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Thirty-One Cents

Updated on April 25, 2010

April 2010

Dave and I took the four girls to a school park this afternoon.  Since they were full of energy and mischief, we figured it would be a fun outing for them. 

Our neighbour was busy mowing his lawn.  The kids yelled "Bye Grandpa" to him as we prepared to leave.  We've never heard them call him this before, but at least they didn't call him Grandma. 

Three of the girls ran ahead with my husband and one chose the slower route (a walk with me).  I am recovering from a sprained hamstring and don't move very quickly these days. 

While J'Lyne and I were walking and chatting, I glanced down at the ground and saw something shimmering from the sunlight.  It was a quarter.  I picked it up and told J'Lyne that it would be hers, for her piggybank.  That got me to thinking.....

Back in the day, Dad loved to look for money.  At times, the little things made him happy.  He absolutely loved the thrill of finding change, any amount of money on the ground. 

"Spring is the best time to search", he taught my son Phillip.  When the snow has just melted, there is lots of change to be found on the ground, was his advice. 

"Remember to look down.  Always look down", he said (I can almost hear his voice saying it now). He'd comment about how many people walked by that very same coin  many times, but missed it because they didn't bother to look down.  He'd chuckle at the poor fools that didn't bother to look down, but simply passed it over. 

It was an adventure, for dad, to go for a stroll and find money along the way.  He used to brag about how much he'd gather in a single outing.  He'd put his change in a glass bowl and let it accumulate.  When he had enough, he'd take us to McDonald's for a treat, using the money he had found.  I wonder how much money dad did find during his lifetime.  We would probably be amazed if we knew how much the pennies and nickels and dimes added up.  There were times that he found bills too and that add to his, and our, joy. 

So, today, walking to the park with J'Lyne I told her to look down, always look down for something shiny in the grass.  I told her that the quarter I'd just found was hers and that if we found any more, it would be for the other girls.  So off we went, looking down.

We spotted something else, bent down and discovered it was a nickel, so we scooped it up and were quite happy with our find.  A little further on our walk, we spotted something else shining in the light.  It was a penny.

Thirty-one cents.  We found thirty-one cents on our ltitle jaunt today.  But more than that, much more than that, I remembered Dad and some of the lessons he taught us.  It brought a smile to my face, as well as a tear to my eye to remember the wonderful, generous man my dad was.  You see, I think the reason he took such great joy in finding change, was that he would collect it to pass on to his kids and grandkids.  He'd only hold on to it, until he had accumulated enough of a pile to happily give away, but he made sure to announce that he had found the money, every bit of it by looking down, always looking down at the ground.  You never know what you might miss if you don't. 

It's in the little things that great memories are made of. 


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    • westernangel profile image

      westernangel 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Cari Jean. Made me smile

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 7 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      This is a nice story - reminded me of my dad who also was always on the lookout for some spare change. Everytime we went somewhere that had a payphone, he would look in the change slot and every once in a while he would pull out a quarter!

    • westernangel profile image

      westernangel 7 years ago from Canada

      Hi Alley-oop and Sister-of-Mine,

      Glad you stopped by to share the memories. Good to hear from you.


    • profile image

      another-sister 7 years ago

      Dad would get annoyed with me because I had my "head in the clouds" - a place where writers tend to spend their days.

      Then there was the time I almost got "smushed" by a bus because I stepped off the curbed to pick up a dime lying on the side of a busy street in downtown Ottawa, following Dad's advice...

      Thanks for the memories, Western Angel - from your Eastern counterpart

    • profile image

      alice milne 7 years ago

      Oh Angie,

      That story about our dad brought happy tears to my eyes. I too, still to this day, look down and think of dad while on my walks. And, like him, I usually find pennies or dimes, and say thank you dad for them.

      Dad would be smiling if he read your story, and always remind us to look down, and share our blessings with those we love.



    • westernangel profile image

      westernangel 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks msorensson. I think we should be enjoying the little things more often. :) Have a good day.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      What a lovely story, thank you. I agree with you! When we enjoy the little things, we are in the moment.