Small Change

Find a penny pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck. – no idea

I find pennies like crazy, probably every day. And I usually find a dime along with it. The smallest coin alongside the least valuable coin. I wish I were finding twenties, but pennies and dimes seem to stalk me. It happens so often, that if there is a day that I don’t find a penny , I just think I wasn’t paying attention and passed it over. I made an imaginary rule in college like this: “If it’s heads up, pick it up, it’s for you. If it’s tails, flip it to heads and keep moving, to give someone else some luck.” There’s no rhyme to go with that one, it happened entirely in my imagination, just to jazz up the repetitiveness of finding pennies.

Last autumn, it happened in a parking garage when I was walking with my friend. Two pennies and two dimes, just outside our car we’d left the night before. I bent over to retrieve them, and she asked me what the matter was.
“Nothing,” I said. “Someone dropped some small change on the ground.”

“Ooh, small change is the best. That’s the way your ancestors let you know they’re looking out for you! Pennies and dimes.”

What?! That was a big Hooray- I’m all about my ancestors.

No, they’re not significant historically or anything. They’re just… mine. And sometimes, I miss them something terrible.

My friend then told me about her great grandmother telling her that our ancestors show us in the smallest ways of their presence. Every time we find small change, it’s like a little greeting card, from your folks. They remind us, by sending small change, that it’s the little things that make all the difference in loving someone. All we have to do on this plane is stay alert. She said she never forgot it, and that all of her siblings and cousins celebrate and call one another when they find the smallest of coins.

I know, this could be one of those things like when you buy a red Volkswagen, all of a sudden all you see on the road is red Volkswagens, but I was in. I started finding coins EVERYWHERE on that day, and still do. I’d call my mom or send her a picture. She, of course, called me crazy and she might be right- but still.

I found them:

On the seat of my car.

On the seat of my car.

In change from my favorite Thai place

In change from my favorite Thai place

At the bottom of a riverbed

At the bottom of a riverbed

When walking into work

When walking into work

Before I passed the vaccum

Before I passed the vaccum

Just a few cents, in the form of pennies and dimes. My mom thinks it hilarious, although it doesn’t un-crazy me. I put them in a tiny basket at home- to prove to myself that it wasn’t the same penny and dime combination I found on another day and misplaced.

Sure enough, they come. Especially when I’m not feeling so well. It could be my ancestors. It could be a red Volkswagen coincidence. Either way, I say thanks every time, because my spirits are lifted every time.

small change basket

When the small change basket if full, I believe I’ll buy myself some cut flowers. Because my ancestors know I how love cut flowers, and I know they loved me.

Thanks, amen.

About thanks amen

Michelle is an artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin whose professional experience spans working as an educator, nonprofit executive, and consultant. She has a fear of clowns and pecans, and works every day to listen at least twice as much as she talks.
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4 Responses to Small Change

  1. Mary Dobbs says:

    I like!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Lula Frankie Green says:

    You’re back………Awesome as always…Yeah!!!

  3. Eunice Lockhart-Moss says:

    For real! Keep lookiing and finding them. It is true

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