IDAHO FALLS Alair Schroeder screamed when she saw the naked finger where her diamond wedding ring should have been.
She had spent that July day swimming in Redfish Lake near Stanley, where she and her husband, Dana Schroeder, celebrate their anniversary each year.
The diamond had sparkled on Alair Schroeders finger every day since their wedding 38 years ago.
But that night, back at the cabin, she realized the ring was gone.
Its amazing how much a thing can mean to you, she said last week in her Ucon home.
A midnight search crew zig-zagged the beach and shallows with headlamps but had no luck.
The Schroeders left two days later, but returned with friends, scuba gear and an underwater metal detector.
Hearts jumped every time the detector picked up traces of metal. The optimism fell when each hit on the detector turned out to be a fishing hook, a broken necklace or coins adding up to 17 cents.
Before returning home empty-handed, Alair Schroeder said she looked at the lake and night sky from her balcony, disheartened.
I love Stanley. Its my place of renewal, she said. I looked out on the balcony and thought, This isnt my special place anymore.
Not so fast.
In August, Amy Harris of Nampa was wading in Redfish Lake when she saw a metallic glint at the bottom. She reached into the cool water after what she guessed was a bolt or bracket to give to her sons.
She fished out a diamond wedding ring instead.
I was sick to my stomach, Harris said. I thought, Someone is so sad right now.
After returning home, Harris posted an ad on Craigslist looking for the owner, but it went unanswered.
Several months later, with no way to find the owner, Harris decided to sell the ring.
Her husband, Jody Harris, called an old jeweler friend to quote the rings value.
As chance would have it, that jeweler was Richard Black of Ingrams Fine Jewelers in Idaho Falls who had sold the Schroeders a replacement diamond ring and had heard the story of the lost original.
Did you find it at the dog beach on Redfish Lake? Black asked Jody Harris in a text message.
Yes, Jody Harris responded. How did you know that?
The Schroeders offered Amy and Jody a reward when the ring was returned in November.
Last week, diamond rings sparkled on each of Alair Schroeders ring fingers, and a smile adorned her face.
People tell me there were so many happy coincidences that had to happen, she said. I dont think it was coincidence. I think it was a miracle.
Amy Harris said she hopes her reward is karma that could help her wedding ring find its way home if its ever lost.
Really, it was a simple thing. I just found the ring, Amy Harris said. Its a very humbling feeling knowing the world is so small you can be part of something that can make somebody so happy.