Last week I was walking through the parking lot with three of my grandkids. I saw a penny and mentioned it to Jordy. He wasn't impressed. It was tails-side up and he said that means bad luck or something. I said, "See a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck." As a child I use to recite that phrase whenever I found a penny. I actually thought it would bring good luck. I also believed if I could get to the other end of a rainbow I'd find a pot of gold, too.
Then I grew up.
Some things have changed. Some have not. Today, whenever I see a penny on the ground I still pick it up. Not because I believe it will bring good luck. I told Jordy that it reminds me to trust in God for everything because it's imprinted with the words, "In God We Trust." I pick up all the pennies I find. Then I just stick them in my pocket and smile. The penny also brings to mind a day long ago when a poor little girl from the wrong side of the tracks could take that penny and go get a piece of bubblegum at the corner drugstore. And if I saved it till I found another, I could get a small peppermint round. Sometimes, I stick my hand in my pocket and rub a newly found penny and think of all the soda bottles I'd search for on the side of the road. I'd take them home and wash them, then peddle back to the grocery store for a 3-cent refund. "A penny saved is a penny earned," my stepmother use to say.
You can't buy anything for a penny anymore. A penny is worth so little that hardly anyone other than a child would bother to pick it up. I've been trying to teach my granddaughters (who have no interest for any change smaller than a quarter) that if they save five pennies, they'll have a nickel, and if they save five nickels then they'll have that quarter. And just maybe, they will be smarter than me and hang on to it until they have enough to buy some Country Time lemonade. Then they can set up a lemonade stand and earn enough to buy a heart's desire. And that might just be worth thinking about. selahV