left a message with them yesterday, but when I called again today they said they had just gotten off the phone with a guy who said he had found our camera!! He positively identified it based on the description I'd left on the rangers' station answering machine yesterday. Apparently, the guy (Dave) had spoken with me and Josh after we got off the trail yesterday, but when he turned around we were gone and the camera was there!
I. Was. ECSTATIC. My mind was completely blown. Someone found my camera, and they were kind enough to go to the great lengths of searching for the right rangers' station to call, just to get my camera back to me?? Amazing. The woman on the phone (Maggie) started laughing along with me at the sheer joy bubbling through the phone. I mean, the acceptance phone call from MSU CHM was incredible, and probably the happiest I've ever been over the phone, but this was a good second. It was so unexpected and unbelievable, I had a hard time even focusing on the conversation.
The receptionist asked if she had my permission to give my information to the guy with the camera so that he could contact me about giving it back. My response? "HECK YEAH!" When I asked where he was located, she said he was from just south of Grand Rapids, which means that he's only about 25 minutes from me. How amazing is THAT?!? Due to scheduling conflicts, I won't be able to pick the camera up until tomorrow morning at 9:45am, but I AM GOING TO GET MY CAMERA BACK! Thanks to all those who sent up prayers on my behalf on this - I got a lot of supportive responses through the comments and Contact portion of my blog, aside from all the well-wishes on Facebook. Seriously, I have some of the most awesome friends and readers in the world.
Things don't always turn out this well; in fact, they almost never do. I am still kind of in shock, I can hardly believe it... Thanks to Dave Who Found My Camera for being an awesome, stand-up example of how a human should behave. When he called me earlier today, he said that he knew exactly what it's like to save and save for a camera when operating off of an allowance. He and his wife actually operate very similarly to how I and Wife do - saving and saving for something that we want, then paying cash and enjoying it. When I told him that I wanted to offer him some sort of reward for being such an exemplary specimen of human morality, he just laughed before rejecting it flat out - again proving how much he deserves one. Unfortunately, at this point it would probably just be insulting to offer him one, so I guess I'll have to let it slide and continue to thank him profusely every time I speak to him.
This whole debacle has been more trying than I would have imagined, mostly due to the thought of losing the memories stored on the camera. In my last post where I confirmed that the camera was gone, I listed three lessons that I learned from this. Well, here's a fourth:
Lesson #4: Back up your photos whenever you can, but if you lose them - have faith. Things won't always turn out to be as bad as they seem. Either you'll get them back, or there'll be an important lesson in there somewhere...
And so, tonight I will rest easily, knowing that upon yonder morn, I will be getting my precious memories back...