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How God Speaks To Us, Pennies From Heaven
Large Cent Dated 1849
A couple of centuries ago there was a U.S. coin they called The Large Cent. These coins were minted and used from 1793 thru 1857. They were replaced by the smaller pennies we use today. I love old stuff and found myself intrigued when I first laid eyes and hands on one of these rare coins. The value of this coin was 1/100 of a dollar. It was simply a larger version of a penny. I fell in love with it on the spot. I had to have it and seeing that it was for sale I was quick to snap it up. To me it was magic to hold in my hand, a rare coin that had found it's way to some Flea Market in Texas, where I was browsing on a Sunday afternoon.
The Spirit Of Old Coins
The thought that this coin had such history. Over it's lifetime, being passed hand to hand in exchange for goods and deeds and who knows what it had seen. If only it could talk. I bought it and took it home to stow in a small metal can where I kept some other coins. Time passed and I found myself purchasing a couple more of these Large Cents. I kept them stowed away for so many years that I forgot about them. They lived in the drawer of my desk in the far back corner in that can.
A Stranger Parked In My Driveway
I was watching out the front door when she pulled in the drive and got out of her car. She looked toward the house as I stepped on to the front porch in my clean white socks. She hollered up to me that she was going to leave her car and walk to the next street. That got me off the porch and carefully walking toward her in my bare stocking feet. I was telling her she could not leave her car because I had to have access for the workers to come and go from my driveway. I suggested that she could park on the lawn as that is how we were keeping the driveway cleared. The Town had posted NO PARKING signs on the street so they could get the block after block of debris removed without hindrance.
A Needle In A Hay Stack
A Loud Pop And The Hissing Sound
Walking toward the women I could see that she was quite frustrated. She told me she had to get over to the next street to feed the dog. I suggested that she could park in the grass but, I said " you know what is going to start happening next?" "Everybody is going to start getting flat tires" The words were hardly spoken when I heard a loud pop and the hissing noise. I looked toward the backhoe working on our pile of rubble. His front tire was going down. I pointed it out to the lady as I said " see what I mean?" The lady was disgusted. She told me she would be stuck here all day now as the backhoe was positioned across the entire street. I assured her he would pull up and out of the way as I watched him reach for a radio in his cab. I was pretty sure he was calling for a new tire.
Providence Man, That Is All It Could Be
He moved the backhoe to the side to wait for a tire. The lady was in a hurry and asked him if there was room to pass. He assured her there was enough room. I suggested she remove a door frame, board from the street as it would have to be driven over, otherwise, I was sure it was full of large nails.
The lady marched right through the remaining rubble toward the board. She stopped in her tracks, midway through the debris and bent down to pick something up. As she studied the find in her hand, she looked back at me and said, "I found a penny and it's a wheat back". The words echoed in my head as I hurried to join her forgetting that I had no shoes on. I told her I had lost a small coin collection in the removal of our flooded property and had considered it lost forever. She helped me dig around as I described to her some of the coins and the container they were in. After a couple minutes she added the coins she had found to the ones I was piling up in my hand. She told me good luck with finding the coins but, she had to get going. I could feel the goo oozing up through my socks and realized that any way I stepped was a potential hazard. There was broken glass and nails everywhere.
Then I heard someone say that I had best be careful walking around in all that broken glass. I decided that the cause was hopeless and I was lucky to find the coins I had in my hand. As I carefully stepped out of the mess I almost stepped right on top of one of the Large Cents. That was it. Happy to have found the one coin I was elated. I headed back to the house and took off the nasty socks. I put on some shoes and went to tell the backhoe driver thank-you for getting the flat tire. As I mouthed the words I handed the Large Cent up to him. He smiled and spoke the word PROVIDENCE. That was all he said.
I went back to my house cleaning after I rinsed off the coins I had found. I was happy to have found what I did. Under the circumstance I considered it a minor miracle. The wheat backs were so dirty I put them in a jar to soak off the yuck and later spread them out on a paper towel to dry.
A loud knock came from the front door an hour after the coin episode. I heard a man shouting, "Hey lady are you in there?" He knocked hard again. I went to the door and there was the backhoe operator. I gave him a big smile as I opened the door. He extended his hand toward me and said, "this was all I could find." I reached to except his offering and there in my hand he placed two more Large Cents and a few more wheat backs. He said he did not think there was any more. My heart raced as I said thank-you. The man looked at me and again said, "Providence man, that is all it could be is providence." He turned and walked away.