I Pick Up Pennies

“Find a penny, pick it up, and all day you will have good luck” My dad would tell me he picked up a penny off of the ground.

Ever since I was little I remember my dad always picked up pennies and other coins and put them in his front pocket.  He always had change in his front left pocket.  I loved to listen to it jingle.  Every night he would empty his pocket and put the change into a decorative glass bottle.  My parents would use that money to go on vacation.

I would cringe as a teenager when my dad would check the coin return of a public phone or candy machine to see if anyone had left change in it and hoped nobody I knew saw him doing that.  I didn’t understand why he did that.  We weren’t poor.  We always had food on the table.  I just didn’t get it.

I started to save change when I was in high school.  I, too, had a decorative glass bottle (probably found at a garage sale) that I kept in the front left corner of my closet.  I could see my change bottle from my bed.  I was proud of my change.  “Dad, look at how much change I have!” I would say to him.   He would smile.  I picked up coins, too, but I didn’t dig in any coin returns.

30+ years later I still save my change.  My husband and I have a big Coke bottle bank that we put our silver coins in and a small Coke bank that we put our pennies in.  The big Coke bottle holds so much change we have to put it in two buckets when we take it to the bank.  We don’t use our change to go on vacation.  We use it as our emergency fund.

I even save our change when we go to Vegas.  I always have a plastic baggie in my purse and all our change comes home with us.  If someone leaves a ticket from a slot machine for a penny or seven cents I cash it in and put it in my change baggie.  So, in that way, I guess I am more like my dad than I realize.

I still pick up coins, but I look at it a little differently now.  Since my dad passed every time I pick up a coin I say “Hi Dad”.  For me they aren’t pennies from Heaven, they are coins from Heaven.  It’s my dad saying “hi” and letting me know he is with me.

I finally understand why he looked in those change returns.  It wasn’t because we needed money.  It was because it was free money and it added money to our vacation fund.  The more money that was in there the more stuff we could do.  I didn’t realize it then but my dad was teaching me a life long lesson.

Save your money.

And I do.  I have a cup in my truck that I put change in.  I have a small coin purse I keep change in at work.  My husband has a plastic coffee can in his semi.  We even keep our change at the trailer in a Coke straw holder we bought in Vegas.

Change is good!

 

 

 

 

 

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