Posted by: Chris Sandel | January 25, 2010

10 Years Underground

Last Tuesday Melissa and I made the trek back to our homeland, Champaign-Urbana, for an Illini basketball game.  Sadly, our beloved were not quite able to take down Purdue despite a valiant effort.  The game though was only part of our trip.

Ten years ago, as freshmen in college, Melissa and I shared a romantic evening together and as a part of it we wrote notes to each other, took a few pictures (35mm even!) together.  Then we headed out to a local park with a shovel to bury it where it would remain for the next 10 years.

Nine years and 363 days later, we arrived back at that park in hopes of finding our buried time capsule.  We had a plan.  We remembered (or thought we remembered) burying it 21 days away from a large tree.  We didn’t however, remember exactly what direction, or whose 21 steps they were.  Note to anyone planning to bury a time capsule…make it someplace easy to find if you don’t want to bring in a bull dozer to find it.

Despite all the odds, and thanks to the help of a great friend who lent us a metal detector, we were able to eventually find our long buried, heart shaped, memory tin.  Where did we find it…exactly 17 steps from the tree and in the opposite direction of where I thought.  Just call me Mr. Memory.

Our little packaged was double wrapped in Ziploc bags and appeared to be in decent shape, other than the huge dent from my shovel.  We took it back to the car to open it up.  We found this tin that still had a label on it with my parents address.

Upon opening our tin we were sad to find our folded up notes soaked completely through.  We started to try to unfold them but they were so soaked that they were just falling apart.  We decided to let them dry and go from there.  At this point, we still haven’t had any luck actually reading them but I was pretty excited just to find them still in the ground.

No word yet on if our roll of 35mm film can be salvaged.  It was rusted but it didn’t appear to be broken open.  We had to search all over town to find somene who could develop such a roll of film.  I wasn’t even sure anyone did that anymore.  If we do get any photos from it, I’ll be sure to scan them right away (if they aren’t digital, what will I ever do with them right?) and share a few here.

All in all, it was a pretty cool night.  And it’s been an amazing 10+ years.  I sometimes take for granted how blessed Melissa and I have been.  We met in High School and we’ve only ever dated each other.  It’s kind of hard to imagine it today’s world but God allowed us to grow together and challenge each other year by year and he’s continued to bless our time together.

I can’t wait to see what God allows us to do in the next 10+ years.  There is no one I’d rather spend them with!



  1. So cool!!! You are both truly blessed by God as well as you are a blessing to others. It is rear to find such love or that you both are such great listeners to God that your path has been blessed. Congrats to the two of you – U can already see what great things God is doing in your lives. Your son who is almost one. As parents you now know, and can feel the love God feels for you as a parent. Cant wait to watch Jack and your family in the years to come. I am so honored to call you friends, family. Kathleen Hazelwood

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