IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Alair Schroeder screamed when she saw her naked index finger where her diamond wedding ring should have been.
She'd spent that fine July day swimming in Redfish Lake near Stanley, where she and her husband, Dana Schroeder, celebrate their anniversary each year.
The diamond sparkled on Alair Schroeder's finger every day since her wedding day 38 years ago.
But that night, back at the cabin, she realized her ring was gone.
“It's amazing how much a thing can mean to you,” she said last week in her Ucon home.
A midnight search crew zigzagged the beach and shallows with headlamps without luck.
The Schroeders left two days later but returned with friends, scuba gear and an underwater metal detector.
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 looked at the lake from her balcony, disheartened.
“I love Stanley. It's my place of renewal,” she said. “I looked out on the balcony and thought, 'This isn't my special place anymore.'”
In August, Amy Harris of Nampa was wading in Redfish Lake when she saw a metallic glint at the bottom. When she fished out a diamond wedding ring, she said she felt sick.
“I thought, 'Someone is so sad right now.'”
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 a jeweler friend to quote the ring's value.
As chance would have it, that jeweler had sold the Schroeders a replacement diamond ring and had heard the story of the lost original.
Diamond rings sparkled on each of Alair Schroeder's ring fingers last week.
“I don't think it was coincidence,” she said. “I think it was a miracle.”
The Schroeders offered the Harris couple a reward when the ring was returned in November, but they declined.
“Really, it was a simple thing. I just found the ring,” Amy Harris said. “It's a very humbling feeling knowing the world is so small you can be part of something that can make somebody so happy.”