Saturday, February 24, 2024

Count to Ten, Count to Five


Spring housecleaning this year kicks off with dealing with the jars of coins that have been gathering dust on a shelf in my office. While the science fiction trope of "the before times" became a reality with the start of the pandemic, it wasn't necessarily the bright line we think we remember.

Sure, starting with the national lockdown we all stopped going to stores and leaving or taking pennies from the jar beside the cash register. But only a few weeks into the pandemic my local bank branch closed permanently, a decision I suspect had been made much earlier, as more and more people moved to electronic payments and online banking.

In truth, there hadn't been many deposits to the Blue Door Bank of Hard Money (not FDIC insured) in some years. I maintained four jars, for pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. For some reason my recollection was that the marvelous CoinStar machines didn't take pennies, so last week I spent some time one evening after dinner counting and wrapping pennies, an evocative activity for me. I recall helping my father wrap pennies. It was an absorbing task for a young child who had just learned to count. Count ten pennies and place them in a neat stack. Count five stacks of pennies. Very satisfying.

When I noticed them, I pulled out the Canadian pennies. I'll toss those into streams that look like they might have spirits in them who could use an offering.  Maybe I'll toss one into the Pacific Ocean.* Dream big.

*I used to pour a little wine into the ocean, but wine now gives me headaches, so a penny now and again will have to do.

No comments: